Boredom and Variety in Your Dog. What to Do?

The first sign that indicates boredom is so-called compulsive behaviour. Some dogs tend to repeat the same things over and over again.

11 brain games for dogs to prevent misbehaviour and boredom
Brain games for dogs.

Boredom and variety are permanently interconnected in case of a dog misbehaves. Yes, it is true. However, you can manage the dogs’ boredom with various distracting materials.

Hence, the dog may not do abnormal or unwanted activities arising out of the boredom experienced by it. Boredom-experienced dogs may have different types of behavioural patterns.

For example, some dogs will be seen barking continuously, and some may always be engaged in digging activities.

There are many ways to get your dog out of its boredom activities. For example, many toys are available which simulate ducks, dogs, rodents etc.

12 brain games for dogs to prevent misbehaviour and boredom

Brain games for dogs improve emotional health, relieve stress and fight boredom. These games also provide bonding and training for you and your unique pets.

Best brain games for dogs on

Responsible parents understand that dogs require brain exercise daily to stay happy and healthy. Moreover, as a pet expert, mental stimulation benefits all dogs, not just the so-called intelligent dog breeds.

Brain games for dogs offer more than just fun for your pet. Most of the annoyances of canine pets, such as chewing the wrong thing or barking and whining too much, occur because of dog boredom.

We cuddle our dogs because we love them. But when they are left alone in the house or out in the yard with nothing to do, this wastes the brain’s potential and allows dogs to engage in unwanted digging or barking behaviour. Just as with people, ‘use it or lose it applies to brain games for dogs. Engaging the brain can also slow down the blight that causes cognitive problems (senility) that older dogs can develop.

Brain games that provide mental stimulation reduce stress for dogs with emotional challenges. Stress also predisposes dogs to health problems. Dogs that habitually play brain games using puzzles or indestructible dog toys gain confidence and develop fewer behavioural problems, such as separation behaviour.

How much mental stimulation does a dog need per day?

Boredom and variety in your dog. What to do?
English bulldog puppy boredom.

Every dog requires mental stimulation, but the amount varies. How much depends on the breed, age and sometimes the individual personality of your dog.

Puppies need less stimulation, no more than five minutes daily for every month they have been alive. So a three-month-old puppy benefits from 15 minutes a day, and a six-month-old thrives on 30 minutes daily (not necessarily all at once). Adult dogs can do well with more.

Active working breeds like German shepherds need more than older dogs. Furthermore, brain play should be adapted to your dog’s strengths. For example, scent breeds such as hunting dogs enjoy sniffing games, while your pup Papillon may excel at games that require more paw dexterity.

What are good mind games for dogs?

Almost anything works well for canine games that exercise the brain. Think in terms of your dog’s senses. While humans rely on sight, dogs focus on sounds and smell that we cannot detect. Toys and games encourage dogs to sniff something or listen for clues to solve puzzles by wagging their tails. Dogs also have a mouth, taste and paw to explore their world, just like we use our hands.

Toys do not have to be expensive. You can also provide mental stimulation with cheap thrills: homemade toys and interactive training dogs to think. Anything that requires extra thinking tires the dogs in a different way than physical exertion. This stimulus helps dogs to settle down, feel and act calmer and enjoy spending time with the people they love.

What to look for when buying brain toys for dogs

Look for toys that engage your dog’s senses or require him to manipulate an object for a reward. Interactive toys include you and increase the bond you share. Solo toys burn energy while you are engaged elsewhere. Unfortunately, there are no laws guaranteeing the safety of dog toys, so evaluate games according to your dog’s preferences and then supervise play.#

Evaluation Criteria

  • Design and function
  • Required skill level
  • Quality of materials
  • Easy to clean
  • Cost
  • Reviews and reader satisfaction

Games for dogs’ boredom. Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy

Frenchie Breed recommends: Nina Ottosson Level 2 Dog Brick Interactive Puzzle Toy For Dogs.

Dogs are motivated by treats, and you can create your puzzle toys using objects in the house. For example, hold a treat in one fist (nothing in the other) and ask your dog to sniff and choose the right fist to win the bonus. A puzzle toy like the Outward Hound Brick Puzzle keeps dogs engaged similarly. This popular dog puzzle toy has almost 110,000 ratings on Amazon. Various Outward Hound dog puzzle toys are rated from ‘easy’ for beginners to intermediate, advanced and expert levels.


What we like about Brick Puzzle:

  • Amazon’s top seller
  • 20 hidden compartments to keep your puppy occupied
  • Made from food-safe materials
  • Available in four skill levels
  • Durable and easy to clean


What to consider about Brick Puzzle:

  • Use with supervision; pieces are dangerous if chewed and swallowed

Games for dogs’ boredom. Kong Puzzle Toys

Frenchie Breed recommends: KONG - Classic Dog Toy, Durable Natural Rubber- Fun to Chew, Chase & Fetch- For Large Dogs.

The puzzle toys give dogs something to chew, pick up and carry around, and they get rewarded when they drop their treats. The classic Kong is available in six sizes to fit dogs of any size or age. Fill the Kong of your choice with your dog’s favourite food or treat. On hot days, you can fill it with a flavoured liquid such as salt-free chicken broth mixed with treats and freeze the Kong for a puppy.

I love Kong puzzles because you can have multiple dispensers and hide them all over the house or yard. Your dog has fun sniffing out a treasure hunt, engaging the smell and brain and getting exercise simultaneously.


What we like about Kong Puzzle Toys

  • Long-lasting
  • Cheap toy, approx. £9 – £11
  • Multipurpose: treat dispenser, chew toy, recovery toy
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Easy to clean
  • 26,701 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.6 stars


What to consider about Kong Puzzle Toys:

  • Heavy chewers need supervision to avoid swallowing pieces

Games for dogs’ boredom. Recordable Training Buttons for Dogs

Frenchie Breed recommends: Free Stickers. Train Your Dog Easily To Press Buzzers And Voice What They Want To Do. The Perfect Present For Your Dog.

The average dog learns about 150 words, including commands, hand gestures and incidental lessons you might not want her to know. Brain games help your dog understand words and respond to you today. For example, you may have seen viral videos on TikTok of dogs ‘talking’ to their owners by pressing a button that plays a pre-recorded command such as ‘treat’ or ‘car ride’.

Dogs already tell us they want to go out or play a game by barking or scratching. With talking buttons, the dog learns to communicate more clearly by tapping the right button that ‘speaks’ the request or comment.

People use similar button communication with non-verbal people; this technology shows how dogs communicate this way. Some dogs become extraordinarily adept at using talking buttons, such as Bunny, who has amassed nearly half a billion views of her videos ‘talking’ to her mama dog.


What we like about the adjustable dog training buttons:

  • Challenging play for dogs and people
  • Extremely fun and customisable
  • Economical price
  • An interactive game is based on your bond


What to consider about adjustable dog training buttons:

  • It takes time to train
  • It can slip and slide and needs a secure surface
  • Supervision is required to prevent some dogs from chewing the buttons

Games for dogs’ boredom. A Squirrel Plush Dog Toy Puzzle

Frenchie Breed recommends: A Squirrel Plush Dog Toy Puzzle, for all dogs.

Puppies love to play, and toys that engage their brains during fun games teach them positive ways to interact with their world. One of my dog’s favourites is the nested toys. These offer smaller stuffed toys inside larger ones.

The interactive squirrel puzzle allows the puppy to learn to find and retrieve the smaller squirrels hiding inside the soft tree-shaped container. Each little squirrel has a squeaker inside to engage the pup’s hearing and keep the dog focused on rooting out the seductive rodent.


What we like about the interactive squirrel puzzle

  • Easy to learn but still challenging
  • Well made
  • Inexpensive
  • Available in small, medium, large and XL
  • Replacement squirrels available


What to consider about the interactive squirrel puzzle:

  • Many dogs destroy squirrels

Games for dogs’ boredom. IQ Treat Ball, Dog Puzzle Toys and Interactive

Frenchie Breed recommends: IQ Treat Ball, 4-Inch for dog. Reduces boredom and destructive behaviour.

Dogs love to play with balls, and they love treats. Combine the two, and you get a winning brain game for your dog. The Pet Zone Treat Ball dispenses treats as your dog’s paws roll around the house, making it an ideal indoor toy. Even better, you can adjust the delivery mechanism for beginners and calm dogs and increase the difficulty level as the dog learns.


What we like about the Pet Zone Treat Ball:

  • Balls and treats encourage play.
  • Available in two sizes
  • Adjustable difficulty
  • Easy to clean
  • 23,243 ratings on Amazon


What to consider about Pet Zone Treat Ball:

  • Not for heavy chewers
  • Not for toy breeds or small puppies that can get stuck in the jaw

Games for dogs’ boredom. Zip Zoom Indoor Dog Agility Starter Kit

Frenchie Breed recommends: Zip Zoom Indoor Dog Agility Starter Kit with Dog Tunnel Weave Pole High Jump Obstacles, Large, Multicolour.

For high-energy, athletic dogs, one of the best outdoor brain games for dogs involves the whole body. Your dog learns to overcome obstacles, jump over hurdles or walk on high platforms. Agility is a fun competition for dogs of all ages, breeds and sizes to adapt to the challenges of the individual dog.

Use homemade items to organise your agility course in the backyard or at home. Amazon also offers the Zip & Zoom Agility starter kit. It has four woven poles, an adjustable obstacle (or frame) and a tunnel. It is comfortable, portable and offers hours of customisable stimulation for dogs.


What we like about the Zip & Zoom Agility Kit:

  • Easy to use outdoors, fit different yards and dogs
  • Portable, with convenient storage space
  • Adjustable and modular kit for beginners
  • You can also use it. indoors


What to consider about zipping & Zoom Agility Kit:

  • Size for small and medium-sized dogs; some reviewers have noted that taller dogs will not fit in the tunnel

Games for dogs’ boredom. Outdoor Hanging Bungee Dog Tug Toy

Frenchie Breed recommends: Bungee Dog Tug Toy, Interactive Tug-of-War game for Pitbull & Small to Large Dogs

Dogs love tug-of-war games, especially the overbearing breeds developed to grab hard and not let go. Unfortunately, most pet dogs do not have the legal opportunity to bite hard and pull harder. Allowing your Boxer, Pit Bull or another meat-loving puppy to enjoy instinctive behaviour safely relieves stress and boredom.

The Dog Bungee Tug Toy provides that grip. You can hang it from a sturdy tree branch to make your big dog jump, grab and swing, or secure it around a tree trunk for a fun tug toy that won’t let you off your feet. Clever!


What we like about Bungee Tug Toy:

  • Made of durable materials that will not damage the dog’s teeth when grabbing it
  • Adjustable rope length up to 17 feet
  • Safe way to relieve stress


What to consider about Bungee Tug Toy:

  • Dogs can chew on the end of the handle

Games for dogs’ boredom. Plush Puppies Tail Teaser with Refill

Frenchie Breed recommends: Kyjen Plush Puppies Tail Teaser with Refill. This was recommended by a dog behaviour expert. However, our dog runs away from it. It does seem to be sturdy and our cat would have played with it when she was younger but at 14 she is is bit more staid, just catching mice, shrews and the odd mole instead.

When I play chase with my cat, my dog wants to have fun too. Many dogs like chasing games, but instead of catching balls, they want a creature to catch and pretend to kill. Terriers were specially developed to chase mice and other small furry creatures.

The Tail Teaser Wand offers the perfect outlet for terriers and small dogs to chase the fuzzy toy at the end of the lure and catch and shake it into submission. Because it is designed for full use with dogs, you can change or replace the bait even when it is destroyed. In addition, this mechanism offers mental stimulation for puppies, small dogs and any heritage dog that likes the chase.


What we like about Tail Teaser Wand:

  • Durable with nylon cord
  • Used indoors or outdoors
  • It comes with two plush toys that make noise
  • More than 10,000 ratings


What to consider about Tail Teaser Wand:

  • Baited toys are easily destroyed, so plan for regular replacement

Games for dogs’ boredom. Snuffle mat for dogs

Frenchie Breed recommends: Pet Feeding Mat, Dog Puzzle Toys for Boredom, Dog Brain Games Encourages Natural Foraging Skills and Stress Release, Durable and Machine Washable.

Older dogs may no longer have the athletic ability to engage in certain activities. But you can still engage their brains with low-impact activities. For example, use a Snuffle Mat to hide treats or a portion of the dog’s food so that the animal sniffs out the bounty.

It also works well as a first-brain game for puppies, but I like it for older dogs because it keeps them engaged regardless of their mobility. Even blind or deaf dogs enjoy sniffing edible rewards.


What we like about Snuffle Mat:

  • Adjustable to make it easier or more challenging
  • Easy to take on the go
  • The non-slip design keeps it in place while dogs sniff around
  • Hand or machine washable


What to consider about Snuffle Mat:

  • Some reviews have warned that the material has caused nose abrasions (supervise!)

Dog Treadmill Run Walk for Indoor Training

Frenchie Breed recommends: Dog Treadmill for Medium Dogs - Dog Pacer Treadmill for Healthy & Fit Pets - Dog Treadmill Run Walk for Indoor Training for Dogs up to 130 lbs.

I have a desk treadmill for exercising without braving the sun or storms. So it makes sense for dogs unable to exercise outdoors and use an indoor dog treadmill. This tool is particularly advantageous for indoor dogs. Side panels and remote control are nice extras. Constantly monitor your dog while it is exercising!


What we like about the LifePro dog treadmill:

  • Offers exercise and stimulation indoors
  • A low-noise motor will not damage your dog’s hearing.
  • Safety key and emergency stop switch
  • Assembles in 10 minutes


What to consider about the LifePro dog treadmill:

  • Too small for large dogs
  • It comes in a sizeable 5o lb box

Games for dogs’ boredom. Automatic Ball Launcher for Dogs

Frenchie Breed recommends: Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher & Automatic Ball Launcher for Dogs (Tennis Ball Launcher for Dogs uses Tennis Balls for Dogs).

Dogs that love to play fetch can annoy you and become frustrated and bored when you can’t satisfy them. So instead of playing a few uncertain rounds, invest in the GoDogGo Fetch Machine for an endless automated supply of fetch balls. Teach them to retrieve the ball and return it to the bucket so the machine will fetch it repeatedly.


What we like about GoDogGo Fetch Machine:

  • Eliminates effort from fetch
  • Five balls included
  • Optional timed start settings: 5, 7 or 15 seconds
  • Multiple distance settings and remote control


What to consider about GoDogGo Fetch Machine:

  • Some reviewers have complained that the sensor stops working due to the ball smearing

Dog boredom. Toys, toys and games

Frenchie Breed recommends: Buster Food Cube, an Interactive Dog Toy.

Put these items inside the crate; puppies, in particular, love toys. For example, a buster cube with multiple treats may be placed in the dog’s shelter, and the animal soon understands how to roll the buster cube to get the treats it prefers.

A Buster Cube is an ingenious toy for simulating and activating your dog during play and feed time. For example, instead of placing the food monotonously in one place, change the place of feeding suddenly.

Such actions will help remove the boredom-like activity in your dog. Activities about boredom need to be redefined well by the dog owners. It will help them to a greater extent to drive away the unwanted behaviour patterns in their pet dogs.

For example, some dogs may often have destructive biting characteristics and will be seen biting chairs, cloth, mats, and everything they can see.

After ruling out the teething problem, provide it with some large-sized balls, mineral mixture-based bone materials, and if it is a puppy. Such a variety of materials help to reduce boredom-related activities.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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