Are you looking for ways to challenge your dog? If not, it might be something worth considering. This is especially true if they seem to be depressed or creating an unusual amount of dog-trouble.
Can you imagine doing the same thing day in and day out? Eating the same food, seeing the same things, walking the same walk, and smelling the same smells? Does that maybe sound familiar to you? If it does, what do you do about it in your own life? Our guess is that you try a new restaurant or go on vacation to stir things up a bit.
Your dog needs the same type of ‘newness’ to keep them feeling happy and content. Here are a few ways to challenge your dog. We think you’ll see a difference in them if you introduce these tactics into their life.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a fun game to play to challenge your dog and stimulate him mentally. If your dog understands the “sit and stay” command it’s a good start. Then find a place to hide in the house. When you’re ready, call out to your pup. Wait for him to find you and reward him when he does. If your dog does not quite obey sit and stay, you can quickly hide around the corner and encourage his looking for you.
Learn a New Trick
Learning a new trick with you pup is a great way to challenge your dog. Whether they are young or old, there’s always something new he will be able to learn. Some pups are highly intelligent and can learn multi-step tricks. Others need more basic ones. Find a trick online or by asking a Trainer (like us, at Posh Paws Pet Care) what will work best. Asking your dog to understand something new is giving them a mental challenge.
New Faces – Human and Animal
Your dog loves you introducing him to new sights, sounds and smells. This includes new people (to see and smell) and dogs (to mostly smell). If a dog park isn’t right for you and your pup, invite a few friends over. Another great place for new faces is obedience class. This is a dual mental challenge.
All dogs love to play with new toys. Our dogs will get bored with the same toy day in and day out. It makes sense. We would be bored, too. Introducing new toys every month or so (or more frequently) not only challenges your dog, it keeps him happy. Kong makes some great “puzzle” toys where your pup will have to figure out how to get the treat placed inside.