It is well known that dogs are not only friends but also irreplaceable helpers in everyday life. These animals provide a lot of joy, smile and make life much more cheerful. However, it is worth remembering that dogs are not toys, so it is important to take care not only of their existential needs, but also of proper upbringing and stimulation, providing entertainment and opportunities to play, which will help to shape the dog’s character and raise its self-esteem.
A happy dog is one that is allowed to be itself. The animal should be able to listen to its instincts and do what we classify as natural behavior. Despite the many years in which dogs have been heavily domesticated, we should not completely ban dogs from behaving in certain ways and take away their truthfulness. We should remember that a dog is a dog. To reinforce the right instincts, it is worth taking an interest in mental games that the dog will take as a challenge.
What kind of games are appropriate for a dog?
If we ask a dog owner what he associates playing with his pet with, the most common answer we will get is dragging or fetching. And these will not be wrong answers, because all dogs love these forms of activity. As mentioned above, it is a good idea to broaden the repertoire of activities and give your pets the opportunity for additional exercises that will positively affect the whole dog behavior, developing intelligence and improving their overall well-being and strengthening the bond with the human.
A dog needs to satisfy all its needs and not only those related to food or toilet! Animals, listening to their instincts, need to sniff, chase, interact with both their handler and other dogs, and explore new places and smells. With the right mental stimulation, a dog will get all its needs met, and that’s what it’s all about, making both human and dog feel simply happy.
the 5 best games for your dog
On the internet or in dog training manuals you will find plenty of examples of great mental exercises that you can use in training with your pet. Each mental game will be a step forward and will give a lot of pleasure to our dog, so it is important to start practicing today. Regularity is the most important thing to achieve anything. It’s a good idea to start training your dog with basic games, which are our TOP 5.
1. Sniffing for treats
Dogs love food and unfortunately, you can’t fool their nature – most are willing to do anything for their favorite treat! So take advantage of this and try to hide treats both in the apartment and in the backyard by filling kong toys with food. Your dog will have to work his nose and brain to get what dogs love most – treats!
2. Interactive toys
There are plenty of interactive toys on the market that will allow your dog to think and put a lot of work into figuring them out. These are usually toys under which we hide dog treats, and to get to them, our pet has to find a good way to do it. High-level fun for hours!
3. Sniffing mat
For dogs, sniffing is a natural instinct and we should always give your pet plenty of opportunities to do so. Sniffing mat is a great option for mental play, but it’s also a creative challenge for ourselves. There are a lot of all kinds of mats available on the market in different sizes and shapes, but you can prepare such a mat yourself – you just need cardboard, fabric or newspapers. The dog will smell his favorite food and will have to find the right way to get to it.
4. Learning commands
This is a fantastic way to spend quality time with your pet and strengthen your bond. Learning simple commands is fun, but it also gives you the opportunity to mentally tire your pet, which is extremely important in raising them. When it comes to these trainings, you should definitely have patience and method – rewarding your dog is always a good motivation for your pet, and by doing so, you will definitely achieve the desired results!
5. In which hand?
Fun and easy, and interesting for your dog! All you need to do is hide in your hand something that your pet loves – a toy or a treat. Show the dog what you are hiding and close both hands. On the command “search” the dog should be interested in one of your hands. If it is the right one, it should be rewarded accordingly.