In this game, you’ll need a muffin baking tray and plenty of tennis balls.
Setup this game by doing this:
Place a few bits of their food or treats in the muffin tins and a tennis ball over the top.
You can leave some muffin tins without a tennis ball to make the game easier to start or for puppies learning about brain games.
When your dog is finished, refill the muffin tins.
To make the game interesting leave some tins without food, but still cover the compartment with a tennis ball.
This makes your dog use his nose more and gives a surprise when they find the food in some compartments but not in others.
It’s best to play this game on the carpet so the muffin tray doesn’t slide about and make a big mess, or frustrate your dog too much since they also need to use their paws or noses to move the tennis ball.
7. Frozen Kong Delight
By far, my German Shepherd enjoys this mental exercise the best, as the food seems to last longer and keep her quiet.
Place a mixture of moistened kibble into the center. I like to add a few teaspoons of unflavored Greek yogurt mixed into the food for extra encouragement.
Set this into the freezer for a few hours to stiffen up.
When frozen, give to your dog for a tasty mealtime surprise!
This is best served in an area that’s easy to clean, like outdoors or a hard floor in the kitchen.
8. Tupperware Surprise
I’m sure most of us have extra plastic food storage containers lying around or missing their lids.
Put them to use with this game.
Place several pieces of plastic food storage containers upside down, without their lids, over a handful of kibble.
You can put the food storage containers all in one room or place them in multiple rooms for a seek and find activity.
Encourage your dog to go find the kibble.
They must figure out how to turn the container over with their paws or nose – which is tricky for some dogs, especially for puppies.
Use this mental exercise inside or outside, depending on the weather. If you want other ideas for how to increase your German Shepherd’s life span, then check out my tips for lengthening your companion’s life span.
9. Mini Presents
This game also uses empty cardboard tubes from paper towels or toilet paper.
You’ll need a few of them to start this brain exercise.
Place their kibble in brown shipping paper or a clean paper towel.
Next, wrap the kibble up securely and place the wrapped kibble inside the cardboard tubes.
Encourage your dog to explore the tubes. This is my German Shepherd enjoying the game of finding treats in cardboard tubes.
As simple as this sounds the game keeps my German Shepherd busy as she has to delicately remove the kibble from the boxes or toilet roll tubes stuff with kibble and paper.
Supervise your dog to ensure your dog doesn’t eat the pieces of cardboard or paper packaging.
10. The Mad Scientist Game
To watch your GSD perform their mad scientist routine you’ll need this dog chemistry set which is a fun, interactive toy!
This game really gets an active Shepherd moving and keeps them occupied!
Setup the mad scientist game by selecting which level of challenge your dog needs. There Are different lids that make the game easier or harder, depending on which one you choose.
Show your dog that flipping and turning the plastic beakers release treats. Encourage them to try on their own.
Let your dog paw and spin the beakers as the kibble drops and watch happiness light upon their faces!
11. Mental IQ Ball Challenge
Who says mental games are only challenging the mind when you have a ball IQ toy?
If you’re wondering what to do with your puppy’s endless energy or your Shepherd’s need to herd, then this is the game for you!
As your dog chases the ball they burn extra calories while trying to release their treats. Place their kibble meal or another dry treat inside the ball and adjust the level of difficulty to help provide a challenge to their minds and bodies.
You can take this game fully apart for cleaning, so if your dog is a first-class drooler you can easily clean their toys.
12. Tunnel Dash
Owners of our high energy breed will appreciate teaching their dog both indoor agility to challenge their minds and outdoor agility – to challenge their minds and use their energy!
With an outdoor agility kit, even those owners living remotely or who don’t want to pay for agility training can give their German Shepherds the mental and physical stimulation they deserve.
You may have to entice your dog through the tunnel by placing them at one eat and having them wait while you walk to the other. But German Shepherds love this type of mental stimulation and are expert tunnel runners!
13. The Weaving Wonder
If your dog enjoys high energy activities, then add to your agility set by purchasing the famous weave poles.
Your athletic Shepherd will love to use their brains and their agility to figure out the best way to quickly maneuver through the weave poles.
Begin by walking ahead of your dog through the weave poles and have them follow you. Reward them when they make it to the end.
Your dog rotates the many layers in various directions with their nose or paw to find the hidden snacks.
Your companion will love the reward of a job well done and they’ll definitely have to put their thinking cap on for this game.
Why Include Mental Exercises for Your German Shepherd for Stimulation?
Your dog or puppy has many senses.
They can see, hear, touch, smell, and think. Many dogs living in our modern, busy lives lack mental stimulation.
In the wild, your dog would work alongside their pack or alone to track down prey using their senses. They would then plan an attack, using their mental abilities.
Using all these senses during play helps your dog gain confidence in themselves and in their abilities. New experiences ignite portions of their brains to keep them engaged in their environments.
An engaged dog is a happy, better-behaved dog!
The more consistent you are using mental exercise the more benefits you’ll see. Include 2 or 3 new mental exercises for your German Shepherd a week to begin.
Helping Your Clever Shepherd
Mental exercises for German Shepherds build their confidence and increase their interest in life.
Don’t limit your creativity or your GSDs abilities! You’ll be surprised how smart your dog is and how much interest they’ll show in these easy, mental brain activities. There’s such a variety of German Shepherd mental stimulation to choose from you’ll love trying different games to find what your dog likes.
Creative thinking owners like yourself provide their German Shepherds with the ultimate in mental exercise and happiness by increasing their dog’s mental exercise.
You need German Shepherd training to get the best behavior from your dog and enjoy a happy life with them. Read these posts to find out what type of German Shepherd training works the best for your breed.
Your German Shepherd’s health, as well as your dog’s specific breed history, contributes to their overall life span. These posts will help you become aware of your dog’s health problems and how to help solve or improve them.