Activities For Dogs Who Like Problem Solving

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Introduction

We all enjoy a good puzzle. Making your brain work hard to solve a problem can be extremely rewarding, especially when you get the puzzle right! You are not alone in your love of solving problems, your dog loves puzzles too! In fact, a good brainteaser is great for keeping a dog's mind active and fresh. So, get ready to set your dog up with some great, tricky problems for them to solve! Your dog is sure to love the challenge! 

Shoe Box Search

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Easy
20 Minutes
Items needed
Shoe Boxes
Treats
Activity description

This game gives new life to old shoe boxes and may quickly become your dog's favorite game. Part hide and seek, part treat tracking and part agility, this game has it all. The best part is that you can probably set the game up immediately as you will need very little props! A few of your dog's favorite treats and a few shoe boxes will do! This game is perfect to do with your dog (well, you can sit back and watch while they play) or to set up for your pup while you are away. Once they play one round, your dog will know exactly what to do!

Step
1
Boxes and treats
Gather a few shoe boxes together, three or four is a good number to start with but you can get more or less depending on how difficult you want the game to be. Grab a few of your dog's favorite treats as well - the smellier the better as your dog will need to use their nose in this game.
Step
2
Hide the treats
Put a few treats inside each shoe box and place the lid back on. You can switch up the game by leaving some shoe boxes empty to keep your pup guessing. You can also adjust the difficulty by not fully closing the lid of the box or propping it open slightly to help your dog for the first few rounds of the game.
Step
3
Play!
Place the shoe boxes around the house (or throughout one room for the first time you are playing) and let your dog go! They will begin sniffing and frantically trying to open the box in order to get the treats. Once your pup figures out how to pop the lid, problem solved! The treat reward will encourage them to head to the next shoe box and keep playing.
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DIY Treat Ball

Popular
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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
40 Minutes
Items needed
Treats
Drill
Tennis Ball
Activity description

While there are many treat dispensing toys that you can purchase, why not make your own? It is so easy and rather inexpensive to make your own treat toy that your dog will love tossing around. All you will need is an old tennis ball, a drill and a few treats and you can make a toy that will challenge your dog and last a long time. Making your own treat toy also enables you to customize how hard the game is for your dog. Make fewer, smaller holes for dogs who excel at treat balls and bigger holes for dogs who may be new to the game. 

Step
1
Crafting
Get an old tennis ball and a drill and head to a flat work surface. Drill holes in the tennis ball that are big enough for your dogs favorite treat to fall through but not to large that the treats will easily come out. Three or four holes will do for an easier ball while only one hole will make a great challenge.
Step
2
Fill it up
Stick your dog's favorite treats inside the ball and call your pup over. Let them sniff the ball so that they know there are treats inside. It may even help to let your dog watch as you stick the treats in the ball - now they are well aware that there is a snack waiting!
Step
3
Solve the problem!
Let your dog have their new toy! Watch as your pup tosses the ball around, trying to figure out how to get those precious treats out. Once they get a treat or two out of the ball, the fun will never end. Your dog will now be trained to know that when they see that tennis ball, treats are in their future! This is an activity that must be supervised however, as many dogs like to chew and destroy tennis balls.
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Muffin Tin Challenge

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Normal
20 Minutes
Items needed
Treats
Muffin Tin
Activity description

This is a great game because it is so easy to set up and can take a dog a while to work on solving the problem. All you need is a muffin tin and a bunch of treats and you can have this activity ready to go within seconds. If you have a larger dog, a regular sized muffin tin will do. You may want to use a mini muffin tin for pups with smaller paws so that there is more of a challenge. Your dog will work to move the treats off of the muffin tin and will have to use their paws and nose in order to do so. What is great is that your dog can't just flip the tin over since it is flat and will just slide around - genius!

Step
1
Pick a tin
Get a muffin tin that you don't mind your pup playing with and place it on the floor, upside down (the holes that you usually fill with batter will be against the floor). Call your dog over and show them the muffin tin. Not impressed yet, pup? Just wait! You are going to love this simple piece of kitchen equipment. Or at least find it challenging!
Step
2
I see treats...
Sprinkle a few small treats in between the bumps of the muffin tin and let your dog get to work. You may think it is easy to get a treat out and your dog may believe so too, but it is not as easy as it seems. Your pup's mouth just won't easily fit in between those tiny spaces!
Step
3
Enjoy the treats
Let your dog push the muffin tin around as they use their nose and paw to figure out how to solve this treat problem. Batting and licking are sure to happen with this game! Set this easy challenge up anytime you are home or when you have to leave your dog alone - it will always be fun and always be a great problem to solve.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hide And Seek

Playing hide and seek with your dog is an easy way to let them solve a problem. Where did their owner go? Your dog will quickly try to find you and solve the mystery.

Puzzle Toys

There are tons of puzzle toys available for dogs in stores and online in a wide array of difficulty. Check a few out and buy one for your dog who loves to solve problems. 

Conclusion

Giving your dog plenty of problems to solve will help keep them happy and playful as it puts their mind to work. A dog who enjoys solving problems will never be bored or antsy when they are kept busy! With so many easy activities to set up, you can start challenging your dog immediately. Now, which activity to start with...