How to Mentally Stimulate Your Dog? 10 Easy Ways.

Dog play

Dogs need physical along with mental stimulation. Regrettably, many dog owners often focus on offering their dog physical exercise and disregard providing their pet with much-needed mental stimulation. Dogs lacking mental stimulation will undoubtedly get bored and find ways to amuse themselves with bad habits such as a lot of barking, whining, or chewing on things.

Try a few brain games to tire them out instead of adding more physical activity to your dog’s routine. Mental stimulation adds value to our dogs’ existence by offering them something useful to accomplish. And because these activities prevent our pets from getting bored, they decrease the chance of behavioral problems.

This blog post will show you ten easy ways to mentally stimulate your dog.

Dog reading a book

Dog’s mental stimulation

Dogs enjoy working for their food. You may conceal your dog’s kibbles in its toys, around the yard, or under furniture cushions. When hiding the food, make sure to use small-sized treats that are easy to chew and swallow. It would be much easier to place them into a small toy to give your dog a little more exercise.

A dog’s lifespan is less than that of a human. With that in mind, your canine companion must have a healthy lifestyle. It would help to take him out for daily walks and exercise at least four times every week. It also helps if you have an active job like running errands, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or lugging groceries home.

Just walking your furry companion every day could do wonders for him.

Make time for your pet.

Moreover, keep your dog busy with an interactive game. You can do this by hiding treats or toys or getting him to retrieve sticks from the park. Your dog will have a great workout that you can watch and enjoy with him.

Your pet craves your love and affection. Give the little ones a break from their routine and give them what they desire: your attention! Take time away from chores and errands to play with your pet daily.

It’s always entertaining to spend time with animals, so set aside some time for bonding sessions between you and your furry companion every day or get creative by finding something your dog finds fun.

Also, teaching them new tricks helps. You can do this by rewarding them with a treat every time they perform the trick that you’re teaching. If you’ve got more than one dog, teach them to work together; it’s not only fun for them but also entertaining for everyone!

Why is mental stimulation important for dogs?

Instead of just increasing the amount of physical exercise in your dog’s routine, try adding a few cognitive games to tire them out. Mental activity enriches our dogs’ lives by providing them with purposeful activity. These activities decrease the chance of developing behavioral problems like excessive chewing or barking because they keep our dogs occupied.

Brain Training 4 Dogs is a great program to enhance hidden intelligence, cure undesirable behavior, and create an obedient pet to boost your dog’s brainpower without putting a lot of effort into it.

It’s a simple approach to follow with basic techniques for unlocking your dog’s inherent intelligence.

If you’d like to know more about this program and see if it’s right for you, please read my review here.

Dog playing with a ball

Is my dog getting enough mental stimulation?

Before you can start providing the correct activities for your pet, there are four things you need to consider:

Your dog’s breed

Most dogs were developed for a particular function (such as herding, finding, and searching). Providing them with the chance to fulfill their natural desires will give them enough stimulation.


Younger dogs might benefit more from short bursts of activities rather than extended periods of exercise. You should provide your dog with active stimulation, such as walks or tossing a ball for at least 20 minutes each day. You need an increased activity for higher-energy breeds/dogs, but this should be determined on a case-by-case basis to help solve unwanted behaviors.


If your pet has a specific health condition, it may be unable to participate in certain activities without causing pain or injury.

Be mindful of their body structure as well:

  • Long-backed dogs, like Dachshunds and Corgis, should not be allowed to jump on stairs.
  • Do less strenuous activities for brachycephalic dogs like Boxers and Shih Tzus.
  • Beware of other specific health issues of your particular breed.


You know your pet better than anybody and what they love to do. Some dogs would instead search for their food in a game than walk, while others prefer exploring the outdoors to fetching a ball. Give your dog the chance to do whatever they want, and you’ll be a happy dog owner.

Creating a stimulating environment for your dog is very easy, so there’s no reason not to do it! Looking at how much physical exercise they need, thinking of their breed, health status, and personality will help you determine the most efficient way to stimulate them.

How to Tell if Your Dog Needs More Mental Stimulation

Dog wearing glasses

There are several indicators that dog owners might examine to see whether their dog needs more mental stimulation.

Your dog appears nervous and agitated: If your dog has gotten sufficient physical exercise but continues to have a lot of energy, you may need to stimulate their intellect.

Is your dog chewing on furniture and other stuff around the house? It is an indication that he needs some stimulation. Provide him with an interactive dog toy or a puzzle as a mental and physical activity.

Chasing its tail: A herding dog’s pursuit of its tail is typical. It is an indication that you need to provide your pup with more mental activity.

Fido is barking at everything: Is your dog constantly barking at everything that moves? They’re looking for trouble and seeing everything as a danger, which is why they bark at everything. To keep them from searching for threats, give them something to do. If your dog does this too frequently, you may need to teach them not to bark.

Dog sleeps a lot: Dogs spend 12-14 hours sleeping every day as adults. They don’t have a set pattern for sleeping, and they take naps at random intervals throughout the day. If you know your dog is healthy enough but sleeping longer than this, he may be bored.

If your dog has any, or all, of these signs of boredom, you should consider giving them some more mental activity throughout the day.

How to mentally stimulate your dog?

Here are ten tips and ideas for keeping your dog mentally stimulated. Please bear in mind that, as with any dog training, patience is vital.

1- When walking your dog, do not limit yourself to one course.

It’s a good idea to take your dog out for a walk daily, but it might become monotonous if you follow the same path every day. Vary your walking path and discover new areas, then alter your speed when you can. If you can, go for a walk in a park or a wooded area, or along a lake. The odor of various environments will help mentally stimulate your dog and offers something new to anticipate whenever you head out for a walk.

2- Make Your Dog Work for Its Treats

It’s a fantastic way to stimulate your dog’s mind by hiding snacks for him to find. You can begin with making your dog choose between one of your closed hands holding the treat. Or by hiding goodies in various locations throughout your home and the backyard. You may modify it according to your dog’s mental level.

You can also create barrier courses, which will require sturdy boxes and robust containers. Hide the goodies within them for your pup at the end of training sessions to make finding them more enjoyable! Add a new trick to the mix every time to keep your canine active.

Dog learning to read

3- Organize Your Dog’s Play Dates

Taking your dog for a ride is an excellent method of mental stimulation. The many views and sounds that your family pet experiences during the trip will make the automobile journey fascinating and thrilling. Also, seeing other dogs at your friend’s place will boost your dog’s emotional and psychological state. Go slow when presenting your dog to potential new friends, and always keep an eye on them until you are sure that they get along well together.

4- Dogs Need Physical Exercise

Although your dog requires mental stimulation, this does not indicate you ought to adhere to exercises that do not require physical actions from your dog. You still need to have fun with your dog, and you require to take it for a run or walk. Nonetheless, running or walking your dog often can become a bit boring. Aside from changing your route, you can make your exercise sessions more fun by training tricks to perform with your pup.

If he knows how to roll over, shake paws or sit down on command, for example, this will act as an activity boost without the need for a new route every time!

5- Give Interactive Toys During Play

Dogs love playing with their toys. They like balls and other objects they can hunt and chase, chew toys, tug-of-war accessories along with baskets and various boxes. However, interactive playthings that dispense treats or food can help you stimulate your canine companion’s brain.

Interactive toys like puzzles help keep your dog focused on their task. It also enhances their thinking ability. My dog likes my frozen Kongs that are full of treats rather than puzzle books.

The KONG Classic red rubber toy helps satisfy dogs’ instinctual needs while providing mental stimulation. Healthy play is critical for a dog’s physical and mental growth and emotions and behavior. This treat-dispensing puzzle toy helps in chewing, separation anxiety, teething, boredom, weight management, crate training, digging, and barking behavior by promoting healthy play.

The unpredictable bounce of the KONG Classic makes for exciting games of fetch and other interactive play with your dog, an excellent method for average chewers to get their daily exercise.

6- Rotate Your Dog’s Actual Toys or New Ones

Just like kids, dogs can get tired of playing with the same playthings every day. Rotate the number of your animal’s toys by changing them occasionally, or attempt to give your dog a new toy every few weeks. This is especially true for dog breeds known for their short attention spans.

When bored, your puppy will seek out new things and may enjoy destructive behavior due to his need for stimulation.

7- Bring Your Dog When You Run Errands

If you must go to a friend’s home or do some grocery store shopping, bring your dog with you. A new environment now and then is what your dog needs to recharge its batteries and brighten up its spirits. Make sure that dogs are permitted in the places you want to visit, and never leave your dog in the car on a hot day.

8- Use Easy Obedience Training

It is not necessary to teach your dog complex commands. Teaching your dog the basics such as “sit,” “stay,” other basic commands can be a significant starting factor. Teaching these basic cues will surely give them mental stimulation.

Brain Training 4 Dogs is an excellent program for those who want their pet’s obedience training done right! 

9- Go For Agility Training

Agility training provides your dog with a combination of physical and mental stimulation. Create an agility/obstacle training course using durable containers, ramps, portable stairways, or tunnels. Show your dog the steps to follow and reward your pet dog by concealing treats within the course or providing treats when it finishes the training course.

10- Let’s Go to the Dog Park

Dog parks are significant areas to bring your furry little friend. The majority of these are enclosures where dogs may run free under the supervision of their pet parents. A word of caution, though: your dog may be overwhelmed by seeing other unknown dogs and different individuals at the dog park for the very first time. It will undoubtedly be a good idea to keep your dog on a leash if it is his first visit to the dog park.


Dogs are animals that require both physical and mental stimulation. We’ve provided you with ten easy ways for your canine companion to be mentally stimulated.

If you’re looking for more information on how to engage with your pet in a way that’s mutually beneficial – or you need help getting started – Brain training 4 dogs is your go-to program for canine education.

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