I just read an article about exercising your dog’s brain, written by Jaymi Heimbuch in Mother Nature Network. Not only do these games tire him out, they keep him from being bored, and also helps build his confidence.
I appreciate this article very much because it’s quite detailed in the instructions, AND it contains some video to demonstrate how to play.
A few of these are:
- Jump rope
- Red Light Green Light
- Name Game
The general idea is to introduce the rule of the game, so your dog knows what you want him to do. You do this by using treats to reinforce a behavior. Always use encouragement. We want him to build confidence and find it fun to play these games.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Getting your dog to use his nose to find hidden treasure is a great way to stimulate his brain and teach him to use all his senses. Starting out, you’ll want to set your dog up for success so he understands the game and doesn’t get too discouraged. Begin with something simple. Put your dog in a sit-stay, and hide a treat or favorite toy somewhere obvious, even letting him watch you hide it. Then give him the release cue to go find the toy. Reward your dog big-time for his success in finding the hidden treasure.
Red Light Green Light
This is an ideal game for dogs who tend to get wound up during play and can become overly enthusiastic. The game improves a dog’s impulse control, and reminds him to pay attention to you no matter how much fun he is having.
You can read the entire article here.
Article source: Mother Nature Network
Image source: Dianne B Photography on Flickr.com