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7 Simple Ways to Work Your Dog's Brain

One of the most common issues dog owners have is that they don't keep their dogs busy enough. When a dog gets bored, they get destructive and when a dog gets destructive, its owners get mad.

But, most of the time, the cycle is avoidable if you just spend some time exercising your dog's mind and body.

Here are seven tips I feel will help you keep your furry friend active and happy, and hopefully stop your dog from chewing up your rug.

1. Test Them - Google "canine iq" test and you'll find a series of tests that you can give your dog that will test how smart they are. The actual results are less important than the testing process. The tests themselves make fantastic exercises that work your dog's mind.

They also provide you a fantastic way to assert yourself as the alpha member of the pack and to spend some quality time bonding with your dog. Most dogs will do well at these exercises, but even if they do not, they are working their brain - a very good thing.

2. Problem Solving Skills - Give your dog a few small problems to solve throughout the day, along the same lines as the exercises above. You can hide peanut butter inside a toy, or put treats into stuffed animals, or dig bones in the yard.

It doesn't need to be a MENSA test, but small puzzles are not only fun to watch them work out, but fantastically effective in working their doggie brains.

3. Obedience Training - Basic obedience training is extremely engaging and highly effective in working your dog's problem solving skills. It takes a lot of mental energy to follow your commands, perform tricks and recognize commands.

4. Teach Your Dog Tricks - Basic commands are one thing, but advanced tricks are highly engaging. Some dogs may be better suited to this than others, but if your dog is particular intelligent, challenge them with tricks that they wouldn't otherwise perform.

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You can teach them to identify different toys between multiple options, have them dig up different toys, or have them track down certain scents in your backyard, all great dog tricks.

5. Work for Everything - A dog should never get anything for free. As animals, dogs not only expect but enjoy having to work for things like their meals, food, and attention. Whenever you feed your dog, give him water, or sit to pet him, make him sit, stay, lay down, or whatever other tricks you'd have him do.

6. Performing their "Job" - Most breeds are bred for a particular job. To really work their brains, put their breeding to the test. Have sled dogs pull, sheep dog herd, and hunting dogs track. This will satisfy a deep desire to work while also working their brains.

You'll be shocked how effective these working tasks can be in burning through the excess energy your dog has.

7. Exercise and Agility - Basic exercise is not necessarily effective in working your dog's brain, but it has a similar effect, putting their entire body to the test and making sure they wear themselves out a bit.

Almost every breed of dog has been worked and reworked over the centuries to complete a job. They like to be challenged and they like to think. As dog owners, it is our duty to constantly challenge our pups and give them specific tasks to complete.

Not only does a dog's brain start to deteriorate when it isn't worked properly, they grow restless and often times destructive. These seven tasks won't just keep your pup happy. They'll keep you and the rest of your family very happy.

Once you've got your dog in the habit of learning, you may wish to teach them some cool tricks like fetching the newspaper, or climbing ladders.

Clicker training can make that MUCH easier. For the best most comprehensive guide to clicker training go check out: Canis Clicker Training

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