Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mentally Stimulate Your Dog

Mental stimulation is important for all dogs.

Dogs are thinking animals and, like you and I, they can become bored.

This is even more true with your Border Collie. These dogs have a high, very high, level of intelligence. Without proper mental stimulation, along with exercise, unacceptable and destructive behaviors are going to become an issue. This is not because your dog is bad, your dog, like a child, is bored and acting out. Idle paws do the devil's work.

The good news is with a Border Collie it is easy to give them a good brain workout. In fact there is one way you can do this by slightly altering something you likely do already.

Take Your Dog For A Smell Walk.

Here are a few things about your dog's sense of smell, these apply to all breeds.

  • A dog's sense of smell is at least 1000 times more sensitive than a humans, it is much higher in some breeds
  • A dog interprets it's world mainly through smell
  • A dog's nose is wet in order to capture scent particles, this is why they often lick their nose when it is dry
  • The part of a dog's brain that controls smell is 40% larger than a humans

Border Collie, smelling on a scent walk

Dog's learn everything about their world through smell. When your dog smells the marking of another dog they learn more than you might think. Sex, fertility, which direction they came from and went, even their mood.

Denying your dog the chance to take in the scents of their world is really to deny them the chance to know their world.

What Is A Smell Walk?

We all walk our dogs. We all have our own routines and times that we do this. A smell walk is nothing more than taking a walk at your dog's pace. Allowing them the chance to stop and smell the things they want to along the way. Having the patience to wait for them is the key.

A smell walk does not have to take longer than a normal walk if time is critical for you. You can just shorten your regular walk. Your dog will get more out of a shorter, smell walk, than a regular walk.

Social Media For Dogs.

Think of a smell walk as social media interaction for your dog. When your dog stops at that lamp post and is lost in the smells, they are checking their Facebook news feed. Catching up with what others in the neighborhood have been up to. Who knows, if there is something really interesting they might tweet about it as well.

Border Collie, content after a mentally stimulating smell walk.

What Are The Benefits Of Smell Walks?

There are many benefits to taking your dog on a smell walk, the biggest being your dog is going to enjoy it.

  • You will be allowing your dog the chance to really get to know the area they live in
  • You are providing both physical exercise and mental exercise
  • Your dog will be far more content after the walk than they would be on just a regular walk

There are more benefits than just those of course. Those are some of the important ones. Do you take your dog(s) on smell walks?

If you are interested in knowing more about your dogs sense of smell, and other senses, this is a great article. They also have great information on specific breeds including my choice, the Border Collie.

If you enjoyed this article please like & share. Leave us a comment as well. Be sure to check out our other articles.

© Irwin McNeely | BorderCollieAli & Border Collie Corner, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express & written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All pictures are my own and are property of Irwin McNeely & Border Collie Corner.

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