There are a lot of different options for you to entertain your dog. And brain games for Labradoodles are among the best.
As one of the most intelligent dog breeds, you have to go above and beyond to find ways to stimulate their brains.
So keep reading and see a lot of different brain games for Labradoodles!
Brain Games for Labradoodles
There is a chance that your Labradoodle won’t enjoy playing every single game in the list below, and you probably won’t enjoy every game either. But you could at least give each and every one of them a shot, and see which ones you and your dog prefer the most.
So let’s start.
Hide And Seek
I can guarantee that your Labradoodle will love playing hide and seek just as much a kid would. While it is best played with at least two people, if your Labradoodle is obedient enough, you can actually teach him/her to do it by themselves.
- Have someone give your Labradoodle a ‘sit and wait’ cue, while you find a place to hide (or if you have a Labradoodle that’s disciplined enough, you can give them the command before finding your spot.)
- Now you can go and find somewhere to hide. For the first couple of times, you should make it nice and easy for your dog, as this will allow them to learn how the game works.
- As time progresses you can make the game progressively harder. This will ensure that their minds are entertained, while also motivating them to use all of their senses.
- Make sure you give them lots of attention and praise when they find you.
What’s great about this game is that you don’t even have to give your Labradoodle treats to enjoy it. So if you have a dog that’s a bit overweight or you think they might become overweight, this is a great option instead of more treat-based games.
Using puzzles for a dog is one of my favorite brain games for Labradoodles. You can get them in many different sizes and shapes, but they all have one thing in common in that your dog has to figure out, on its’ own, how it can get the hidden reward (treat). As with many other food-related games, they give your dog a lot of mental stimulation and also help to relieve any boredom.
Dog puzzles can be found in many shapes and sizes, and you can find them at pretty much every pet supply store. While some of the puzzles are quite challenging, others can be quite basic. Some can keep a dog entertained for several minutes, while others will only take a few seconds.
Indoor Agility Course
It’s not every day it’s possible to go outside and play, and some don’t have much of a backyard anyway, so if you’re looking for some indoor entertainment for your pup, this is a great option.
- Find basic household items such as toys, towels, chairs, and blankets.
- Set up an obstacle course with these items. Some tasks could be to get your Labradoodle to walk around each chair. And you can also place some towels for him/her to duck under or jump over, and then use blankets for an area where they have to perform some kind of trick.
- When they’ve gotten used to this obstacle course, change it up and start teaching them this new course.
- Your own imagination is the only limit to how difficult the obstacle course can be.
Setting up an indoor agility course is a great way to keep the brain of your Labradoodle challenged and entertained, but they might be a bit annoying to set up and remove when you’re done.
Going treasure hunting is probably one of the easiest games you can play with your Labradoodle, and it doesn’t require all that much effort from you. And not only is it great at stimulating your dogs’ brains, but it will also stimulate all their other senses as well.
The best way to go treasure hunting can be:
- Have your dog sit and stay before you go and hide a treat somewhere. When you’re trying this game for the first few times, make sure to put the treat somewhere really obvious, perhaps even hiding it right in front of their nose.
- Now you should start introducing a cue to begin searching. I usually simply say “find it”. Once your dog has found it, make sure you give them a lot of praise and attention.
- As your Labradoodle starts to understand more and more what the game is about, you can up the challenge. Start putting the treats in places it will take them a bit of time to find. As long as you make sure not to make it too hard immediately.
When your Labradoodle has understood this game, they’re absolutely going to love it. And it’s a great game that will entertain both of you.
The Muffin Tin Game
This game is another very enjoyable one for situations where you don’t have a lot of time to spare, and it’s guaranteed to tease your dog’s mind for several hours.
- Get a muffin tin or something that can fit a tennis ball into each hole. You’ll have to find one where the ball won’t come out too easily but also one where it won’t be too hard to get it out of.
- Once you’ve got one, put some treats with a strong odor into some of the holes in the muffin tin, and on top of that, you place some tennis balls over every hole. By doing it like this, your pup will sometimes take the tennis ball only to find there aren’t any treats in that room, and they will become even more motivated to get the rest.
- Then your Labradoodle should figure out how to get to some treats by removing all the tennis balls.
- If your dog is having difficulty removing the tennis balls, start with something smaller so they won’t have any problems getting to the treats.
The Cup Game
This is another good game to play with your dog, but be aware that it does require some brainpower. And while you can increase the difficulty of the game, your Labradoodle might never quite grasp it, so you might have to keep it simple.
- Take two cups and put them in front of your Labradoodle. Then put a treat under one of the cups.
- Once you’ve put the treat under the cup, let your dog guess exactly what cup it’s placed under. In the beginning, you should give them the treat anyway, no matter what cup they choose. And after 12-15 tries, they will typically start to figure out that every time they guess a cup, they will receive a treat.
- Your next step is to no longer give them a treat when they get the wrong cup. This will usually take a lot more time for your dog to understand. But with continued practice in most cases, they’ll soon learn just to guess.
- When they are able to guess the difference between the wrong cup and the right cup you can make the game even harder. Now you start swapping the cups around, and your Labradoodle might not be able to guess correctly any longer.
- Instead of switching the cups around, you could always try to just add another cup or two to the game as well.
If your Labradoodle has problems guessing correctly, it doesn’t mean that they’re not smart. As with humans, dogs’ intelligence can show in many different ways. And if they aren’t good at guessing what’s hidden under a cup, they can most certainly still be great at a lot of other things.
Do Magic Tricks
There is another game that kind of similar to the cup game that you can play with your Labradoodle. The concept is pretty much the same.
- Allow your Labradoodle to see you place some treats somewhere behind you.
- Now you should put both your hands behind your back and hide a treat in one of your hands. Now show your Labradoodle both hands.
- When they nudge at or show interest in one hand, show them that hand. If they’ve chosen the empty hand, close both your hands again and let them get another guess at finding the right hand.
- Your Labradoodle will in time begin to understand the concept of this game, and they will keep on guessing till they get the right one.
This trick is quite a bit easier than the cup game, so if just have time for a few quick and easy games, this is a perfect fit.
Red Light, Green Light
If you have a Labradoodle that struggles a bit with learning when to be calm and when to be excited, this is a great game. But, if your Labradoodle is extremely excitable then you will have to be a bit more patient with them.
- Before starting with this game, you will have to make sure you have a command for when your Labradoodle should lie down. (Personally, I use the command ‘down’ which does this with my dog.)
- Once your dog has mastered your command you should take them outside. Get your dog to lay down, and then say “Ready…Set…GO!” and on ‘go’ you should sprint a few steps forward, then you should stop and say “Down”. (It may take your Labradoodle a while to lay down the first few times you try this, but when they finally do lay down, give them a treat and a lot of attention.)
- When your dog starts to understand this game better, you can up the speed. When they’ve really mastered it, you could try and say ‘Go’ just at the moment their belly is on the floor.
- And finally, as your dog begins to understand this game better, slow down with the treats so they eventually will play the game for fun, and not because they get a reward.
I love to play this game with my dog, and I’m sure you’ll feel like you’ve really bonded with them after trying this for a while. This is a game that is best played outdoors, but if you have enough room to spare inside your home, it is also a great game for the indoors.
Big or Small
This is another fantastic and simple game that can also teach your dog a completely new trick. Do note that if your dog is overweight, this game probably isn’t the best choice.
- Take a handful of kibble and hold it in one hand, and then take a single piece in your other hand.
- Now extend your closed hands in front of your Labradoodle and say “big” the moment you open both hands.
- If your Labradoodles try to go for the bigger pile, they are allowed to eat them. But if your dog goes for the smaller pile close your hands and do it over again.
- Continue doing this, and your Labradoodle will, in time, associate the word “big” with the bigger stack of kibble.
- When your Labradoodle has comprehended this, you can move into phase two of this game, where you start saying “small” instead of “big”.
- Continue practicing this until your dog has understood what “small” means.
- When they finally understand both words, you can really start to play this game with them. Eventually, you can start saying small or big when you want your dog to go for a specific pile, and your Labradoodle should be able to choose the right pile every time. But remember that you shouldn’t give them a treat until they are able to pick the right one.
If you don’t have enough patience, then this game isn’t the right one for you. And it will most likely take quite a few weeks before your Labradoodle is able to properly play this game. But when they finally understand exactly what the goal of this game is, it will really test their brain.
To get the best results with ring stacking, you should consider using clicker training.
- To start this game, you’re going to have to find some rings and a stick that are a great size for your Labradoodle. (When choosing either, select ones that aren’t going to be harmful to your dog. I prefer wooden, dye-free ones to be the best bet.)
- Then, use the clicker, or something similar, and give your dog a treat when they pick up the ring.
- When they’ve learned this, begin giving them a treat every time they are able to bring a ring to the stick.
- For the first few times, you might have to help guide the ring onto the stick. And when the ring does get onto the stick, click once and give your dog another treat.
- Remember that your Labradoodle most likely isn’t going to understand this game straight away, and it might take up to a few weeks before they are able to completely understand the game.
- When they’ve finally mastered the game, try shaking things up a bit by placing the stick on a different surface such as a wall, so that they have to place the rings horizontally. And if your dog is able to do that, place the stick in a different room than the rings.
This is perhaps one of the most challenging brain games for Labradoodles you can play and it’s a really great test of their mental abilities. As long as you remember to be patient and take it slowly with them. And finally, they will be able to understand exactly how to play this game.
If you’re like me, you’re not a fan of cleaning up toys left by your Labradoodle everywhere, and toy pickup is probably the best game you can choose.
Instead of you having to constantly pick up all of their scattered toys, this game will make them pick up their toys and put them away all on by themselves!
- To begin with, you’ll have to teach your Labradoodle the “drop it” command. The way you do this is by giving them an item to hold onto. And next, you should command them that you want it back, by showing them a treat and using the “drop it” command. If your Labradoodle drops the toy, you can give them a treat. Continues doing this until your dog knows exactly what “drop it” indicates.
- Now, you will have to get them to drop a toy into a box or basket of some kind. Do this by guiding your Labradoodle to the basket when they have picked up a toy in their mouth. Now you should say “drop it”. If they start walking towards the box or basket with the toy or drop it near the basket, you should still reward them.
- When they manage to drop it correctly into the basket on their own, try to add a new command such as “box”. This will teach them the difference between “drop it” and “box”.
- And once they’ve finally mastered the art of putting toys into a box, try to take it one step further. Now get them to pick up a toy, and use a command such as “ball” every time you find a ball for them. Continue doing this for a while and in the end, they will know precisely what this means.
- And in the future, all you will have to do is say “ball” and your dog will grab a ball, and now you can follow it up with “box” and your dog will know that they have to put it in the box.
I wish I could teach my kids this trick just as easily as it was to teach my dog!
The Name Game
Labradoodles are actually able to remember the names of all of their toys, so teaching them the name on its own can be quite a fun game for your Doodle.
Here’s how you should go about doing this:
- Start by finding a toy you want your dog to learn, as we did in the game above, perhaps a ball.
- Give your dog the ball and say “ball”. And whenever they take the ball, give him/her a treat.
- Continue doing this for a few days, and you’ll see that your Labradoodle will start to know what every word means.
- To check just how good your Labradoodle has become say “ball” when one is nearby, and if he/she goes for the ball, you can be certain that the word is understood by them.
- This can be done with every single piece of different toys, and before long, your Labradoodle will know all of his/her toys by name.
Hot & Cold
This is something most of us have played with our friends when we were younger but did you know that it is also possible for you to teach your Labradoodle to play it as well? Hot & Cold is another brain game that works best when you have a clicker, but it can still be done without one.
Do be aware that if you have a Labradoodle that gets easily frustrated, this game might not be the best for them.
- Select an object you want your Labradoodle to pick up.
- When they start to close in on the object, click your clicker, give him/her a treat, and say ‘hot’.
- If your dog starts to move away from the object, you shouldn’t click or give them a treat, just say ‘cold’.
- You should expect that this will take quite a lot of repetition until they are able to finally pick up exactly what you want them to do.
- But as soon as they pick up your chosen object, click the clicker, give a lot of love and attention, and also a treat.
- In time, your dog will start to realize what “cold” and “hot” mean and they will act accordingly.
If you’ve tried regular fetch a million times like most of us dog owners, then you might want to shake up the game a bit, and for that, obedience fetch can be a new and fun method to do.
- Toss a ball for your Labradoodle as you’ve always done.
- But now, when your dog drops the ball, have him/her perform a specific trick for you.
- Avoid throwing the ball until your dog has performed some trick of your choice.
- When they’ve understood what you want them to do, you can start to make it a bit more challenging for your dog.
- For example, you could have them do multiple tricks before you throw the ball.
- And finally, to make it really challenging, have your dog do several different tricks every time, before launching the ball again.
This is an excellent way to train your Labradoodles’ brain, and it isn’t necessary to use any treats for this. So if you’re concerned that your Labradoodle has gained a bit of weight, obedience fetch is definitely something you should consider trying.
The final brain game is excellent if your Labradoodle has a large number of tricks they already know, and this trick is something you can play to keep what they’ve learned constantly fresh in their minds.
This game is also a bit easier if you have a clicker.
- Have your Labradoodle perform a trick for you, and when they do, let them have a treat and use the clicker.
- Then you say “next trick”, and give your dog another treat.
- Continue doing this, until your Labradoodle constantly repeats a trick twice. After that happens, say something such as “no not that…next trick.” And they will soon be able to figure out that they shouldn’t do the same trick twice in a row.
- When your Labradoodle is still a puppy, he/she won’t be able to understand anything of what’s going on, so you should always reward them for just about anything they accomplish, no matter how poor of an attempt it is. As an example, if your dog jumps at you, you can give them a treat, but if they repeat that and do it again, you shouldn’t give them a treat.
- This is another game that will require a great deal of patience on your part, but when your furry friend understands how it’s played, it’s a very good method for keeping all the tricks they already know fresh in their minds.
When your Labradoodle gets really good at either of these games, it’s perfectly fine for you to stretch out the playtime for 15-20 minutes.
When you’ve tried all the other brain games for Labradoodles, I would advise you to take a look at an awesome program created by Adrienne Faricelli called Brain Training for Dogs.
This program is packed with fun games you can play with your dog, and they are all presented in small videos that make it very easy to understand.
And by signing up you will also get access to a members’ area, where you can ask Adrienne any questions directly, and see a lot of case studies.
Check out this link if you want to learn more, I can at least give the program my warmest recommendations.
Now you know a lot of games that will ensure that your Labradoodle won’t have to be bored ever again. There are a lot of different brain games for Labradoodles you can play with them, and if you combine this type of mental stimulation with enough physical exercise, you won’t have any problems keeping your Labradoodle entertained for hours on end.
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