Dogs have an uncanny ability to learn new tricks and understand some things that humans try to convey, which makes them one of the smartest animals in the world. While dogs are generally all clever, there are a select few who are considered the cream of the crop – intelligent canines who are able to learn faster and pick up new information much quicker. These extra smart dogs come in all breeds and sizes. If you happen to have a clever dog, consider yourself lucky. However, with great intelligence comes great responsibility; clever dogs have special stimulation needs that should be met.
Not a lot of dog owners know this but excessive energy and boredom are two of the leading causes of behavioral problems among dogs. This becomes even more problematic if you have a clever dog that requires constant mental stimulation. One of the simplest games that you can play with your pooch in order to fight boredom is the muffin tin game. This is a favorite among dog owners because of how easy it is to find the materials needed. Moreover, the game can keep your dog occupied for long periods of time and can be played within the comforts of your own home.
Another classic brain game that owners like to play with their smart dogs is the hot and cold game. This is also a favorite among owners who do not want to exert too much effort without compromising their dog’s stimulation requirements. All you have to do is think of any action that you would like your dog to do. You use the words “hot” to indicate if your dog is going in the right direction or movement and “cold” if they do the opposite. When your dog eventually executes the action you had in mind, you can then give a treat as a reward. This is a great game for clever dogs because it keeps them on their toes and gets them trying lots of different actions. It also helps improve understanding and communication between the two of you.
Smart dogs love to play games. However, it is inevitable for some of them to get too enthusiastic or wound up during play time. If your dog falls under this category, then the game of “red light, green light” is perfect for your pooch. This game is basically commanding your dog to stop or go at any given point in time. One of the top benefits of playing this game is that you get to teach your dog to control their impulse. This becomes practical in real-life situations so that you can easily control your dog when playing with other people (such as children) or when going to public places such as off-leash dog parks or beaches.
This game is a good activity for your dog to learn because not only does it hone your dog’s grasp of basic commands, it is also practical for when you need help with cleaning up. The objective of this activity is to have your dog pick up a toy and drop it on command. Slowly but surely, your dog will understand that you want the toys to be moved to a box or basket.
A good way to keep your dog mentally stimulated without having to do much work on your part is through puzzle games. Like humans, the brains of dogs also decline as they age. Getting your pooch invested in puzzle games helps reduce brain deterioration caused by aging. There are literally hundreds of dog puzzle games that you can buy from any pet store.