To understand why it is important to mentally stimulate your miniature Australian Shepherd, and how to do it with these little darlings, you first need to know a little about their behavior/character.
The miniature Australian Shepherd has a character that is very similar to the Australian Shepherd, obviously. It is highly intelligent, obedient, and very attentive to its owner. It enjoys playing and adapts perfectly to any type of life with or without children or other animal companions.
However, PLEASE NOTE that it needs physical and/or mental exercise to prevent it from becoming a destructive and frustrated dog.
It is important for the dog to live in a stimulating environment to have a good mental balance. Dogs need to express themselves intellectually and physically, rather than doing nothing all day. There are exercises that are highly appreciated to mentally stimulate your miniature Australian Shepherd, which can:
- Reduce its stress
- Improve the dog/owner relationship
- Improve its intellectual abilities and senses
Here are the different types of mental stimulation to effectively stimulate your miniature Australian Shepherd:
Tricks to mentally stimulate your miniature Australian Shepherd
Teaching tricks is the best way to mentally stimulate your miniature Australian Shepherd. These dogs love to learn and can learn relatively easily, unlike some other breeds that are more stubborn, such as terriers.
In addition to basic commands like sit, lie down, and shake hands, there are plenty of fun tricks to teach them.
There are some examples of tricks to teach your dog:
- "Roll over"
Teaching your dog to roll over on command.
- "Play dead"
Teaching your dog to "play dead" by lying motionless on its side after pretending to be shot with your hand.
Teaching your dog to weave between your legs as you walk.
Teaching your dog to stay still in a play bow position.
Teaching your dog to bark on command.
- "Jump over"
Same principle as the game for humans, but this time it's your dog jumping over you.
You can find more tricks and how to teach them on various websites. You can also teach your dog to recognize the names of its toys, family members, objects, or other things.
Activities or games to mentally stimulate your miniature Australian Shepherd
- Dog dancing or canine freestyle
This activity involves teaching your miniature Australian Shepherd to "dance," which is actually a series of steps and positions that the dog and its owner perform in rhythm to a certain piece of music.
- Hide and seek
The principle is the same as for humans. Wait until your dog is distracted, then hide, and call it to come and find you.
- Puzzle toys
These are different types of puzzle toys that you can hide treats in, and the dog has to figure out how to get the treat, sometimes by pushing lids, sliding, or turning.
Here are some examples of puzzle toys that you can buy (these are just examples, you are free to choose any puzzle toys):
We often take the same route when walking our dogs. Simply changing the route or walking it in reverse can stimulate your miniature Australian Shepherd, so don't hesitate to change your daily walking routine!
- More active activities
For more active dogs, you can also try canicross, caniVTT, agility, skijoring, or swimming with your dog in authorized areas.
Now you know how to effectively stimulate your miniature Australian Shepherd!
You know the secret to keeping your miniature Australian Shepherd happy and well-balanced, and all the tricks to improve its intellectual abilities and senses while strengthening your bond.
Miniature Australian Shepherds are dogs that enjoy exercising and playing with their owners; the more time they spend with you, the happier they will be.
Do you want to learn more about Miniature Australian Shepherds? Don't hesitate to check out our section exclusively dedicated to Miniature Australian Shepherds
Thank you for reading, see you soon!