Just like we get bored, dogs get bored also if they have nothing to do or if they do the same thing all the time. Keeping a dog mentally and physically stimulated is just as important as taking them for walks. A bored dog becomes destructive and/or disruptive.
These are some ideas to stimulate your dog’s mind:
1. Teach a new trick – Engaging your dog in a training session, will provide him with a mental challenge. Find new tricks to work on. Start with basic commands. Then for more advanced tricks read books, look online, or ask a trainer who specializes in trick training. It may help calm down. Mental challenges make dogs less anxious and more relaxed around other dogs. And yes, old dogs can learn new tricks.
2. Interactive games or toys – Buy a doggie puzzle or other doggie game to challenge his mind. Give your dog one of the toys that allows you to hide treats inside and watch your dog figure out how to work it. It really challenges their brain and you see them working hard to figure out how to get the food.
3. Run errands with your dog – Running to the dry cleaners, going to a friend’s house, or a drive to get food allows your dog to encounter various stimulating situations. Just taking a dog for a car ride is stimulating for him. He gets to see lots of different sights and sounds and experience new situations. His brain is active as it takes it all in.
4. Give your dog a job - Dogs are bred to work. When they aren’t able to fulfill their jobs they become restless. Frisbee is a good activity. So is agility or Fly-ball. Take him for a long walk, hike, or swimming. Find jobs that fulfill your dog’s breed. If you have a retriever, for example, nothing will leave it more satisfied than a hearty game of fetch. Just make sure there are rules.
5. New meetings - Every time your dog meets someone new, they are introduced to new sights, sounds, and smells. Taking you dog to places like the dog park will give him with opportunity to engage his senses.
6. Give them new toys and rotate out the old ones – doing the same thing every day is boring. You shouldn’t expect your dog to continue to love the same toy that he’s had for months. Give him a toy to play with for a few days and then replace it with another one.
If you have a problem, or need guidance / direction, consider hiring a professional dog trainer or dog behaviorist to help.
As always, remember: BP4 – Be: Patient, Positive, Peaceful & Persistent
www.packmantotherescue.com / 201-937-6123 / Little Falls, NJ 07424