HOW TO PROVIDE MENTAL EXERCISE FOR YOUR DOG
You love your dog and want to give them the best. Giving them a fulfilling day earning their keep will build their confidence and burn energy. Your dog is capable of a suite of species specific behaviors that facilitate their survival in this world. If you don’t provide mental exercise for your dog, he will find something to do!
Dogs dig and paw, they chew, they sniff, and shred, and engage with their environment in a variety of additional ways. Keep this in mind when choosing brain games for your dog. An entire industry has developed around our dog’s need for mental exercise. Some the activities dogs consistently respond well to are KONGs stuffed with canned dog food or Greek yogurt. You can freeze them for greater challenge. ‘Snuffle mats’ are another popular activity. You can even save old boxes for your dog to shred.
WHAT KIND OF MENTAL EXERCISE DOES YOUR DOG ENJOY?
There are many opportunities throughout your daily interactions with your dog where they solicit your attention or request a specific action. These are opportunities to incorporate mental exercise in exchange for your dog’s daily ‘paycheck.’ These paycheck could be food or they could include real life reinforcers such as opening the door for them or throwing their ball.
What are some actions you currently perform for your dog’s benefit into which you could incorporate ‘work’ for your dog?
Hand feeding your dog treats or their meals forms the foundation of ‘Nothing in Life is Free.’ Free feeding will undermine your training protocol. Remove the food bowl and use the food instead to reward your dog for their successes throughout the day. Prepping high value treats ahead of time will help you achieve your goals expeditiously.
How will you portion out your dog’s meals rations during the day to capitalize of learning opportunities throughout the day?
If you have any questions about your dog or training program please call or text us at 913.712.8742. Join us remotely for our Weekly Q&A and Nail Trim sessions hosted on Zoom and streamed live through Facebook. On a tight budget? Check out our FREE courses available online.