Mental stimulation is important because it allows our
pups to use their brain more. Dog's are essentially athletes. We could take them for a run for an hour today and tomorrow they will need 2 and then 3 and so on. When the brain is being used, the dog becomes more tired, more quickly. And as we all know- A tired pup is a happy pup!
1) Hide your dog's breakfast/dinner around the house, start easy where they can see you place it and continuously make it harder to find each day. From under the dining room table to inside of a drawer in the bathroom! Dog's are natural scavengers and have skills built into them to do this! Allowing your dog to do what it was initially designed for, leads to a happier healthier, better behaved dog!
2) Teach your dog a new trick, even the old ones can learn! Whether that be a "spin" or a "sit pretty" or even something as complex as retrieving a drink from the fridge, tricks are a great way to add fun and games to training.
3) Another great way to stimulate your pup- that also allows for a bit of 1 on 1 time- is TUG! Tug is s great way to play with your dog and get them to use their brain at the same time. Ask them to sit and down and release them and let them have a little sesh!
4) Duration commands are another- i'll be it- more boring way to mentally stimulate your dog indoors, but also important. Duration commands are any command the dog knows but will hold for a long period of time, such as a sit, down or mark/place command. Doing this while running errands around the house like vacuuming, cleaning the fridge or cooking dinner is a double whammy! You can get some work done and train the dog all at once. Most importantly don't forget to reward your dog for continuing to hold the command!
5) Last but not least, a simple yet effective way to mentally stimulate your dog is to get some healthy and yummy foods your dog loves, like blueberries, peanut butter or banana, and freeze them all inside of a kong together. Give it to your dog and let them have a little down town The challenge of trying to get them all out will make your pup a happy camper at the end.