DIY Agility Test
You can use items around your house (think: pillows, cushions, chairs, low tables) to create an agility course for your pooch. Yes, there are physical benefits to these tests, but there are intellectual perks, too. An obstacle course forces your dog to concentrate on the task at hand. He must be obedient to complete the course and earn his reward. Once your dog masters the test, change the course around to continue encouraging his intellectual growth.
This toy seems to have an almost magical attraction for dogs. They cant seem to resist pulling the squirrels out of the hole, over and over again. You can stuff in any of your dogs other favorite toys as well to make it even more enticing.
● Kibble and soft spread. By mixing kibble with something soft like yogurt, cottage cheese, or banana, you provide a texture that is challenging for your dog to get out and very attractive without adding too many extra calories. This is a great option for dogs that arent very interested in kibble alone.
Working to get food out of toys is the ideal way to occupy your intelligent dog during downtimes. Offering food for behavior is a great way to be ahead of them and continue to occupy their mind with new skills.
Smart dogs find more ways to get into mischief and are often less able to be satisfied with simple toys. You may need to work harder to keep your intelligent dog happy and healthy.
● Wet kibble or wet food. If you feed your dog wet food already, you can pack it directly into the Kong. If you feed your dog kibble, soak it until it is soft and then stuff the Kong. Freeze it for an added challenge.
Start With a Solid Foundation of Training
You may have taken your young pup to one or two obedience courses when you first got him. Did you stop training after those beginning classes? The old adage you can’t teach an old dog new tricks isn’t as accurate as you may think.
According to research from the University of Milan, the more you train a dog, the smarter they become. Researchers from the university’s psychology department conducted a study of 110 dogs. Half the dogs had minimal obedience training while the other half had much more schooling. The dogs were given a test to find hidden food. Even though their earlier training had nothing to do with hunting food, 60% of dogs with more training discovered the treats. Only 30% of the minimally trained dogs found them. Once you’ve taken your dog to obedience courses, you’re able to increase their intelligence with continued training.
Try these seven toys and games to make your dog smarter and less bored when you’re not home.