Mental stimulation is incredibly important for dogs.

Stimulation doesn’t have to be some highly detailed, thought out, structured and time consuming task. In fact, there are very simple things that you can do during your every day activities which make a huge impact on your dog. It could be something as simple as scattering a few pieces of kibble around the kitchen while you wait for the kettle to boil; or something more complicated like training a new trick.

As you may know from previous posts, Hank eats his meals in stages. The first is from his bowl (so he can have his supplements). The second stage is food direct from our hand as a reward for doing his sit/stand exercises. I like to add a third stage to his lunchtime meal. This usually involves either a toy or hiding food around our garden.

Hank eating his lunch from his rubber globe

Hank seems to really like his Bullymake rubber globe toy. I fill this with kibble and let him play with it (supervised of course). It can take Hank up to 15 minutes to empty the ball as the opening is a cross shape rather than a round hole. This makes it more of a challenge for Hank. He employs a few different tactics including rolling, dropping and chewing the ball to get his reward.

I have found that Hank can be excessively barky in the afternoon if he does not have some sort of stimulation at lunch time. He’s an intelligent dog and needs to use his brain.