Dog stimulation is an important aspect of raising your pet in all stages of its development. Learning to stimulate your dog is important in order to keep it mentally alert and physically fit. Dogs have specific stimulation needs depending on their breed and intelligence level. A mere daily walk may not be enough for highly intelligent dogs which need lots of additional activities to stimulate their minds, without regard whether you can be with them all the time.
How to physically stimulate your dog
One of the best ways to train your dog to perform simple tasks is to engage in good and pleasant games with them. These can give the kind of dog stimulation that your pet needs. Some of the games that you and your pet can enjoy are:
Firstly, command your dog to sit, then throw your dog’s favorite toy or a ball about six steps away from it and say “fetch.” Follow your dog for a few steps as it runs to retrieve the item.
GIVE & TAKE
Let your dog chase you by running away from by the time you see him picking up the toy. Respond quickly when it catches up with you by turning facing it while extending a hand and telling it to “give” the toy to you.
Reward your pet accordingly as it obeys you. This is an effective dog stimulation approach.
Increase the stake
Consistency and constant practice are very important factors in making your dog learn this routine. You can increase the distance of your throw gradually, but you must keep a watchful eye on your pet’s mood, and you should be able to detect if it is bored, which is a sign for you to stop the game right there and then. You can also try to introduce new items, such as a shoe, a towel or a lead, once you realize that your dog has mastered retrieving the practice item.
Repeat the practice by specifically mentioning the name of the item that you want your dog to retrieve, like “fetch the shoe/towel/lead!” as you pitch it. Your dog should be able to identify these items by name with constant practice.
Other dog stimulation games which you could also try to keep your pet away from feeling bored are tug of war or hide and seek.
Use food to train and Stimulate your dog
Food is a vital part of in the life of every creature. If this is used imaginatively in feeding your pet, it can keep your dog mentally challenged for every meal that it takes.
One way to stimulate your dog’s mind as it eats is to hide its food in little portions around the house rather than feeding it outright from its bowl, giving it the opportunity to hunt for its meal by using its ability to sniff.
Kongs or hollow toys are great for persuading your dog to hunt for treats. Place your dog’s food inside the kong and let your pet figure out how to go about it in order to get the food inside. You can also hide the kong somewhere in the house to make your dog occupied searching for its food.
Activity balls are also recommended as it works the same way as the kongs, as the treats fall out of the ball as your pet rolls it on the floor. These will also provide your pet with an amusing activity while you are away.
Dog stimulation through physical and mental activity is a very effective way to prevent it from getting bored. Walking it frequently is a recommended routine to provide it with the exercise to keep it in top shape. Mentally stimulating games that involve you and your pet are also suggested. This will make you spend time together in order to cement a bonding that lasts a lifetime.