Many dogs were bred for some kind of work, so it’s no wonder our house pets sometimes get bored easily. Even though our own pets may not be working animals, they still possess active brains that require stimulation. Many dogs can learn over 300 commands during training, which proves they’re smart, attentive and clever (but we already knew that!). How can we help them get more of that stimulation that they so crave?
Dog Smart Puzzle
If your dog has a good nose, is curious and loves treats (wait that’s all dogs, right?), then this a good one. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, only backwards. Basically, there nine shapes into which you hide treats and then lay the shapes on the plastic base. Your dog has to figure out where the treats are hidden. You can place a treat in one, a few or all nine if you wish. Either way your dog will take a while to find them all and this is a great way to keep his brain active.
Kong toys have been around forever and you can buy them just about anywhere, including here! Kongs are plastic toys with a hollowed-out center that come in a variety of sizes. If you put something gooey, like peanut butter, inside your dog will be occupied for quite a while trying to lick it all out. These toys are excellent for dogs that suffer from separations anxiety as it helps to take their minds off your absence.
If your dog has beaten all the toys you’ve tried, then you may want to move on to something a little more advanced, like the Casino puzzle. There are small plastic bones on the top which turn. Your dog must learn to turn them to unlock the drawers on the sides which contain a treat. This one is a bit advanced so it’s recommended for the smarter breeds. But why not try and find out how smart your dog is?
IQ Treat Ball
The IQ treat ball is a great puzzle toy that will put your dog’s senses on overdrive. Essentially this is a twist on the slow feed bowl where you can put a portion of your dog’s meal inside. They only eat what the ball dispenses when rolled. You can adjust the desired difficulty level making the food come out at different rates. Dogs get the exercise they need and get rewarded for it! Below are these and some of the other dog toys we recommend.