Sudoku for Dogs: Playing Brain Games with Your Pet

June 08, 2022 by admin

Just like humans, dogs have varying levels of intelligence. A dog’s smarts are often related to its breed. For example, a border collie, German shepherd, poodle, or golden retriever tend to be more intelligent than a Saint Bernard or a bull terrier. Of course, there are exceptionally smart dogs within each breed. If you have a super-smart pet, help your dog enjoy his full mental potential with some interesting brain games.Use It or Lose It

Having an unusually intelligent pet comes with its own set of challenges. Dogs experience a decline in brain function with age or disuse, the same way that humans do. The brain tends to let go of skills and knowledge that it does not need, so it’s essential to keep up skill-based routines and brain games with your dog to maintain that higher intelligence potential.

Since your dog is smart, he may get bored more quickly than less intelligent dogs. If that boredom is not relieved with activity, games, or companionship, the dog can develop emotional and behavioral issues.

Word Wizard

Turn your dog into a word wizard with some simple dog training. Take all the dog’s toys out of the room except for two. Then, point to the toys and tell the dog each toy’s name. Ask your dog to bring you a specific toy, using the same name for it each time. Then ask him to fetch the other toy, by name. Offer pats, praise, or small treats as rewards for getting it right.

Once your dog has mastered the game with two toys, add another toy to the mix and give it a separate name. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your dog’s vocabulary expands. Remember to practice the name game daily to keep the words fresh in your dog’s mind.

Kibble Cups

You can also play a variation on the traditional shell game with your dog. Grab three mugs or cups and rub a kibble on the inside of each one so that your dog can’t use his nose to cheat. When you have your dog’s attention, hide the kibble or treat under one of the cups. Don’t move the cups around right away — simply tell your dog to “take it” and then give him the kibble when he touches or tips over the right cup.

Eventually, when your dog knows exactly what to do, you can start moving the cups. Hide the kibble and slide the cup slowly to a different spot. Don’t make it too complicated, or your dog may be discouraged or lose interest. Just move the cup over a bit and say, “Take it.” After a lot of practice, your dog may become skilled enough to track the cup through more complex maneuvers.

Handy Helper

Feeling lazy? Teach your dog to turn off lights, fetch the remote, bring your slippers, or close the door so that you don’t have to move from your comfortable spot. It’s good for your dog’s mental acuity, and it helps you out. If you’re unsure how to begin with this kind of dog training, a dog trainer near your location in Singapore can help you get started.