Why your dog needs mental Stimulation
Two of the main causes of behavioral problems in dogs are boredom and excess energy.
Without suitable mental stimulation your dog will become bored.
Indications that your dog needs mental stimulation
Here are some signs to watch out for which may indicate dog boredom.
Restlessness. Your dog will pace to and fro and be unable to settle.
Destructive behaviour. A bored job may chew your slippers, shoes or furniture. He may even chew parts of his own body such as the base of his tail.
Continual barking. A dog that lacks stimulation will bark at anything and everything.
Digging Holes. If he is out in the yard, your dog may start to dig holes. It is sometimes possible avoid your garden being wrecked by giving you dog his own sandpit to play in.
Excess Sleeping. Dogs sleep a lot anyway, but a lack of mental stimulation over an extended period may lead your to your dog sleeping longer than normal
Whining. Dogs whine for many reasons. You should rule out any other cause such as pain, but a dog may be whining to get your attention and hopefully become involved in some activity.
Providing mental stimulation for your dog
Training of any kind will encourage your dog to think and will make his mind tired. Any sort of training game is fine and, if you run out of ideas, why not take him to some specialised dog classes. These could provide a learning opportunity for both of you.
There are some toys which are specifically designed to hold a dog’s interest for extended periods of time. Toys which reward your dog’s patience with a small treat are especially effective. These toys are also useful when you plan to be away from the house for a while.
Outdoor physical is a good source of mental stimulation for your dog. This is particularly true when you are taking him to new places. A dog is alert to everything that is going on around him. It is good to combine mental stimulation with physical exercise.
Games or activities that involve mental stimulation have been found to relieve stress and lower aggression in dogs.
Stimulation keeps older dogs mentally healthy and it will develop brain activity and build confidence in puppies and younger dogs.
All shared activity helps build a bond between you and your dog.