Are you aware of how much of a brain box the Poodle is?
The Poodle is such a remarkable breed that it’s the 2nd most intelligent breed that exists out of 340 others on the planet. Part of this is due to their intuitive intelligence and their easy to please nature, making them a great animal to train.
But, as a dog owner, you should never take this characteristic for granted. To keep their intellect sharp, you should provide them with enough physical and mental stimulation every day.
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Otherwise, they could delve into boredom behaviors like chewing furniture, barking, having separation anxiety, and more.
And trust me, no dog owner wants that!
How much exercise should a Poodle have each day?
Regarding their physical and mental well-being, a Poodle should have 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. The exercise should be a combination of physical (swimming counts too) and mental activities to keep them focused and alert.
But, it’s important to know that you don’t have to make this a boring experience and depend on walks every day as a dog owner. Instead, you can mix up their stimulation with a few games.
Fun games to play with a Poodle
Follow the Leader
As Poodles initially were bred to be hunters, sometimes their innate nature requires them to be in charge. Follow the leader is a great game to allow a Poodle to feel in control and live up to their bossy demeanor. It also is excellent for teaching manners when they’re off their leash and is a great all-rounder for skills. The premise of this game involves you and your dog switching leadership.
To play follow the leader, you will need to do the following:
- Provide positive reinforcement and give treats to your Poodle whenever they follow you. If you keep doing this, this will encourage them to follow you.
- Slowly as your dog starts to follow you more closely, make the task a bit more difficult. You will want to add obstacles to make it more like a game.
- Then as soon as your Poodle is ready, you will want to teach them to lead.
- To teach them, you will want to pick a command that is associated with leading.
- It’s important when they’re leading that you show them you can’t follow the same path any longer. Slowly over time, your Poodle will learn when to stop and that you can’t follow them anymore, and they will look back.
I’m pretty confident that you know the game of fetch? Fetch is a fantastic game loved by many dogs and a great one to stimulate your Poodle’s exploring instincts.
This is a great game to play because you can use it with a range of objects such as a ball, frisbee, sticks, toys, and more. This is an easy retrieval game for any Poodle to learn, but it’s best taught early.
It’s always important you teach your dog to retrieve the item, and you might want to do this with positive reinforcement slowly. Over time, you won’t need to provide them treats, and they should be able to do this automatically. Once they learn it, you can have endless fun playing this game with your Poodle for hours.
Hide and seek
Hide and seek is a fantastic game that’s not limited to kids! You can play hide and seek with your Poodle and have a good laugh. It’s a fantastic game to stimulate their curiosity and easy to learn, especially if your Poodle already knows how to sit and stay.
On the contrary, if your Poodle does not know these commands, you should take some time first teaching them and maybe get another person to participate in the game. When playing, you will want to hide and use a command associated with your dog to come and find you.
Bumper ball is a fantastic game that utilizes your Poodle’s physical ability. You will need a giant inflatable ball for this game. Make sure your Poodle has a lot of energy also and has not been exhausted from exercise previously. To play, you will need to do the following:
- Put the bumper ball in front of the Poodle
- Let your Poodle kick and chase the ball
- If your dog is hesitant towards kicking the ball, kick the ball yourself
- Soon enough, your dog will see the ball and play with it.
One great way of stimulating your Poodle is playing on its sense of smell. After all, their small is way stronger than ours and can have over 45 times more scent receptors than we do. Hidden treasure is a simple game that involves gathering several small boxes, putting treats in them, and placing them upside down. As soon as you place treats in them, your Poodle will most likely start sniffing around to detect what’s underneath them.
Wild sits is an agility game you can play from anywhere with your Poodle; all you need to do is have a leash for this game. First of all, you will want to make sure your Poodle is on a leash, and you excite them. You might want to jump, cheer, run around or do anything to make them energetic. Then in the middle, you should instruct your Poodle to sit. Do note that this may not happen at first, but over time with practice, your Poodle will start sitting and be able to switch their excitement to patience.
Make an obstacle course
Don’t feel up to venturing too far outside? Why not make a homemade obstacle course for your Poodle? Try breaking up cardboard boxes in your home, chairs and add a variety of objects to make the obstacle course challenging for them.
Regardless of whether your Poodle is training for a competition or not, you can use poles or homemade poles to play with them.Then run in between the poles and let your Poodle follow you. Of course, you can always switch your pace between fast and slow, making it more fun for them to play.
Poodles are an intelligent breed and an energetic one too! As a dog owner, you must make sure that they’re mentally and physically stimulated. There’s a range of games you can play, some mentioned here and a range of others you can find online. Please make sure you add variation to their exercise in addition to walks, so you and them don’t get bored.
Do you play any exciting games with your dog? Let us know!
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Marko is the founder and author at PoodleHQ, where he blends profound expertise with formal training in Animal Behavior and Canine Genetics. With multiple generations of poodles under his care, he’s a breed connoisseur, honored with the Canine Care Excellence Award and lauded by the International Pet Enthusiasts Association.