Smart dog toys, puzzles, and games are fun and challenge the intelligence of dogs, discouraging destructive chewing and digging due to boredom.
Some dog owners are convinced that their pet’s only concerns are sleeping and eating but science has uncovered some evidence that there may be more intelligence going on between those goofy ears than many imagine.
Studies Show Dog Intelligence
Studies have shown that dogs can understand human gestures, facial expressions and many words, can learn by imitation, and can apply previous learning to new situations.
According to Dr. Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia who has reviewed numerous studies and authored several books on dogs and dog behavior, dogs have the mental ability similar to that of a 2 to 2 ½ year old child. He claims that there are three kinds of intelligence: instinctive, adaptive, and working and obedience. Working and obedience comes from training and could be comparable to education in humans.
This indicates that dogs who have been bred to work independently may be harder to train to obey commands. However, when dogs were tested according to their ability to understand new commands in less than 5 repetitions and obey first commands 95% of the time or better, the top performers were the Border collie, Poodle, and German Shepherd.
Toys Can Prevent Destructive Chewing and Digging
Often times behavior problems in dogs, such as destructive chewing and digging, can be traced to boredom. Dogs with a job to do have a purpose and can release pent up urges and energy. Dogs who must spend time alone need something to do.
Intellitoys took this idea and the results are a broad selection of interactive dog toys to provide enrichment and stimulate the dog’s mental capacity, perhaps comparable to video games for kids. Manufactured at various challenge levels they satisfy the dog’s natural instinct to search, stalk and capture its prey.
Smart Dog Toys
Dog toys such as the Cagey Cube keep dogs entertained for hours as they try to coax squeaker toys from the cube. The Cagey Cube is claimed to develop eye-paw coordination skills as well as intelligence.
The Dog Smart Dog Toy allows dog and owner to enjoy rewarding play time together. The owner holds the toy on his/her lap and shows the dog how to push the blocks to get the treat. As the pup learns how to ‘nose’ the blocks, he is rewarded with a treat.
The Dog Turbo Dog Toy is another puzzle designed for dog and owner to play together. Owner demonstrates how the puzzle works and dog is rewarded as he learns to move the blocks toward the edge with his paw or nose to push out the treats.
Other plush or durable polymer toys such as the Snoggle, the Intellicube, and the Bob-a-Lot all have chambers where toys, treats, or kibble can be hidden for the dog to coax out. The difficulty level can be regulated with adjustable openings.
Dogs truly are intelligent animals and toys to challenge the mind can provide them with hours of entertainment, mental enrichment, and treats.