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5 Fun DIY Brain Games for Dogs

Brain exercises will help your puppy become more intelligent and aware in 2022. Many people do not realize how important brain games are or how mentally stimulating they can be. Apart from the obvious skills and relationship-building benefits of training your dog, another advantage is that it challenges your dog, making them smarter in the long run. It can be all fun and games when it comes to being smart, right?

Discover 5 homemade and DIY mind games and activities that will benefit your dog greatly! 

1. Seek out the treats.

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This is one of the easiest games you can play with your pup. You need no special equipment and no training – just a spare five minutes.

Essentially, you hide their dog treats around a room and then tell them to ‘find the treats’, encouraging them as they do. Since most dogs will naturally sniff out the food, this is an easy game to get started with. 

It engages your dog's most powerful sense - their nose - and engages the parts of their brain that are responsible for identifying smells.

2. Learning New Words

Pic credit: Pixabay

For this game, first, you’ll want to choose an unnamed toy. For example, you could name it Coco. Then play with the toy often, using the word "Coco” whenever you start a game. Start to leave Coco out of reach, say Coco, and then reward your dog for looking towards or picking up his toy. Soon, he’ll have the hang of all his toys, and you’ll be able to start naming other objects, like “Shoes.”

As your dog plays this game, his memory and his ability to learn new things will be improved.

3. Which hand?

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No equipment is needed for this one, so you can play it wherever you are. Hide a treat in one hand, then offer both your hands for your dog to choose from. You can let him eat the treat once he chooses the correct hand. Repeat, making it more difficult progressively. This game can be slightly modified by putting a different treat in each hand and letting your dog choose which one he prefers.

 4. Tug of War

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There is nothing more entertaining than Tug of War. Through the game's design, your dog's brain and physical activity will be improved. 

It is as simple as tugging on a toy or a tug rope while your dog holds on. Make sure to take care so that your dog doesn't end up with damaged teeth in the process.

It's all about teaching your happy dog to let go when you command him to. In that way, future aggressive behavior can be avoided, and the dog's health can be preserved at the same time. This is helpful, isn't it?

Tip: Do not play the tug-of-war game every time the dog brings you a toy. You should choose just one toy specifically for tugging.

 5. Teaching Eye Contact 

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Teach your dog to give you eye contact. Hold a treat to your forehead or near your eye and ask your dog to look at you on command. Gradually remove the treat and use a hand signal or a verbal command to ask your dog to look at you. Not only does this basic behavior help you get your dog’s attention when he is distracted, but eye contact also helps in improving bonding between both you and your dog. 

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