Goldendoodles are extremely friendly and intelligent dogs. They’re one of the most popular dog breeds in America due to their gentle nature and easy-going attitude. Stemming from the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, the Goldendoodle brings to families their sweet and affectionate nature with an expectation to be played with and often. Keeping your dog happy depends on a few different aspects of the breed. Some require more mental stimulation than physical stimulation. Others need a healthy balance of both.
What are some fun games and activities to keep a Goldendoodle happy? There are many games to play with dogs that are available at local pet stops. Goldendoodles love to play fetch as per part of their Retriever heritage. Since the Goldendoodle comes from two water dogs, they also love playing fetch in the water and swimming around.
To keep any dog happy, you need to fulfill a few pillars. Socialization, mental stimulation, and physical exercise are the foundations for a happy and healthy dog.
How though? Can you give me specific examples? Yes! We’ll explain what Mental Stimulation is. We’ll give you some examples, and then explain the benefits to your pup.
What is Mental Stimulation for Goldendoodles?
Mental stimulation is providing your dog with a puzzle or activity that emphasizes the use of their mind. Dogs become bored just like humans. Except when dogs become bored, the only way they can amuse themselves is typically through destroying anything they can get their paws on. One way that owners can know if their dog is receiving enough mental stimulation or not is if their dog is destructive. If they come home to find their pillows chewed up and their socks all over the floor, then it’s likely that their dog was bored.
Instead of punishing them, you should try to find a way to engage in their mind. Goldendoodles are extremely intelligent. Both the Poodle and the Golden Retriever are considered to be intelligent dog breeds. With that intelligence comes a need for mental stimulation.
Some of the methods that you might utilize to keep your dog mentally engaged are through training and learning. Obedience training can actually be a great way to keep your dog engaged. They have to listen and remember the vocal commands that you give to them. Learning how to do tricks can be just as fun for them. Learning tricks like fetch and roll over engages some form of physical activity, too. This allows both their mentality and physicality to be challenged. The best part is they get to be rewarded after learning the tricks and commands.
Goldendoodles are also extremely social. They love to interact with their owners and other dogs. It’s important to socialize your dog when they’re young in order to make them comfortable with new experiences, new people, and new dogs. However, it’s just as important for mental stimulation. Uncovering new places, experiencing new things, and meeting new people engages them socially and thus mentally as well.
Games and Activities That Promote Thinking
Besides teaching them tricks and putting them through obedience training, there are other Goldendoodles activities and games that can benefit them and make them happy.
- Kong Toys: The classic Kong is a great tool to use.
- Puzzle Toys: There are a few of these on the market.
- Fetch: Did you know dogs love to play fetch? Yeah, they really do.
- Hide n Seek: Great for indoors!
Perhaps the staple of games in the form of a toy that you can buy for your Goldendoodle is a Kong. The Classic Kong allows you to fill it with a treat that your Goldendoodle then has to chew and squeeze and work the treat out of the toy. This provides them with a lot of mental stimulation because they have to figure out how to get the treat out of the toy. It also keeps them physically engaged with their mouth and paws.
Another toy that you might want to consider procuring is the puzzle toys that come with levers and buttons. You can find a bunch of different ones with a simple search. The goal of these puzzle toys is quite simple. The Goldendoodle has to figure out how to push the levers in order to access the treat below it. For Goldendoodles who are extremely intelligent, the puzzle may prove nothing. You might need to look for advanced puzzles or even make your own.
In terms of activities, you should look to utilize your Goldendoodle’s intelligence and their Retriever-like tendencies. Fetch is, obviously, one of the best games to play with them. It engages them mentally because they have to remember where the ball is, and then they have to remember where you are. You can make the game more challenging physically by throwing the ball into the water. To make the game more challenging mentally, then you can have an obstacle course set up for your dog. Toss the ball into the course and watch as your dog has to figure out how to reach it. A ball or toy that is able to make noises remotely is a great option for this type of play. Whenever the Goldendoodle starts to give up, you can have the toy make a noise which will spur them back into the game.
An indoor game that they might enjoy is to play hide and seek. It’s a great physical game that allows them to use their senses, memory, and mental capacities in order to find you. Considering how much your Goldendoodle is going to love, you can be sure that they won’t rest until they’ve discovered you. Give them a treat and lots of love in order to ensure that they understand the goal of the game. This game can also be played with treats instead.
Benefits to You and Your Goldendoodle
Games and activities for your Goldendoodle are a great way to keep them mentally stimulated. As intelligent dogs, they can become bored easily. Since bored dogs can destroy the home, you need to keep them continuously engaged mentally. Keeping your Goldendoodle mentally engaged will ensure that their mind doesn’t decline with age. Much like a human, the more that they use their brain, the sharper it will be as they grow older.
Playing with your dog also makes the bond between pet and owner strong. Your dog will love anyone that plays with them and shows them attention. Mixing mental stimulation, physical activity, and play together is a great way to bolster that bond. Your dog will likely listen to you more and miss you whenever you’re gone.
For yourself, you can be relieved when you come home and find that your carpets aren’t torn up and your extra pairs of shoes have survived the workday. You’ll find that your dog is happier and more relaxed. That makes for a calmer household that you can also relax in.
You’ll also likely find your own levels of fitness increased when you play with your dog. Walking, running, directing them through the obstacles, playing water sports with them, and even swimming with them can impact your fitness, too. You might even try a new hobby that both yourself and your dog enjoy. Try kayaking or canoeing, for example. As a water dog, your Goldendoodle will likely love being able to jump into the water as you paddle along. Your own fitness will be challenged alongside your dog’s. Most importantly, you’ll both experience the invigorating experience of connecting with nature and with each other.
How do I find a great training program for a Goldendoodle?
Luckily, there are many easy ways to find a training program that is suitable for your Goldendoodle. A simple search on the Internet can introduce you to trainers, workshops, and other special events that are happening in your area. You can also search for training programs through other dog owners at local parks and dog events.
How much physical exercise does a Goldendoodle need?
The amount of exercise that your dog needs are dependent both on its personality and its size. The larger the Goldendoodle is, the more exercise it will want. Standard Goldendoodles should have anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour’s worth of exercise and playtime. Smaller Goldendoodles like the Toy version can get away with just 30 minutes.