Many dog owners think of their dog’s need for physical exercise as a top priority for canine wellbeing, but mental exercise and health is just as--if not more--important. Dogs need mental challenges to keep them engaged and interested as this promotes a healthier mind and body. It also lessens the chance of destructive behaviors borne out of your dog’s boredom and frustration.
Creating and playing memory games with your dog also increases his confidence and strengthens the bond between both of you. Working together as a team is a great way to keep your dog thinking and interested in the activity, especially if you are interested in it too! Exercising your dog’s brain as well as his body is one of the best ways to ensure your dog lives a happy life.
Memory games are an excellent and quick option should inclement weather prevent your dog from being able to play outside for extended periods of time. Stimulating your dog’s mind even if he can’t physically burn off energy is still an effective means by which to prevent your dog from getting bored and finding his own form of entertainment--which could be scratching the front door, chasing the cats around the house, or tearing apart that brand new pillow on the couch.
Creating these games can also help your dog if he is at home alone for parts of the day. Give him something to do or to search for that will keep his mind and body busy until you are back home to play with him. The training for the games below is easy to do and will keep your dog happily sniffing all day long!
The memory game training below involves various items, such as toys and buckets, but similar materials can be used for substitution if necessary. Make sure that you have time, patience, and treats to use during the training process.
Remember to be consistent and patient while training your dog. He may pick up on or enjoy some games more than others. Don’t be frustrated if it takes a day or two for your dog to get the hang of these new games, especially if he hasn’t had the opportunity to exercise like this previously. With a little time, patience, and fun, your dog will have a great time playing these games!