Daily dog walking happens naturally for exercise, but do we do enough to alleviate boredom and give their brains a stretch too? Here’s our tips to ensuring we give our dogs enough mental stimulation.
Your dog’s mind is always at work. When they are still or on a walk, you’ll see the way they stop to listen and take in the sights and smells of your surroundings. It might seem like nothing, but it’s their way of sensing something interesting to check out. As hoomans, it’s our duty to allow our dogs to use their natural instincts. Dogs need mental stimulation in order to thrive just like we do! Check out our five tips that you can do to exercise your dog’s minds as well as their legs!
1. Run Free
Always walking on a leash or harness stops our dogs from performing the simplest act of being a dog! When they’re leash trained definitely give them the freedom to sniff and explore on their own as they get to use their natural instincts and abilities.
2. Sniff More Butts
Socialising with other dogs should be taught early on and it’s important to continue nose to nose contact as they grow. Don’t be reluctant to let them sniff other dogs (Obvs if they don’t look aggressive and if ok with their hooman) On the odd occasion a snappy situation may occur, if that happens steer clear of that dog and then reward your dogs good behaviour so it doesn't become timid in these situations down the track.
3. Get Tricky With It
Most of us are so busy with day to day life that the tricks we teach can get forgotten once you move through the puppy stage. A great way for recall and a bit of fun on your daily walk is to ensure all their cool tricks are performed! This kind of activity keeps their mind working during daily walks.
4. Puzzle Them
First comes a bored dog, then comes trouble! Save your pillows, shoes, and backyard from total destruction with an interactive toy to keep your dog’s mind engaged. Games and puzzles can be a great challenge. You can also give your dog a toy with hidden treats inside and your dog will totally enjoy trying to figure out how to get them out.
5. Adventure Time
Everyone gets sick of the mundane, even us hoomans! If your daily walk is the same every day, your dog could be getting jack of it. To engage the senses and keep them on their toes, switch it up! Take your dog on outdoor adventures where he can run off-leash and see things he’s never seen before. Check out a waterfall, or lake, walk a bush track or mountain, take them to a new dog beach or park. It’s not only fun for the dog, it gets us moving too!
What do you do to engage your dog’s body and mind?