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Old 11-02-2013, 12:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mental stimulation games

Can I get some ideas for mental stimulation games to have Alcide (4.5 months now) work on? The normal fetch, tug, and playing with our 7 month old husky/greyhoud mix are great and he loves them but I need to challenge him mentally also more so that the so called "find a treat toys" do.
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Doggie puzzle games are fun (it sounds like you have some of these?), and not all of them are outrageously priced. Do you play any other scent games? (i.e. hiding his food, the 'marble under a cup' game, for-fun nosework, etc.) Those have done wonders for my Keeshond, and my sister does a lot of scent games with her Sibe (who needs a lot of mental stimulation).

I also make use of kongs, and difficulty can be raised by freezing the contents before giving it to your dog. (frozen kongs can also be great for teething pups). I never make mealtime easy; partly due to my dog inhaling her food in 5 seconds, but also because that's 'free' mental stimulation time for me. If her food isn't hidden all over the room, it's in a difficult 'treat ball,' or in a puzzle toy and kong.

Trick training is another thing to help challenge you dog mentally, learning new things with you is not only fun for your dog, but should be fun for you too!
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Awesome thanks Meso. I do try ad give some scent training buy throwing a small handful of the puppy bone treats in a wide birth al over the grass and or carpet if were inside. I havet tried hiding stuff in the yard tho. How do you get them interested in finding what you've hidden? He does know the "find Maxwell" command, my 2 year old son which is awesome when my son pulls the disapearing act!!!! I also freeze the marrow bones I give to him for our midnight sessions when I get home from work LOL
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Old 11-02-2013, 03:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Krautdog View Post
He does know the "find Maxwell" command, my 2 year old son which is awesome when my son pulls the disapearing act!!!!
Haha, that's a fun game! All the dogs I know love it, especially when they're searching for 'their' people.

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How do you get them interested in finding what you've hidden?
When I first started hiding Lena's food all over the room, I made it really obvious. Just lying out on the floor in relatively large piles. As she became more and more proficient, I made the piles smaller, and the hiding spots more difficult. There were times where she seemed to regress a little, and I just pointed her in the right direction. She's now at the point where she'll avidly search out piles of only 2-5 pieces of food - this makes the game last waaay longer. I've also conditioned her to sit and make eye contact (indicator) when she's found food that she can't get to (hidden in a drawer, enclosed in a small box, etc.)

I also chose to teach a cue for when Lena should be using her nose. Sniffing out her food is "find it!" When we play the marble-under-a-cup game, "which hand?", or other discriminatory games, her command is "such" (sook). You can use whatever you want! Again, when I was first teaching the command, I made the correct choice really obvious - set your dog up for success!
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mesonoxian View Post
Haha, that's a fun game! All the dogs I know love it, especially when they're searching for 'their' people.



When I first started hiding Lena's food all over the room, I made it really obvious. Just lying out on the floor in relatively large piles. As she became more and more proficient, I made the piles smaller, and the hiding spots more difficult. There were times where she seemed to regress a little, and I just pointed her in the right direction. She's now at the point where she'll avidly search out piles of only 2-5 pieces of food - this makes the game last waaay longer. I've also conditioned her to sit and make eye contact (indicator) when she's found food that she can't get to (hidden in a drawer, enclosed in a small box, etc.)

I also chose to teach a cue for when Lena should be using her nose. Sniffing out her food is "find it!" When we play the marble-under-a-cup game, "which hand?", or other discriminatory games, her command is "such" (sook). You can use whatever you want! Again, when I was first teaching the command, I made the correct choice really obvious - set your dog up for success!
Wow, that is cool. How old is she? All these games sound really fun. Thanks to both of you for getting the conversation started



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Old 11-02-2013, 05:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Just check out Silvia Trkman's videos to get some ideas. She also has a few DVDs (for a better bond, for better thinking, and for balance).
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow, that is cool. How old is she? All these games sound really fun. Thanks to both of you for getting the conversation started
All the games are definitely fun! "Which hand?" is probably my favorite interactive scent game, and Lena loves her food searches. Treat balls are the most convenient on my end, and can take quite a while depending on their individual difficulty.

Lena turned 7 this past summer, and we've been doing scent games for less than a year. (Old dogs can learn new tricks! )

I hope there are more people who post with ideas, I'm always ready to try something new!
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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One that I have thought of is placing small boxes around the house and letting them stay there during everyday living, then randomly place a toy in a box and have him search for it.. I Donno, hard to describe I guess lol

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Old 11-02-2013, 11:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have used a Tug-A-Jug to feed meals out of, the Everlasting Treatball, Kongs with treats in them and the Everlasting Fun Ball.

Dog puzzles, I have 2 different ones.

Put a treat under a cup and move it around with other cups and see if he can find the cup with the treat.

I play 4 different "find it" games.
1) I send my dog to another room while I create a scent trail with a soft, smelly treat (Wellness Wellbites) and then I have my dog come out and guide him through the scent trail.
2) I put several shoes scattered in the living room and I put a treat in one of the shoes and then I have him sniff each shoe until he finds the treat and then he sits and I give him the treat (you can also use shoe boxes.)
3) I throw several treats in the yard and have him sniff them out.
4) I send him to another room and I hide and have him sniff me out.

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Old 11-02-2013, 09:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Keep them coming guys n gals! Awesome reads! Kudos to you all. Went and bought a fetch stick today (the one you put a tennis ball on the end to throw the ball farther" Was awesome watching him sprint after the ball for 100 yards except the 2-3 times he ran to the ball and then gave me his "defiant" look "YOU COME GET IT THIS TIME!!!"
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