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Barking About the Benefits of Dog Puzzles

Jack Russell Terrier pawing at Outward Hound's Dog Tornado puzzle game to get treats
Outward Hound Dog Tornado Puzzle Toy

A walk around the neighborhood, a trip to the dog park, a solid game of fetch – dog owners know the importance of physical exercise for their canine companions, but what about exercising a dog’s mind?

Dogs needs both mental and physical exercise. The brain is like the fifth leg of a dog. It needs to be exercised to tire out a playful, active pooch.  Fifteen minutes of mental exercise and enrichment is the equivalent of twice that time of running and a great way to calm a rowdy Rover or feisty Fido.

Research also suggests that since dogs likely co-evolved with humans, they have developed some similar social skills, including the ability to problem-solve. Providing mental situation through problem-solving and fun games can help find a balance between a dog’s physical and mental health. Here’s why adding dog puzzles to your playful pup’s life can make for a healthier, happier hound:

Australian Cattle Dog playing a dog puzzle and winning treats
Outward Hound Dog Twister: Level 3 Game

Exercise Mind & Body

Dog games challenge your dog’s problem-solving skills and enhance mental stimulation through play. Short on time for a long walk? While nothing really replaces daily exercise, these puzzles can tire out a dog mentally if physical exercise isn’t an option.

Puzzle toys are also great for older dogs or dogs recovering from surgery or an injury who may be limited physically but still need healthy mental enrichment.

Border Collie looking at the camera and standing next to Outward Hound Dog Pyramid Game
Outward Hound Dog Pyramid Game

Slows Down Speed Eaters

Puzzle toys force dogs to have to slow down at meal time. Having to work a little harder for food engages our dogs’ natural hunting and foraging instincts and helps improve digestion.

French Bulldog watches a person load treats into a dog puzzle
Load puzzles with treats or kibble

Reduces Undesired & Destructive Behaviors

A busy dog engaged in play is less likely to turn to potentially destructive behaviors as a way to cure their boredom. Dog puzzles are a great way to focus your pup’s excess energy on something positive, playful and fun.

Jack Russell Terrier uses nose to spill treats out of interactive toy
Outward Hound Treat Maze

Different Levels Match Different Skills & Keep Dogs Learning

Outward Hound dog puzzles come in three levels of difficulty. Starting at Level 1 can help pups engage and build confidence. Continue your pup’s learning and fun by challenging them with more difficult Level 2 and Level 3 games as they outsmart introduction puzzles.

Three colored blocks representing three levels of dog puzzles
Keep pups problem solving with different levels

Ready to exercise your pups mind? Shop here for our favorite games!

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