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Putting Your Dog’s Brain To Work

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Fun n Games at Dog Park
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One of the most frequent things dog owners complain about is that their dogs don’t stay busy enough. Dogs can become destructive when they are bored, and that leads to angry dog owners.

Avoid this problem by spending time with your dog exercising his brain. Here are some tips to help keep your dog busy and happy:

Test your dog. Google “canine I.Q. Test” and you’ll find tests to help determine dog’s intelligence.  These tests make great exercises for your dog.

The tests help establish you as the alpha leader of your pack. Most dogs do well with these tests but even if your dog doesn’t do well he will be working his brain.

Problem-Solving Exercises. Give your dog some small problems to solve each day, similar to the I.Q. Tests. Try hiding some peanut butter in a toy or putting treats in your dog’s stuffed animals. Put some bones in the yard for your dog to dig up.

Small puzzles are fun for your dog and they’re a great way to keep your dog’s mind active.

Obedience Training. Basic obedience training is a way to engage your dog and work his problem solving skills. Your dog uses a lot of mental energy in following your commands and performing tricks.

Learning New Tricks. Teaching your dog commands is good but your dog can use his brain even more if you teach him advanced tricks.

Dogs can learn to pick out a specific toy from several options; track down specific scents; and other complex tricks.

Work for Everything. According to this approach, dogs shouldn’t get anything for free. Make your dog work for everything he gets. Dogs will enjoy working for their meals, attention, and other privileges. When you feed your dog, or give him water, or pet him, first make him sit, lie down, or perform other tricks.

Have Your Dog Perform His Job. Nearly all breeds have been bred for specific jobs. Keep your dog’s mind active by having him do his original work. If you have a sled dog, give him a chance to pull a sled. Let a sheepdog herd sheep. Take a hunting dog out hunting. These tasks will fulfill deep desires inside the dogs while also using their minds.

You’ll be amazed at how effective these jobs can be in working off your dog’s excess energy, too.

Exercise and Agility. Ordinary exercise isn’t particularly useful when it comes to using your dog’s mind but it does get your dog’s body moving and they do burn off some energy.

Without a job, a dog can grow restless and become destructive. The tips described here will help keep your dog happy and keep you and your family happier with your dog.

 

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