Activities For An Intelligent Dog

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Introduction

It is normal for dog owners to have the tendency to crown their own dog as the cutest and most intelligent pooch compared to all other dogs. In fact, as humans, there is that innate instinct to love one’s own. But what if you realize that your dog is a bit more intelligent than the usual, normal-dog smart? After all, dogs are capable of extraordinary things and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks. If your dog has extra wits that can be a lot to handle, regardless of their breed, try out these activities to keep your dog mentally stimulated. 

Shell Game

Popular
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Any Day
Free
Easy
10 - 30 min
Items needed
Cups
Treats
Activity description

Dogs love to play games, specifically games that require a lot of activity and movement. However, for intelligent dogs, brain games are just as fun and entertaining as physical ones. One of the simplest but most mentally stimulating brain game for dogs is the shell game. You’ve probably seen some street hustlers playing this game but it is actually also a favorite among dog owners. In this game, all you need are three cups and your dog’s favorite treat. You place a treat under one of the cups and shuffle them around. Then, leave your dog guessing which cup has the treat underneath it. Not only is this a great mental challenge for your dog, it is also cost and hassle-free!

Step
1
Prepare the materials
To start playing the game, make sure you have everything that you need. For the game, have three cups and a pack of your dog’s favorite treats. Make sure that all three cups are identical. This will add some challenge to the game and will help confuse your dog once the game starts.
Step
2
Do a trial run
Start out by just using two cups and playing the game at a slow pace. Place the treat under one of the cups while your dog watches in plain sight. Then, shuffle the cup slowly as your dog looks on. If your dog guesses the correct cup, give the treat as a reward.
Step
3
Get your dog guessing
Once your dog gets the hang of the game, you can now add in the third cup to the game. Like before, put the treat under of the cups and make sure your dog sees it. Then, shuffle all three cups at a faster pace and have your dog guess where the treat is. Again, if your dog chooses the right cup, give the treat. Otherwise, keep on playing until your dog picks the correct cup.
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Jump rope

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Sunny Day
Free
Hard
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Jump rope
Treats
Activity description

The jump rope is a classic game that almost everyone has played at some point in their childhood lives. But did you know that this can also be played by your dog? Some might think that this is an unbelievable task. However, let’s not forget that dogs have great learning capacities. Intelligent dogs also have an edge as they are more trainable. Body and eye coordination is a must in this activity, which is why clever dogs usually excel in it. To teach your dog how to play jump rope, you will need a wide space to play in, a jump rope and loads of patience. This activity cannot be taught overnight but once your dog learns it, it can be a unique and fun activity. 

Step
1
Master the "jump" command
As the name suggests, the main objective when playing this game is to jump. Hence, if your dog needs to have a good understanding of the “jump” command if they are to successfully jump over a rope. To train your dog to jump, use a treat as a “bait”. Wave the treat above your dog’s head to get them to jump by shouting out the command. As your dog gets used to this, hold the treat up further to get your dog to jump higher.
Step
2
Incorporate the rope
Once your dog gets used to the jumping, start incorporating the rope into the training. Tie one end of a rope on a pole or somewhere steady. Then, with your dog on one side of the rope, have your dog get the treat from the other side of the rope by jumping. Make sure that the rope is not too high yet and that it is not moving. Gradually increase the rope’s height as you go on.
Step
3
Give the rope a twirl
As soon as your dog gets used to jumping above a rope, try to make things even harder by twirling the rope. Do this slowly and shout “jump” when your dog has to go over the rope. As soon as your dog understands the mechanics of the game, it will become easier for them to learn when to jump. Do not forget to reward your dog with a treat after successfully jumping over the rope.
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Interactive Toys

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Toy of choice
Activity description

All dogs need to have some sort of mental stimulation on a regular basis. With the smart ones, however, you need to keep coming up with more creative and innovative ways to keep them interested and to prevent boredom. Luckily, some toy developers and individuals have recognized this need and did all the work for you. Nowadays, you will find literally hundreds of different interactive and brain games for dogs of all ages and intelligence levels. These toys range from puzzles to food-dispensing devices and gadgets. The price of such toys can range from moderate to expensive, depending on the type that you get. 

Step
1
Go shopping for toys
It is always fun to go shopping and even more exciting when you are doing it for your furry friend. You can even take things up a notch by bringing your dog along with you to shop. Lots of pet stores allow patrons to bring their dogs with them inside the store. This can serve as a form of exercise for your dog as well as some bonding time for you both.
Step
2
Teach your dog how to play
Read the instructions included in the games you have chosen and teach your dog to play. For instance, if you bought a Kong toy, stuff it with some treats or peanut butter for your dog to play with and enjoy. If you got your dog a food dispensing toy or puzzle, show them how it is played. Eventually, your dog will understand how it works and will be able to play with the toy without guidance from you.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is a timeless game that is not only enjoyed by humans but also by dogs. Just like the human version of the game, what you do is hide somewhere while your dog is occupied or out of sight. Then, call out your dog’s attention until they locate where you are. One way to keep your dog playing is to give a reward after finding you. 

Clean Up

With this activity, you get to hit two birds with one stone because not only is your dog entertained, you also make your life easier by letting your dog clean up on their own. This activity involves getting your dog to “drop” the toy at a certain spot, usually a box or container where you keep your toys. This activity takes time and a good understanding of the “drop” command. 

Conclusion

When it comes to caring for intelligent dogs, it is essential to find new and ingenious ways to stimulate their brains. Smart dogs may seem a bit intimidating to handle, but in reality, they are a blessing to have. When doing activities with your clever pooch, make sure to keep things fresh and creative. But, more importantly, do not pressure your dog too much and just have some fun.