Activities For Dogs Who Love Puzzles

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Introduction

In terms of finding new activities for their dogs, most pet owners immediately look for tasks and trials that mostly only workout the body. But many dog owners can forget that it's just as important for them to train their dog's brains as well their bodies; many dogs will become bored of a repetitious routine of completing the same activities, day in and day out, just like how a human would. This boredom can, in turn, lead to your dog becoming restless, anxious, or even stressed out. To help you and your dog avoid all of that, we've put together a list of activities that'll tease your pet's brain and put their problem solving skills to the test.

Dog Brick Puzzle

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 Minutes
Items needed
Dog Brick Puzzle
Dog Treats
Activity description
Dog Brick Puzzles are fascinating toys; they involve placing a number of treats underneath interchangeable pieces on a board and then waiting for your dog to move said pieces in the right order enable to reach their rewards. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes that each have their own difficulties; this might seem a little overwhelming at first, but try starting your dog off with a smaller, easier puzzle before introducing them a larger, more intricate set. A good old fashioned dog biscuit will neatly fit inside the small puzzle compartment, but feel free to try placing pieces of meat or vegetables inside this puzzle, from time to time.
Step
1
Make or buy a puzzle
There are a quite a few videos on the internet that can show you how to make a DIY dog puzzle with nothing but a few pieces of cardboard and some glue or tape to hold everything together. Failing that, you could always buy a dog puzzle from your local pet shop or you could also order one online. these puzzles range from $15 to $75, but most are on the cheaper side of that spectrum.
Step
2
Choose a variety of foods
Now that you've got your hands on a puzzle, you'll want to get an assortment of treats for your dog; there's nothing wrong with using your dog's favorite treat most of the time, but you'll want to get a menagerie of treats in order to keep things from becoming too monotonous as you and your dog engage this activity.
Step
3
Let the games begin
After getting a hold of a brick puzzle and a slew of different doggie treats, you and your pooch will be ready to give this mind boggling activity a try. Remember to be patient with your dog, as these sorts of activities have a bit of a learning curve to them. With time, your dog will likely grow from an hapless hound to a puzzle solving pooch as you continue to support them.
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Tricky Treat Ball

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 Minutes
Items needed
Dog Treat Ball
Dog Treats
Activity description
This activity is sure to give your dog a major mental workout! The Tricky Treat Ball activity involves researching and purchasing the best version of the dog toy, loading it up with your dog's favorite foods, and then monitoring your pooch as they roll the ball all around the area trying to get their treats out of this deceptively minimalistic puzzle. Your dog will have a lot of fun chasing after this mobile puzzle; so much so that they might become completely and utterly wrapped up in the game! That's why you'll have to make sure to keep an eye on your dog to ensure that they'll have a fun and safe time while playing with this puzzle.
Step
1
Get the ball rolling
Despite the low cost that's typically associated with these types of toys, it's highly advised that you not try to make a DIY version of a treat ball for your dog, mostly due to the fact that most DIY dog treat balls break easily as opposed to them being a major threat to your dog's health. You're definitely better off buying a dog treat ball made by a trusted and reliable company, which will likely cost about $10.
Step
2
Get some practice
After you buy a puzzle ball, dedicate a set amount of time to testing out the ball and learning its intricacies for yourself; read the puzzle ball's manual inside and out before giving the ball to your dog. You'll also want to find a wide enough area, about 10 or 15 square feet of space, to ensure that your dog has an ample amount of room to play.
Step
3
Roll out
With all of the busy work out of the way, you and you're dog are ready to roll! Though this is activity will primarily workout your dog's brain, you'll want to be engaged and pay attention to your dog as they try to get their treats out of the ball. You may need to step in and intervene if your dog starts to get rowdy with this puzzle, but over time the need for that will become less frequent.
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Dog Turbo Puzzle

Popular
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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
45 Minutes
Items needed
Turbo Puzzle
Dog Treats
Activity description
The hardest puzzle on our list is the Dog Turbo slider puzzle by Swedish dog puzzle manufacturer Nina Ottosson. This puzzle might sound simple enough; get a bunch of your dog's favorite treats, load them into the appropriate compartments, and then let your pooch go at it, but this puzzle has proven to be anything but simple. While we don't want to give away the secret to solving this puzzle by saying too much, we can recommend to wait until your dog has already been able to complete a few of the more straightforward dog puzzles out there before trying to take on this one.
Step
1
Train your dog's brain
As mentioned before, the Turbo Puzzle by Nina Ottosson is considered by many dog owners to be the toughest puzzle out there. So before you and your dog attempt this activity, we highly recommend that you two complete the other puzzles on this list in ascending order of the easiest puzzles to the hardest. You'll want your dog to be acclimated to these types of puzzles, and for them to understand that brains, not brawn, are needed to get the treats inside.
Step
2
Prepare the puzzle
Another reason we've emphasized acclimating your dog to the puzzling world of treat puzzles before trying out the Turbo Puzzle is due to the fact that these bad boys aren't cheap; a single Turbo Puzzle can cost around $50 alone. And that's on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, once you get a hold of this type of puzzle, load up your dog's treats and move all of the pieces into their proper places.
Step
3
Toy time
After all of the rigorous training has been complete, the Dog Turbo has been purchased, and your dog has completed a number of other puzzles, its time to put your pooch's brain to the test. The Dog Turbo is extremely tricky, but don't get discouraged; just continue to encourage your dog and be patient. If you feel that your pet isn't making any progress, try engaging in some of the lower difficulty activities again.
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More Fun Ideas...

Tug-of-War

While this activity falls more into the realm of physical activity, tug-of-war will help your dog develop a sense of restraint over time. Just be sure to get a rope that's specifically been made for dogs; one that won't tug on their teeth and that doesn't possess any nasty chemicals.

Hide-A-Squirrel

If you're looking to keep your dog on a strict diet and want to introduce them to a puzzle that doesn't involve treats, give the Hide-A-Squirrel a whirl; this plushy dog toy is treat free and will prompt your pup to cleverly extract plush squirrel puppets from a soft, woolen log.

Conclusion

Activities that train your dog have a great deal of benefits and very few downsides to them; they'll keep your dog focused and entertained throughout large portions of the day, will sharpen your pet's mind until their wits have become razor sharp, are relatively cheap and easy to get a hold of, and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments. As wonderful as these activities are, they aren't meant to entirely replace the physical actives that you and your dog engage in on a regular basis. Rather activities that train your dog's brain should be seen as a tool for improving one very specific aspect to their overall health.