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Why Is My Dog Getting Into Trouble?

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

Try this food puzzle to prevent their brain and mind from looking for something else to do, as well as redirect them to do something more productive instead!

Food puzzles are amazing for puppies and dogs of any age, breed, and size. Their main purpose is to provide dogs with a fun meal-time outlet for their mental energy, which then helps them feel more at ease and relaxed, thus reducing the likelihood that your dog will 'get into trouble'. Our belief, and based on our experience, most dogs do things we don't like due to daily boredom, and/or simply not knowing what else to do instead with their time and energy. When to provide a food puzzle? The best time to provide a food puzzle is after you've done some physically stimulating exercises with your dog. Such as going for a walk or run, playing tug & pull, fetch, a fun game of wrestle, or even some agility training.

The very first time you're introducing your dog to food puzzles, it's best to make it as easy as possible and let them find high-value (aka tasty!) treats inside it. Pro tip: To avoid having to purchase multiple puzzles of different levels, start with an intermediate or advanced puzzle as it's not generally tough to make them super easy for your dog at first. From then on, a good habit is to not only supervise your dog's usage of their puzzles, mainly so that you can put it away once they've figured it out and/or when they're done eating their meal. You also want to watch for how they're going about figuring out their puzzle. If they start chewing it out of frustration or overexcitement, it would be best to redirect them to an easier activity like a snuffle mat. This is also why it's best to use puzzles and most mental enrichment toys after your dog has had a chance to let go of some pent-up physical energy.

For an extremely confident and capable dog, you can combine a calming mask (be sure to socialize them to it first and that they're feeling 110% comfortable wearing it) with the activity of a puzzle or snuffle mat so that your dog relies purely on their nose, and less on his eyes.

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