Is your dog too smart for their own good? Is their big brain always getting them into trouble?

Training your highly intelligent dog to learn advanced skills can be a mental workout that satisfies their need to be challenged. Even low impact activities can actually tire out your dog and give them less motivation to get into mischief, and you’ll love showing off these tricks to your family and friends. 

Teach Your Highly Intelligent Dog To Talk

Did you know that your dog can understand hundreds of words and phrases? You might notice that your dog responds to words that you never taught them. They might pace around when you tell your spouse you’re headed off to work, or they might get excited when you mention it’s dinnertime. 

You can actually teach your dog to put those language skills to good use by teaching them to “talk”.

Christina Hunger is a speech-language pathologist who taught her dog, Catahoula-Blue Heeler mix Stella, to communicate with a soundboard made up of recordable buttons. Each button plays a single word when Stella taps it with her paw. Stella has learned to combine words to create phrases that perfectly communicate her feelings, and even have conversations with her humans. Get inspiration from their website, Hunger 4 Words.

Try Do-As-I -Do Training

Did you know that dogs can learn through social learning? You may have experienced this when your dog learned to turn on the bathtub tap by watching your kids, or when your puppy house-trained himself by watching your older dog. 

Do-As-I-Do training is a fun way to teach your dog new skills; your dog will learn to watch you intently upon the cue “watch me” and then imitate you when you say “do it”! To teach this, you’ll need to have already taught your dog a few solid verbal cues. At first you’ll act out the action, then give your dog the corresponding verbal cue. After your dog catches on, they’ll no longer need to rely on the verbal cue. 

With practice, you can introduce new skills with no pre-existing verbal cue. Some dogs take longer than others to catch onto this, but for dogs who already are pretty good with social learning, it can be a cinch. 

Upgrade Your Food Stuffed Toys

Does your dog slurp up the contents of their Kong in seconds? Step up the challenge by adding multiple layers of food inside. You might be able to fit your dog’s entire meal into the largest Kong, layered with spoonfuls of canned food, mashed sweet potato, yogurt, and other healthy goodies;, then freeze it to increase the difficulty. This is a great way to keep your intelligent dog occupied when you’re not around. 

When freezing, do not block the small hole at the end, as this allows air to circulate through the toy. With the hole blocked, there is a small chance that suction will build up inside and trap your dog’s tongue. 

More Training Ideas From Healthy Houndz!

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Need help training your dog? Healthy Houndz works with dog parents local to Toronto and North York and remotely with dog parents worldwide via Zoom. Set up your free consultation call.