Generally, a dog’s physical needs consist of good food, grooming sessions, vet care, vet visits, toys from the fur parents, and an established exercise routine. The last one is essential for the Shiba Inu breed as it is an active and energetic dog. However, mental stimulation for Shiba Inu is equally important.
Regardless of the breed, physical and mental stimulation are required to help your dog live a healthy and happy life.
Why is mental stimulation necessary?
Fur parents know that routines are important, but they can be boring. A fixed daily schedule can sometimes feel dull, and your Shiba Inu feels the same way. It’s better for humans as we can add excitement to our day, but our lovely pooches are dependent on us to add a twist to their day.
If you don’t, your dog will make its own fun, which usually doesn’t end well.
When your Shiba is making a mess out of the house — chewing on furniture and pillows, shredding toilet papers, and digging your whole backyard off — this can mean they are bored and not getting enough mentally stimulating activities.
Especially when you leave them at home with nothing to do, it’s more exciting for them as you are not there to stop them.
Mental stimulation for Shiba Inu also filters out behavioral problems. When engaged in an activity that needs their focus and interest, they are less likely to think of troublesome endeavors.
Mental Stimulation for Shiba Inu: 4 Ways to Challenge its Mind
The Shiba Inu is an intelligent breed. Traditionally, they are hunting dogs which makes them inquisitive by nature. This means they are prone to boredom when they are not stimulated enough.
And you don’t want a bored Shiba Inu, so here are 4 mentally-stimulating activities for your Shiba Inu.
Have them work for their food
Meal times are the easiest. Usually, it’s just setting down a bowl of food in front of your Shiba and letting them chow down. No problem, but you can make it mentally stimulating and have your pooch work for their food by changing their eating routine.
Instead of casually handing their food, make it a fun game by using food dispensing toys. By placing treats in the toy, your Shiba must roll it for the food to come out. It can be noisy, but it is satisfying for your dog.
Let them explore during walks
A walk is considered a physical activity, but it can also be a mental stimulation for Shiba Inu by letting them stop, sniff, and explore their surroundings. In addition to being a good regular exercise, it’s also an opportunity for exploration.
You can walk the same road every day, but for your dog, there’s always something new and exciting to look and smell at. You can allow them to lead once in a while during walks for them to explore and enrich their senses.
You also allow your dog to explore and tire them out more than just walking straight.
Introduce new tricks
It’s never too late to teach new tricks. If your Shiba has mastered basic obedience commands, he is ready for more. New tricks and commands are perfect mental stimulation for Shiba Inu.
It boosts your dog’s confidence, strengthens the bond between you and your Shiba, and increases its focus and manners.
Make an obstacle course
An obstacle course is an excellent mental workout for your Shiba. Usually, it is a timed activity and is a great way to develop your dog’s agility and problem-solving skills.
You see obstacle courses and see proper and professional tools, but you can make your own course with alternative items at home, like blankets, hazard cones, and toys. You can make up commands that work with whatever you’ve set up, like ‘go to your blanket,’ ‘jump over the broomstick, and more. Be creative!
Obstacle courses train your dog on how to overcome an obstacle through problem-solving and teaching them to do one thing after another.