Play the Shell Game/3 Cup Game
The shell game is a simple problem-solving game for dogs. To play the shell game with your dog, let your dog watch as you place a treat under one of three cups. You then shuffle the cups around and encourage them to “find the treat.” The shell game gives your dog plenty of mental stimulation and helps them work on their problem-solving skills.
Teach your dog the names of their toys
Start by playing with one specific toy and giving it a name while you do. After some practice & praise, your dog will assign that verbal name with the chosen toy. Once your dog has learned that specific toy’s name, you can test their skills by seeing if they can pick it out among their other toys.
Dogs can learn hundreds of words. Start teaching your dog the names of his toys and play a game of “go find Rocky Racoon” with them.
The “Go Find It “ Game
Once your dog knows the names of some of their toys, teach them the “go find it.”
Game. Have your dog’s toys in a pile or container and tell them to “go find” their
favorite toy. Keep it fun for them by rewarding them with a treat or a quick game of tug when they succeed. This game will give your dog a great mental workout.
Master the basics of obedience training
Does your dog know all of the basic obedience commands? Does he have
a reliable recall and stay? Even well-trained dogs need a refresher course now and then to keep them sharp. All dogs should have a reliable sit, down, stay, drop it, and come here. A few quick training sessions (5 – 10 minutes) each day are a great way to help your dog master the basics and help keep your dog mentally stimulated.
The Muffin Tin Game
Keeping your dog mentally stimulated and enriched is just as important as exercise. The muffin tin game only requires a muffin tin, a dozen treats, and some tennis balls (or other tennis ball-sized toys) to get started. Set – up is also simple – you deposit a treat in each cup of the muffin tin, cover it with the ball or toy, and wait for your dog to sniff it out. The muffin tin game does an excellent job of keeping your pup stimulated. Your dog will need to use their nose to sniff out the treat, their mouth (or paw) to remove the balls, their eyes to spot the remaining toys, and their brain to focus on the remaining treats since all the muffin tins will retain the scent of the food. The game appeals to your dog’s instinct to sniff, hunt, and explore the world around them. It’s also perfect for dogs of all ages, sizes, and physical abilities since it’s low impact.