Dog Puzzles

When the weather is lovely rather for ducks than dogs for a longer period of time and long walks don’t come into question, my fluffy friends are getting get bored at home and start with their shenanigans. I always try to think of a home activity to keep them busy. Puzzles proved the best to me. There are many different kinds of these available on the market. I make puzzles even by myself, as a craft.

But one thing after another. Let’s start at the beginning, how does such dog puzzles work anyway? They are based on searching and recovering hidden treats  and things. These games are suitable for all dogs, big and small, old and puppies. It keeps the young ones and hyperactive busy and calms them down, in the older ones, they support brain activity. We could say, that puzzles keep dogs fit from the mental respect. In dogs with a mental disorder, they are supposed to even alleviate undesirable behaviour. They stimulate the nervous system and all sense. Puzzles cultivate logical thinking and intelligence of dogs. Not only do they teach them patience, concentration, self-control and inventiveness, but they also help to boost their confidence. And if you actively join the game as well, then not only you will chase the boredom of your dog away, but you will also strengthen your mutual relationship.

This type of puzzles that I’ve described is called Hersenwerk, that is, Brainwork. A Dutch woman by the name of Igne van Harte, owner of a dog school, started with these in 2004 Holanďanka. While working with dogs, she came up with a financially undemanding method to keep a dog busy, that anyone can use, anytime and anywhere. Besides, according to Igne, to be mentally satisfied and to get tired, usually 10 minutes of Hersenwerk a day is enough for a dog. So if you don’t want to spend your money on puzzles from a pet store, you can make one yourself at home. Material is everywhere around us, you just need a bit of inventiveness.

Your dog will be excited about activities where they can train their smell. All you’re going to need, is a shoebox. Put several treats inside and put in some filling material – small balls, paper stripes, toilet paper rolls, straws or pieces of fabric for instance. The dog will enjoy themselves while looking for the treats among the filler. However, it is a good idea to start gradually, so that the dog could understand everything all right. Therefore, start by hiding the treats into an empty box. Repeat several times and only then, put them inside a box onto a filler. If the dog understands, what it is about, then comes another level of difficulty, that is, hiding the treats among the filler.

But it definitely doesn’t end with the box. You can hide the treats, for example, into a muffin form, when you fill in only some holes, but then you cover all of them, with a tennis ball for instance. You can do a similar thing with a towel, into which you gradually wrap the treats. In the same manner, you can use egg tray, a chips tube, various boxes, pots, plastic bottles. There are simply no limits to fantasy, you can even play shells with your dog. Pay attention for the material to be safe for your dog and for the whole game, keep them in sight. And final last advice, whatever you end up using, you shouldn’t take back for further use, it should remain a dog toy. Otherwise, the dog could get confused and when I leave out the aspects of hygiene, then in the case of a muffin form, you could be wondering where have all the muffins gone :-).  

And what kind of puzzles does your dog like the best?

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