Brain Games and Dog Puzzles
Did you know there are tons of puzzles and games especially for dogs? From simple treat dispensing toys that require interaction by your pup, to elaborate puzzle games that force your dog to problem solve, dog puzzles are an excellent way to exercise your dog indoors! (research has shown that just a few minutes of mental exercise is far more exhausting to your dog than that same amount of time spent doing something physical!)
Remember to start off with simple puzzles and let your dog master those before stepping up to the more difficult, advanced puzzles — you don’t want your dog to get frustrated and lose interest!
I’m a total sucker when it comes to dogs on the furniture. The FYDO Bagel Bed is so plush and snuggly that my dog thinks it’s an appropriate substitute for sleeping on my bed.
Tip: Connectin is available in three different forms. My dog is taking a crunchy tablet dipped in peanut butter every morning. I saw noticeable improvement after 14 days.
For my super active Aussie-mix, restricted exercise sounds like torture, but we’ve made it four weeks and only have two to go!
West Paw’s Zogoflex are stuffable and more challenging than a traditional Kong. Load them up with canned dog food, peanut butter or treats and freeze for a longer lasting “puzzle.”
Since my dog is getting limited physical exercise, I’m increasing her mental exercise! Check out these stationary games we’re playing this month. My dog loves clicker training, so I chose a few tricks that can be done without her standing up and moving around. She almost has “lick your lips” figured out and it’s so funny!
Finally, start randomly alternating these until he starts to offer the correct behavior on the “Copy” cue without needing the verbal cue for that behavior.
* Kong. The classic Kong toy, made by the Kong Company, is a well-established favorite of many dog owners and trainers. While some people stuff them with kibble and glue it in place by stirring in some peanut butter or yogurt, I like to stuff Kongs with Kai’s moist, home-cooked food, which doesn’t work well in most treat-dispensing toys.
You can see my review of Nina Ottosson’s original wooden toys in the June 2008 issue of WDJ (“A Puzzling Activity”). For other interactive toy suggestions, see “The Best Food-Dispensing Toys,” WDJ April 2019.
I’m a big fan of food-dispensing toys that can be given to bored dog to roll around, such as the Roll-A-Treat Ball. But in this case, food-dispensing toys that move are verboten, since the patient is not supposed to move around much. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for stationary treat-containing toys and puzzles:
No surprise – the process is the same as above. Present one object and name it, then present the next object, and then the two objects together, offset at first.
How to Keep Your Dog Busy While You’re At Work!
Do you feel guilty that your pet doesn’t get enough time with you? It’s a situation that happens to most of us, but one that can be easily remedied. Giving your dog an opportunity to exercise with you every day can increase your bonding time and help to improve her quality of life.
Here are some reasons why you should exercise your dog daily, what can happen if you don’t, and helpful tips for starting an exercise plan with your pup.
Big or small, young or old, dogs need to exercise daily. While the age and breed of your dog may affect your dog’s ability to exercise, all dogs still need to take part in some form of daily physical activity.
Exercise tones a dog’s muscles, helps the body and metabolic system to function properly, and engages the mind.