Brain Games for Your Pup - PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

Brain Games for Your Pup

by MetLife Pet Insurance
3 years ago

Are you looking for some easy ways to help your dog stay entertained whilst increasing the bond you share with your loyal dog?

Playing games with you dog can help to alleviate boredom and prevent destructive behaviors such as chewing or excessive barking. Games can also give them a sense of purpose and achievement and help to form an even closer bond between the two of you.

All of these games are easy to play and will keep your dog’s brain engaged and active.

Have a go at playing these six games, and your four legged friend will thank you!

1.     Which Hand Game

This game is so simple, you won’t even need to get up from the sofa!

Use your furry friend’s favourite toy, or a treat, and hide it in one of your hands. Have your dog sniff both your hands, and guess which hand the treat is hiding in. Whichever hand they place their nose on first if their guess.

If they get it correct, turn over your hand and release the treat or toy. Your dog will soon be conditioned into playing this game easily.

2.     Treasure Hunt

You can play this game over as little, or as large area as you like. For the time few times, try it just in one room, and as your dog gets more adept at this hunting, you can span the whole house!

Hide a few treats around the room and watch as your dog has fun trying to sniff them out. If you don’t want to use treats, you can use anything that has a strong scent, for example a toy or some of your clothes.

As your dog finds each toy label the behavior as “hunt”. Say “hunt” just as your dog finds each treat.

To increase the challenge, hide treats all around the house in separate rooms, once you’ve hidden the treats ask your dog to hunt.

Tip, if you do this outside, you’ll have to set it up directly before playing the game or you’ll end up losing the treats to other animals!

3.     Toy Tidy Up

This brain training game helps you to tidy up the home and engage your dog. To be able to play this game, your dog must know the name of his favorite toys and the “fetch” command.

If there is ever a point where there are a few different toys out around the room, try training them to fetch them. Underneath your hands, place a basket, as your dog fetches each item let it pass by your hands into a basket.

For example, ask them to pick the ball up and fetch it.

Once they’ve mastered this, you will be able to train them to bring certain items to you, such as your shoes, or their lead.

4.     Hot or Cold

Hide a treat, or a ball somewhere around the room. For the first attempt, you can put it somewhere in plain sight, until they understand the rules.

Each time they move in the right direction, say hot and give them a small treat. If they are not going in the right direction, say cold and don’t hand out a treat.

They’ll soon start to associate the word hot, with moving closer towards whatever you’ve hidden, and you’ll be able to choose harder hiding places such as behind the curtain or even under a box. This command can also be used during the treasure hunt game.

5.     The Shell Game

The shell game is also known as the cup game and it’s one we’ve all heard of.

Get three identical cups from you kitchen, line them up in a row and hide a treat under one of them. Let your dog watch you put the treat underneath a cup so he can see there will be a reward to guessing correctly.

Then mix the cups up, the more challenging you want to make it, the more quickly you move the cups.

Have you dog selected the right cup with his nose, or paw, lift the cup up and if he is right, he wins the treat!

If he’s not right, mix them up and try again. To start with place treats under all three cups before reducing this down to two and then one.

PetFirst Pet Insurance is here to help cover the expenses for your pup’s accidents and illnesses.  Get a quote today.

Guest Blogger: John Woods

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