While exercise is important for your dog, mental stimulation is just as important (if not more so) because it helps them to stay emotionally balanced and mentally active. Brain games, positive reinforcement training, and play are common practices used to resolve behaviour challenges in dogs. By providing your dog with mental enrichment, you can avoid frustration, boredom, destructive behaviour, repetitive behaviour, and protect your favourite couch from being ripped up in the process.
Top Tip #1: Don’t feed from a bowl.
Dogs actually prefer to “work” for their food, so a bowl is really a wasted opportunity for enrichment. Provide food in a treat dispenser, scattered on the ground, in brain games/problem-solving toys, or training. This will use up extra mental energy.
Top Tip #2: Scent training.
Dogs need to use their noses! Just because they can’t go sniffing around the park now, doesn’t mean you can’t bring the park to them!
Top Tip #3: Games
Play with your dog! Unstructured, no rules. Just play. This will reduce stress, yours, and your dogs’!