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Brain Games and Enrichment!

Everyone knows that dogs require plenty of physical exercise but did you know that its just as important that they exercise their brains? Adding a mental enrichment into your dog’s daily routine has lots of behavioral benefits:


  • Reduces nuisance behaviors (barking, chewing, and digging)

  • Boosts confidence

  • Can help minimize separation stress

  • Gives your dog a job

  • Keeps your dog occupied while you do other tasks

  • Tires your dog our mentally and physically


Plus, it’s just plain fun!

There are countless ways that you can offer your dog opportunities to problem solve, but here are some of our favorite toys, games, and activities!

Interactive Puzzles

Nina Ottosson Tornado 

Nina Ottosson Dog Casino

Nina Ottosson Twister 

Nina Ottosson Dog Brick 

The Paw Flapper 

Kibble/Meal Dispensing Toys

Kong Wobbler

IQ Treat Ball

The Snoop

Atomic Treat Ball


Tricky Treat Ball

Foraging Toys

Snuffle Mat

Pick Pockets (food foragers)

Activity Mats

Scatter Feeding

Take your dog's dry dog food breakfast or dinner and scatter it around a room and let your dog search and sniff to find their meal!  If you have multiple dogs, we recommend giving each dog their own room to search!

As they get good, you can more specifically hide the food in the room for them to search or you can scatter the food over a wider area. Add more bang for your buck by practicing a sit or down stay while you hide the food.

Homemade Puzzles

Place some food in the cups of a muffin tin and then place tennis balls in the cups! 

Snuffle Mats are simple to make

Use a dish towel and loosely roll/fold/twist treats inside and let your dog figure it out

Crumple up newspaper loosely and fill a medium sized box, poor kibble/treats into the crumpled newspaper, and let your dog search

*Know your dog, if they like to ingest non-food things, you might choose different materials or games for them to explore

Frozen Kong (or Tux, Toppl, Squirrel Buddy, etc)

Stuffing a Kong (or similar toy) and freezing it is a great activity to keep your dog busy!  Depending on how you stuff the toy and what you use in it, your dog may utilize a wide range of tactics to empty it! They might throw it, tip it, squeeze it, lick it, or some other methods--this problem solving is a great way to tire them out and keep them busy!


Beyond all of these food-driven activities, dogs thoroughly enjoy smelling so taking them out some place new and letting them leisurely sniff around is an excellent way to tire them out!  Let them sniff all the things and read the news of the day left by all the creatures who explored that area before!


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