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It’s easy to tell when your dog is bored.

He may start to develop a habit of pacing around in the evenings. Or he may start demonstrating undesirable behaviors, like chewing on your living room plant or making a toy out of your slippers. Or–what my dog is famous for—he will stare, a deep, intense look into your eyes, willing you to get up and throw his ball.
You figure you took him on his morning walk, what else could he want? Sometimes a quick walk isn’t enough. Dogs need mental stimulation just as much as physical activity to get them tired.
Here are some fun activities you can try with your dog that will get them moving, thinking and experiencing new things, leaving you with an exhausted dog at the end of the day rather than an antsy one.

Herding Classes

Many of us don’t have the acreage to house our own sheep and have our dogs round them up for some extra exercise and mental stimulation. But there are farms and ranches all over the country that offer classes and private training for those of us that think our dog has what it takes to herd some sheep, ducks, geese or cattle. You’ll most likely have to submit your dog to an evaluation to see if he has a basic herding instinct, and if he does, he’ll get to learn how it’s really done.

Nose Work

Your dog’s nose is a powerful thing. And you can harness that power into a fun activity that will engage your dog’s mind and senses. Three trainers founded the National Association of Canine Scent Work and the sport of K9 Nose Work, combining canine detection skills with fun competition. You can find a class or instructor to learn the technique or you can try doing it at home. The key is to find something enticing your dog wants to find (food or toy) and using boxes or other containers to hide the target.

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