Training Tip Tuesday – Mental Engagement/Stimulation

TRAINING TIP TUESDAY – mental engagement/stimulation

By: Kelly Erick

The Volunteer Trainers at Ruff Start Rescue have started a new initiative to post a quick and easy tip every Tuesday! Look for a new tip every Tuesday or use the hashtag #TrainingTipTuesday on social media to find them all!
This week let’s talk about mental engagement/mental stimulation!
Pacing, whining, destruction, excessive barking, and disobedience can all be signs your dog may be lacking mental stimulation.
We have all heard the phrase, “a tired dog is a good dog!” physical stimulation isn’t always enough as each dog is different and it’s proven that mental stimulation is just as important.
The Canine Enrichment page is an excellent source of ideas to help engage with your pup! Have fun!
Some basic examples of canine enrichment activities include:
  • Playing
  • Chasing
  • Fetching
  • Digging
  • Scavenging
  • Sniffing
  • Shredding & ripping
  • Chewing
  • Licking
  • Solving puzzles
  • Treats under a blanket – just hide them out of sight!
  • Muffin tin ball feeder. Put tennis balls in a muffin tin and hide food under some of the tennis balls.
  • Chop up hot dogs/lunch meat along with dog food and toss into your yard. Let your pup’s nose do the work!
Blog and graphic by Kelly Erick, one of Ruff Start Rescue’s volunteer trainers, who focus on supporting our fosters and helping create successful dogs.