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Exercise Your Dog's Brain

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Three ways to increase mental stimulation for dogs

A small white Schnoodle dog, Rudy, sits beside his Border Collie dog friend, Kya, waiting by the door to go out for an adventure and some mental stimulation.
A small white Schnoodle dog, Rudy, sits beside his Border Collie dog friend, Kya, waiting by the door to go out for an adventure and some mental stimulation.

We have all heard about taking the dog out for a walk, 20-minute walks, hour walks, etc. Little is mentioned about mental stimulation for the dog's brain. A healthy brain is a happy brain and will be a tired dog at the end of a session where you have purposely worked and trained the brain with a set task.

  1. Basic Task: 3-minute sit stay in one spot. Begin this exercise on a nonslip surface such as a carpet.

Interrupt the dog from laying down by giving your dog limited amount of leash so the dog cannot lie down completely.

Begin in a sit without requesting, telling or asking. Instead, simply draw up on the leash and place the dog into a sit. Once the dog is in a sit, keep your feet stationary in one place. It is very important not to shuffle your feet towards the dog.

Begin timing to 20 seconds, then move a couple of steps and repeat, increasing your time by 5 to 20 seconds. Build the time up to 3 minutes.

Observe your dog closely to see when your dog yawns. A yawning dog, in this case, will trigger the dog's brain and is the indication you are looking for to see that the dog's brain is now working and engaged.


2. Umbilical training indoors.

This is hands down the most time effective training tool you have in your training tool box.

Take a leash, approximately 6 feet in length, slip the clasp through the handle wrapped around your waist. Connect the clasp to you dog's martingale collar. Now for the fun part.

Tidy your house, work on your computer, get up and pour a glass of water. Do your normal movement inside the house. Do chores, everything and anything, including making your bed and taking out the garbage.

The idea is to teach the dog that you are in the lead, where you go the dog must go. The dog will begin to watch you and pay attention to your movement. Thus, creating a learning environment around your movement. Most people follow the dog. This is designed for the dog to follow you.

Combined 2 hours a day for 2 weeks. I'll let the results speak for themselves.

3. Dump routine, walks, feeding, location of outings. Change your life up. Dogs are not routine, no animal is...don't believe the lies.

Keep your dog guessing and excited about what is next in life. Living a life of the unknown is exciting. Day-to-day, mundane, boring brain rotting is a true crime.

Keep your dog's mind healthy and happy by doing things differently.

Implement these 3 simple dog training tips and you will see a positive change in your dog.

Mental stimulation for your dog.
Mental stimulation for your dog.

About the Author

Written by Brad Pattison, Dog Behaviourist, Dog Trainer & Puppy Trainer

Follow us on socials, IG: @hustleupdogs & Facebook: Hustle Up Dog Training

Email us anytime with questions & comments at

For further information call CA +1 (250) 317-0274

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