5 Fun Brain Games for Dogs - I Love My Little Dogs

5 Fun Brain Games for Dogs

5 Fun Brain Games for Dogs

Is your adult dog chewing up everything around the house? Does the dog look morose most of the time? The most common reason dogs behave this way is a lack of entertainment and sheer boredom. The answer could be a quick game of fetch and letting the dog run to expend the energy. Do you realize that dogs need more than just physical exercise? How about some fun brain games for dogs to keep them mentally stimulated! 

If you love your dog, you will want it to have an enriching life. Managing weight, regular exercise, taking it to the vet, and spending time with your dog are all necessary, but mental stimulation is also a big part of this mix. 

Why Is Mental Stimulation Necessary for Your Dog?

Physical exercise alone is not enough for a dog’s proper growth. Mental stimulation can help in the following ways:

  • Lowering a dog’s stress levels
  • The exhausting extra energy of the dog 
  • Take care of separation anxiety issues
  • Allowing their minds to develop better
  • Mental stimulation can help in developing healthy behaviors
  • Better mental stamina 
  • Dogs may react calmly and analytically under challenging situations

Just like humans like to go to the gym or exercise to take care of their bodies and yet also like to read or work at solving complex problems at work, dogs also need to keep their body and mind active and sharp. 

Some Brain Games That Are Perfect for Dogs

Just as school or office work is tiring for us, games meant for mental stimulation can tire a dog. Our dogs lead a great life with us providing them meals on time and looking after all their needs. They may get lazy and feel bored at times. Adding brain games adds some fun into their daily routines. The important thing is to choose the suitable activities that are perfect for your dog. 

1. Treasure hunt

This is probably the easiest game you can play with pups and adult dogs. There is no requirement for special equipment or training. Just hide small bits of their favorite snacks around the room and ask them to find them. Most dogs automatically sniff and try to find food, so they will find it very interesting. You may start by hiding the goodies in simple places and then slowly make it more difficult for them. Dogs have a significantly evolved sense of smell, and this game allows them to use this sense. They engage their brain by sorting out the smells and following their noses. 

2. Cup or shell game

This is again a simple game, and you don’t need much to play this game too. Take two or more cups and some of your dog’s favorite snacks. Place a small piece of dog biscuit or dry dog food under a cup. Now, ask your dog to find under which cup is the snack. When your dog guesses correctly, you can let it have the snack. Once they understand the game, you can slowly add more cups and make it more complex. Dogs will learn patience and improve their observation skills.

3. Teach a new trick

This is not a game in truth, but if you can teach new tricks in a fun way, it is excellent for the dog’s brain. Apart from the usual commands like ‘sit’ and ‘fetch,’ you can try something more fun. Spin or twist can be a fun thing for dogs to master. Making them bark or smile when commanded can greatly improve their behavior. Dogs enjoy the love and appreciation they get when they master any new trick, which is great for their brain development.

3. Feeding puzzles

There are several dog puzzle toys available nowadays. They come in various difficulty levels, and you can choose depending on what you think is suitable for your dog. Some dogs gulp down their food in a couple of minutes without even chewing it properly, and with such a toy, your dog will take time to figure out how to get to his dinner. This is great for developing puzzle-solving and memory-recall abilities. 

4. Snuffle mats or towel rolls

You can get a snuffle mat just like the dog puzzle toys. It has many layers, and you can hide dog food in the mats. Dogs will need to spend some time getting to their food. You can easily replicate this game with a towel if you don’t want to buy a snuffle mat. Lay a towel on the floor and place treats all over the towel. Now roll up the towel so that there are treats in each layer. Your dog will need to work out how to get to each layer to reach his snack. This activity will stimulate a dog’s brain and improve its problem-solving skills.

5. New words

Do you know about Chaser, the dog who can recognize almost 1000 words? That may seem too difficult, but it is possible to teach new words to dogs. You need to take an unnamed toy and then use a specific word to identify it every time your dog plays with it. Point to the toy and call out its name. You can ask your dog about the toy and praise it when it shows signs of recognition. This will have to be a slow activity. You need to be patient with your dog and wait for it to recognize the toy by its name. Later, you can move on to other things like slippers or even the remote. 

Apart from all these games, there is nothing like a good game of ‘hide and seek.’ It is simple, and the thrill of finding you after seeking lights up a dog. You can keep it simple or make it as complex as you feel right for your dog. 


There are lots of brain games for dogs that you can play with your pet. These games also allow you to bond in a better way with your dog. It does not matter that your dog is not a canine Einstein; more importantly, it gets some brain exercise and stimulation. These games are great for dogs of all ages and keep them active and alert. Try out one of these games today with your dog and watch him enjoy it. 

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