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13/03/2023 ‚ÄĒ Products & assortment ‚ÄĒ Dog

Intelligence toys & brain games for dogs 

Smart dogs love challenges, even on cold and rainy days when their pet parents prefer not to go out for long walks. In fact, most dogs are not keen on walking in bad weather or harsh temperatures. How can you still offer your dog enough stimulation at such times? 

A good solution is  intelligence toys for dogs! These toy not only keep your pet occupied for a long time, they also train your faithful friend's brain and boost his self-confidence as he learns problem-solving thinking. It's also a good idea to combine playing and learning and mentally challenge your dog in everyday life. This way, your pet feels safe and continues to develop. 

This doesn't mean that exercise is no longer important, in fact it's healthy for your dog to be in good shape. But using your brain is also healthy. There's nothing wrong with replacing that walk on a rainy day with a brain game every now and then. Or combine the two if your faithful four-legged friend still has plenty of energy!

Challenging brain games 

Does your four-legged friend often only enjoy dog toys for a short time? Then brain games and sniffing toys are perfect for a mental challenge. With these toys, pets have to use and develop their intelligence. 

In our range, you'll find challenging brain games with different difficulty levels. Special brain games for beginners, as well as dog puzzles for advanced players. If you prefer things a bit more interactive, then interactive dog games are a good choice for you.

What intelligence toys for dogs are there? 

Most intelligence games for dogs are based on the "find the reward" or "go to the reward" principle. In the "find the reward" game, your pet has to remember where the treat is hidden. The idea, then, is to hide the reward in the dog toy. The "go to the reward" principle often involves the use of activity boards, where the dog has to figure out how to get to the reward and then eat it.

The best brain games for your dog 

There are various brain games for dogs that can increase their mental capacity and can help them focus. We take you through our range of the best brain games for your beloved pet. 

Sniffing mats and other search games 
Did you know that sniffing has a stress-reducing effect on dogs? The part of the brain that controls emotions is directly connected to the nasal organ. Regular sniffing has a positive effect on this part of the brain and reduces stress. A good example of this is the sniffing mat for dogs. This play mat can be filled with treats or various small dog snacks. As your dog sniffs around looking for treats, his brain automatically works in a positive way. This makes search and sniff toys not only fun and challenging, but also contributes to your dog’s mental balance and good mood. 

TIP: Does your puppy have trouble calming down or is your adult dog easily overstimulated? Using a sniffing mat or lick mat for your dog can really help. The mental challenge and stress relief will ensure that your little friend is satisfied more quickly and therefore calms down more easily. 

KONG-snack balls 
KONG dog toys  are popular and for good reason. The KONG dog brand has a long history in the world of dog toys and is extremely popular among dog lovers. In our assortment you’ll find a selection of KONG dog products, such as the Wobbler and a snack ball for your dog.  

A Kong can be a great way to challenge your dog while eating. By hiding his food in the Kong, your dog has to work hard to get to his 'prey'. You can put snacks or meat in the Kong to challenge your four-legged friend to figure out how to get to the food, for example by picking it out, flipping the food ball or playing with it. If this is too easy for your clever friend, you can put the food inside the Kong and freeze it, so your dog can play with it for longer. Besides, it also helps against obesity and eating food too fast, as your dog can't wolf it all down at once.  

Snack balls are designed for your dog to play with independently. Pay attention to the size of the ball. The size of the opening also plays a role: the wobbler has a small opening making it ideal for dry dog food. If you fill a classic Kong or a snack toy with a similar opening with dry dog food, it will fall out easily. These balls are designed for use with large dog biscuits or sticky paste.
Puppy KONG
Dog puzzles 
Dog puzzles are meant to be done together with your pet, otherwise you risk it being in pieces on the floor in no time. But besides that, it also promotes the bond between your animal and you as its pet parent, because you will solve problems together. 

If the level of the puzzle suits your dog, it's a fun challenge. Puzzles that are too easy are solved quickly, while puzzles that are too difficult can cause your dog to give up too quickly. Therefore, it's advisable to choose a puzzle with different difficulty levels or one with an easy difficulty level so that you can start with the easy one. Next, you can gradually make the puzzle more difficult, as your four-legged friend starts to understand more about it.  

Slow feeders 
With a slow feeder, you offer your dog a little more challenge while eating. There are different types of slow feeders, from simple to more challenging options, suitable for both large and small dogs. Like for example lick mats. Ideal for spreading wet food and snacks, as licking has the same positive effect as sniffing. But it's also a great way to distract your pet from stressful situations, such as cutting nails, driving in the car, etc. Check it out!

The benefits of mind games 

Why buy brain games for your dog? Now that you know what brain games for dogs are and which ones are the best, it's important to understand why you should buy one. Everyone should have lick mats, sniffing mats, slow feeders and brain trainers in their homes!  

First of all, playing brain games can strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Solving brain games together and filling them with treats can be a lot of fun and improve the bond between you and your dog. In addition, mind games develop your dog's thinking skills in a fun way. Playing brain games can be especially useful for puppies, but can also be of great value for adult dogs. By continuing to challenge your four-legged friend with fun brain games, you can help prevent mental decline. 

Moreover, brain games can have the same effect as exercise. By thinking hard and searching for solutions, dogs can become mentally tired, but at the same time satisfied. In addition, brain games can help prevent annoying behaviour from your four-legged friend by challenging and keeping him busy. Likewise, it can prevent your dog from eating his food too fast, which in turn is good for his health.  

Finally, mind games are available for every type of dog, as there are many different types, brands, shapes and colours available. By choosing an appropriate brain game that suits your pet's needs and abilities, you can challenge and mentally stimulate your furry friend.
Hond breinspel

Provide mental challenge! 

How do you know if a dog is bored or under-challenged? 
When dogs are underchallenged, they can express this in different ways. Some dogs bark more or become irritated more quickly, others become lethargic and show annoying behaviour such as nibbling and licking. Fortunately, dog games and intelligence toys offer a solution for dogs. By regularly challenging your dog with challenging games and toys, you can prevent boredom and unwanted behaviour and contribute to a happy and healthy dog. And that's exactly what we want!

How can I challenge my dog mentally? 
There are several ways you can challenge and stimulate your dog mentally. Here are some ideas: 
  • Use puzzle toys: There are many different types of dog puzzle toys on the market, such as puzzle balls and sliding puzzles. This requires your pet to think about how to reach the treats.¬†

TIP: you'll quickly notice if a brain game is too complicated for your dog. Then he gets frustrated, agitated, starts barking, throws the toy away, sits down, lies down or simply runs away. Then it's recommended to choose a simpler puzzle.  

  • Do brain-work activities: Brain work is a form of dog training where you challenge your dog mentally by making him think about how to get to a treat or toy. This can be done, for example, by hiding treats in boxes, using scent boxes or playing brain games.¬†
  • Use sniffing mats: Sniffing mats are mats with pieces of fabric in which snacks can be hidden. This forces your dog to sniff and search to find the treats.¬†
  • Teach your dog new tricks: Teach your dog new commands and tricks, such as "high five", "lie down" or "roll over". This keeps your pet mentally occupied and strengthens the bond between the two of you.¬†
  • Give your dog a job : Give your four-legged friend a task, such as carrying a backpack on a walk, or bringing the mail. This gives your dog a goal and can challenge him mentally.¬†
  • Hide treats: Hide snacks or toys in the house or garden and let your dog search for them. Hide the treats or toys in an easy place first and make it more difficult after a while.¬†

Remember that it's important to stay close to your dog and reward him when he does well. This keeps the mental challenge fun and stimulating for your furry friend!

What do you have to keep in mind when buying intelligence toys for dogs? 

Dogs and humans sometimes have more in common than you might think. When choosing intelligence toys for your dog, it's important to find the right balance between too little and too much challenge. When looking for the best brain games for your pet, it's important to consider your own needs and those of your dog or puppy. 

Every animal has different preferences when it comes to the functionality of a brain game. Therefore, it is important to know what to look for when choosing a brain game for your dog, like for example: 
  • The type of brain game¬†
  • The difficulty level¬†
  • The size of the brain game¬†
  • The material used¬†
  • The experiences of other owners¬†
  • The price of the brain game¬†

First, it's important to choose the right kind of brain game to suit your dog's interests and needs. There are different types of games, such as sniffing carpets, puzzles, brain trainers, strategy games and cuddly toys with storage compartments. 

In addition, it's also a good idea to consider the difficulty level of the brain game. Some games and brands indicate this on their products and the difficulty level can vary from level 1 to level 4. Start at level 1 and gradually build up to a higher level, just make sure your dog is ready. 

Furthermore, make sure to match the size of the brain game to your dog's size. For example, a smaller dog will benefit from a smaller brain game, while a larger brain game is more suitable for a larger dog. 

The material of the brain game is also important. Most brain games are made of plastic or rubber, but there are also games made of other materials such as fleece, wood or fabric. If your dog likes to break things, it's advisable to choose a robust brain game. 

In addition, the design and shape of the brain game can also be important. There are various designs and shapes to choose from. Here, it's important to consider the look of the product and what purpose it serves. 

Finally, the price of the brain game also plays a role. Thinking games are available from about ‚ā¨7 to about ‚ā¨70. Just make sure you choose the right quality. It's also advisable to find out about other people's experiences before buying.¬†

Regardless, it's important to keep playing with your dog yourself as well, because playing together is ultimately the most fun!

Do you need more ideas for your beloved four-legged friend? 

Our assortment offers not only a wide range of fun dog toys, but also all kinds of other supplies for your four-legged friend. We have wonderfully soft dog baskets, robust dog houses and practical puppy crates. 

We also offer everything you need to take good care of your beloved pet. Each month, we surprise you and your faithful dog with new accessories and snacks, because we think you and your pet pal deserve the very best.
In cooperation with Rosanne Clerix,
Bioscientist in Animal Life.

In a nutshell

A good solution is intelligence toys for dogs! These toys not only keep your pet occupied for a long time, they also train your faithful friend's brain.
There are various brain games for dogs that can increase their mental capacity and help them focus, such as sniffing mats and snack balls.
When dogs are underchallenged, they can express this in different ways. Some dogs bark more or become irritated more quickly, others become lethargic and show annoying behaviour such as nibbling and licking.