Getting proper mental stimulation is an extremely important activity for all dogs, as they are highly intelligent, curious animals that can get bored easily when they are not doing something. Dogs need to keep their minds working, once again, just like humans do, in order to stay sharp, focused and have a sense of being challenged, and of excitement and fulfillment.
Many dog breeds need a “job” to do and these “working” dog breeds especially need mental as well as physical stimulation.Bored, lonely dogs who lack mental stimulation, can quickly and easily become unhappy dogs who can turn to destructive behavior as a release, or become withdrawn, depressed and apathetic. Lack of mental stimulation can also lead to a wide variety of other behavioral issues, as the dog seeks a release of some type from its boredom. Many destructive, aggressive behavior issues can be linked back to a lack of mental stimulation.
There are many ways to easily provide mental stimulation for a dog, once again, much as you would a human or a child. Any type of toy provides great mental stimulation, and it’s best to keep a variety that you rotate and a few special ones you break out for a special treat. Games are also a great way to keep a dog mentally stimulated. Hide and seek is a great game that almost every dog loves, as well as fetch and tug of war games, which in spite of their bad rap, do not lead to make a dog more dominant or aggressive.