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How Does Brain Training Improve Your Dog's Mental Health?


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September 22, 2022 | Training & Behaviour

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Dog Brain Training for Mental Health - Dogsee Blog

If you're a pet owner, you know the importance of caring for your fur baby. Dogs are very intelligent animals, and one of the best things you can do to stimulate their mental health is by playing games that challenge them. The key word here is "challenge." Some dog owners think it's enough to simply provide food, water and shelter for their four-legged friends - but what about their emotional and mental well-being? In this blog, let’s find out the importance of brain training and why every pet owner should consider following these exercises for their pet dogs.

What is brain training for dogs?

Brain training is all about stimulating your dog's mental health. It's a great way to keep your furry friend happy and healthy, and it can help prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. There are a variety of brain training games and activities available, so you can find one that's perfect for your pet.

However, it is important to note that true brain training involves your dog's intellect in a somewhat different way than traditional obedience training, despite the fact that both can be regarded as brain training for dogs. The activities used in traditional obedience training are designed to help your dog acquire fundamental skills like courteous leash walking, maintaining a stay, and responding to cues.

The purpose of true brain training is to inspire your dog to think creatively, solve problems, and have fun.

Here are a few tips for getting started with brain training:

Start slow: Don't try to do too much at once. Start with simple games and activities and gradually increase the difficulty as your dog gets more comfortable.

Make it fun: Brain training should be enjoyable for both you and your dog. Choose games and activities that you know your pup will love, and be sure to praise them when they do well. Keep those yummy dog training treats handy for this activity.

Be consistent: Like anything else, brain training requires consistency to be effective. Set aside some time each day to work on activities, and stick to a regular schedule as much as possible.

Dog Training Sessions and Mental Health Improvement  - Dogsee Blog

How can I do brain training to improve my dog’s mental health?

When you are wondering about how to train dogs at home, there are a number of ways to do it. One way is to get them involved in activities that stimulate their mind, such as puzzle toys or scent games. You can also teach them new tricks or commands, as this helps to keep their mind active and engaged.

Fun Brain Training games for dogs to try at home.

  1. Play Hide and Seek using their favourite toy:

The inherent scenting skill of your dog may be used to your advantage by teaching them to search for a concealed toy. This is an excellent indoor or outdoor activity to expend excess energy. Put your dog in a "stay" position or take help from your child or your partner to hold him to start teaching him. Allow him to see you put a toy in a visible location a few feet away, say on the side of a chair, before telling your dog to "find it" and encouraging him to take the toy. 

Play with the toy in tandem for a while, then re-hide it in another plain sight and continue the process. 

Your dog will start to understand what "find it" means after a few repetitions.

  1. Place yummy treats inside a toy or inbetween a bunch of toys and encourage them to find it.

Dogs can play this straightforward mental game. You can hide rewards within a unique toy and encourage them to find it. You may buy a variety of toys (safe ones) for this purpose; just stuff them with your dog's favourite treat and watch them try to get it out. This could entail squeezing, rolling, or just plain determination with their item. Whichever toy you select, it will keep them occupied and give them the necessary brain stimulation.

Try Dogsee Play Treatoy that has a yummy treat placed inside the toy. It is ideal for your canine companion. The innovative rough design aids in teeth cleaning, while the flexible form is kind to gums. Your dog can enjoy the delectable Himalayan cheese treat inside the toy because it is natural and healthy. 

  1. Encourage them to explore new objects

Another way of training your dog is to give him an unfamiliar object and encourage them to interact with it. Everytime they do something new to the object, like pushing it or turning it around, give them a yummy treat. Encourage them to explore and trick and reward them everytime they do something new.

  1. “Treat in a cup” guessing game

In this game, you can try to put a treat under a cup and let your dog see you do it. Then, mix up the cups and line them together. Let your dog choose the correct one by titling the cups one by one. Ensure that you use different flavoured bite-sized healthy training treats for this game to keep them interested and curious. 

  1. Challenge your dog with an Obstacle Game

Another game is to create a small obstacle course for your dog to navigate. This will help them use their problem-solving skills as well as get some physical activity. You can keep surrounding them with different obstacles and encourage them to come out of it. When you are building the obstacles, remember to use safe and easy objects that are not too difficult to manoeuvre, like a cardboard box, a cloth sack or a light weight chair.

What kind of dog training treats to use during these brain training sessions

You can use soft, healthy and crunchy training treats when you are rewarding your pet pooch. During this process, it is often tempting to get carried away and feed them unhealthy treats more than necessary.  Hence, use treats that are safe and healthy and that don't contain any artificial colouring or unwanted preservatives. 

The idea is to give them a good time and also ensure that they are getting healthy treats. Let’s look at some healthy training treats below:

Coconut Mini Pops : Mini bite-sized Dog Training Treats

Coconut Mini Pops

These coconut mini pops are bite-sized training treats that are easy to reward and come in the right sizes. These 100% natural treats are made with real coconuts and the best Cow and Yak cheese. They're great as training aids and support your dog's digestive system.

Apple Treats: Freeze Dried Dog Treats

Freeze Dried Dog Treats

These treats are super yummy, irresistible and extremely healthy. They are freeze-dried to retain the nutrients in the fruit and they are single ingredient treats that do not contain any artificial flavours. There are also options like banana and beetroot flavours which contain vitamins and minerals as essential ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Training:

1. Are brain games good for dogs?

Answers: Brain games using puzzles, toys, and other pursuits inspire experimentation and analytical thinking in your dog. They work wonders for energetic dogs and are especially beneficial for anxious or hyperactive dogs.

2. What is a high reward treat for dogs during brain training?

Answers: High-value treats are crunchy or freeze-dried, and they contain nutrients that add value to their daily diet. These treats often do not contain chemical preservatives and are naturally made to a large extent. Try Dogsee Chew training treats that are 100% vegan and natural.

3. How often should you mentally stimulate your dog?

Answers: The majority of dogs need at least 20 minutes of daily vigorous mental stimulation. Playing fetch, taking a stroll, playing games or engaging in any activity that stimulates both your dog's mind and body can be done during this time.

4. What treat can dogs not resist?

Answers: Dogs cannot resist cheesy and crunchy treats that are smoke dried or freeze dried. The flavours in these treats are very alluring to a dog’s taste buds and can encourage them to take part in these training sessions with more enthusiasm.

5. How do you know if a dog is understimulated?

Answers: Our dogs have stored up energy while understimulated, and that energy has to be released. You might notice things like chewing on your furniture or other household items. Your dog can be anxiously pacing around the house. Your dog might bark incessantly in response to any noise or movement they notice outside the window. These are the telltale signs that they are restless and are in need of some kind of physical or mental stimulation.

If you also want to learn more about physical games that can get your dog running and expend his excess energy, read this blog: 6 Fun Running Games to Play with Your Dog.

These were some insights on brain training your pets. Hope they were useful. There are many brain games that you can play with your dog to keep them mentally stimulated. You can create your own game and see how it works with your pet. These games need not be highly advanced either. Find simple games that are easy to take part in and that will ensure you have got your dog thinking, that should do the trick!

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