20 Ways to Make Your Dog Smarter

Do you want your dog to be smarter? People are often surprised by just how smart dogs already are and how much their dogs can learn and understand.

The key is to start early and be consistent. With some dedication and effort, you can make your dog smarter than you ever imagined. 

As a dog lover and owner, I have a lot of experience with this. My dog was dumb when he was a puppy, but I worked hard to teach him as much as possible. Now he’s a well-trained dog who is super smart, thanks to my time and effort.  

Training a dog can be a wonderful way to teach your furry friend how to behave more appropriately in social settings and provide it with mental exercise and physical exercise.

Dog training classes are great, but there’s no reason you can’t teach your dog a few tricks at home. Here are 21 ways to make your dog smarter: 


1. Teach Your Dog An Eye Contact 

Teaching your dog to make eye contact is a great way to let him know how you feel. This is especially important if you have a dog that suffers from anxiety since making eye contact with you will let him know that he is safe with you.

Making eye contact is also a great way to help your dog develop better listening skills since he will be more focused on you when you make eye contact with him. 

2. Do Hot And Cold Game 

Whether you’re playing fetch with a frisbee or a stick, or you’re jumping through a hoop, your dog is learning something every time you play a game.

But what exactly is your dog learning? The short answer is that games are a great way for your dog to learn impulse control, attention, and general good behavior.

A game of fetch teaches your dog to pay attention to you, and it builds his impulse control by requiring him to hold back his excitement and wait for you to throw the ball. 

3. Switch Your Dog Walking Routine 

Dogs are, of course, very smart at finding ways to get food without us knowing it. Some dogs will hide food under the sofa or behind chairs to eat later.

Others will play a game of keep-away. And then some dogs have figured out the location of the door that you use to let them outside.

You’ll know if your dog has the know-how to go back outside by what happens when you open the door. If your dog goes to the door to go outside, he likely has a schedule of when to relieve himself.

If your dog doesn’t go to the door, then you’ll need to go through the house and sniff out the location of your dog’s bathroom spot. 


4. Teach Them To Solve A Problem 

Dogs are amazing animals. They fulfill many roles in our lives, from loyal sidekicks to faithful friends. However, did you know that your dog is also your ultimate wingman?

Whether you want to impress the object of your affection or just get out of an awkward situation, dogs are an excellent way to approach the person you have your eye on. 

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Dogs are one of man’s best friends. They are fun to play with, great listeners, and have the instinct to please us. However, dogs do not come from the factory with the knowledge we want and need them to know.

Dogs are not born “knowing” how to walk on a leash, sit for treats, and stay out of the trash. They need to be taught, and you have the opportunity to teach them. 

5. Do A DIY Treat Game 

It’s not hard to make a DIY treat dispensing toy for your dog. All you need to do is make a small hole on a tennis ball and put a bit of peanut butter inside.

The dog will get a treat out as you or your dog twist the ball, and it’s a fun way to keep your dog busy with a brainteaser. 

Dogs play an important role in our lives. They bring joy and companionship, but more than that, they help us to live happier, healthier lives. You can easily spend hours playing with your dog, and that keeps you moving.

A dog is the best companion you can have for activities like hiking, camping, or just playing fetch in the backyard. And playing a game with your dog can make him smarter! 

6. Put Dog Treat In A Plastic Bottle 

Although most dogs naturally enjoy food, many are not interested in treats simply for the sake of treats.

To see if dogs might be open to treats that had a purpose, we conducted a little experiment with our dog, Scout, and her favorite brand of dog treats, Milk-Bone.

The premise of our experiment was simple: would Scout eat the treats if we put them in a plastic water bottle and turned it into a puzzle? 

Dogs love to get treats, but you may not always want to give them one. This can be a problem if your dog misbehaves or wants them not to jump up on someone.

The solution is to hide a treat in something your dog likes and get them to work for it. You can use a plastic bottle or a plastic zip-lock bag to get your dog’s brain going and stop them from jumping on your guests. 


7. Fun And Plush Dog Puzzle Toys 

Dog toys are a great way to keep your dog occupied and healthy. While some dogs enjoy squeaky toys, others aren’t interested in them.

If you have a dog that has outgrown your squeaky toys, you may want to find other ways to occupy your dog. One fun and plush dog puzzle toy is a Tug-O-Dog from Outward Hound. 

Dogs love to chew, and dogs love to play, so it makes sense that dog toys combine both of those things. Dog puzzle toys are just one example of this type of toy, where you have to play with your dog to unravel the toy to get to the treats hidden within.

Some dog puzzle toys also hide treats to encourage dogs to solve puzzles independently, without the need for human interaction. Because these toys combine toys and treats, they’re great for rewarding good behavior or training dogs. 

8. DIY Dog Agility Course 

Agility is an activity that can help keep your dog physically and mentally active while also building a stronger bond with you.

Building a DIY dog agility course in your yard is not as hard as it sounds, especially since the price tag won’t break the bank. 

Agility is a fun and challenging sport for dogs that involve running, jumping, and climbing through various obstacles at top speed.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on agility equipment, you can make your agility course at home. All you’ll need is some rope or hose, some sturdy cardboard boxes, and a few balls and toys. 

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9. Play Hide And Seek 

You’re probably familiar with hide-and-seek, the classic childhood game. You are probably also familiar with the various problems it presents to dogs, such as not understanding the instructions, or not understanding why they have to hide behind the couch the one place you can’t reach them, or why they can’t just jump on the counter and find you right away. Dog owners are often frustrated by their dog’s lack of understanding of the game. 


10. Do Physical Manipulation Everyday 

Our dogs and cats are our best friends, so we want to return the favor. Some cats and dogs are smart enough to learn up to 250 words, with a vocabulary similar to a 2-year-old child.

But can you teach your pet a few new tricks? Sure, you can use verbal reinforcement, but physical manipulation is also a good way to motivate your dog to do something. 

Pets are ready to learn, even if you’re not. They love to play, exercise and interact with us. 

11. Teach New Tricks 

The best way to get your dog to learn a new trick is to ensure that he is motivated to do so. You can do this in two ways: by increasing his desire to perform the trick and decreasing his desire to do other things.

The easiest way to do this is to make sure that he is hungry. If he’s been on a long walk, he will also be tired, which means that he will be less likely to get distracted by anything else. 

12. Socialize Your Dog 

Ever wonder why dogs are so friendly? It’s not because they have no choice. They have an entirely different “language” for communicating with each other.

It’s called body language, and it’s one of the ways dogs communicate with each other. The same body language that dogs use to communicate with each other is used to communicate with you. Dogs use their bodies to tell you what they want and how they feel. 

13. Start Training Your Dog 

Training your dog is a big responsibility. And if you’re not careful, it can also end up costing you lots of time, money, and tears (not to mention the destruction of your favorite shoes).

So, where do you even begin? We’re here to help. From potty training to teaching your puppy new tricks, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to train your dog. 


14. Exposed Them In Some Tests And Problems 

One of the most important traits you can look for in a dog is a good disposition. A good disposition will positively impact your dog’s behavior and attitude toward family members, strangers, and other dogs. A good disposition also may help your dog cope better with new situations and environments. 

15. Introduce New Commands 

Is your dog good at tricks? Maybe they can do some new tricks for you. Also, have you ever seen your dog’s brain at work? It is really interesting. It would be interesting for you to get some new commands and see how your dog reacts. 

16. Give Them Praises 

If your dog is like most dogs, it will enjoy some praise from time to time. Praises are more than just words of encouragement; they are the food that makes the dog’s brain grow.

“The basic way you build a dog’s brain is through praise,” says Stanley Coren, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of How Dogs Think. 

This is a great idea, and I’m sure it will be useful to many people, but I felt uncomfortable stealing this idea directly from the source.

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I’m not a dog owner myself, and while I certainly like dogs, I don’t feel like I can write an intro paragraph that would do it justice. So, I decided to adapt it slightly, 


17. Word Association 

Word association is a game where you give the first word/phrase that comes to mind when you hear a word, and your partner does the same.

You take turns, and the game ends when someone gives a word that no one in their right mind would associate with the word that came before it. 

Many people think intelligence is the ability to learn how to do things, like fetch or shake, and that intelligence is measured by the number of tricks a dog knows.

Others say that a truly smart dog can learn from its environment and make good choices, like a dog who does not run into the street because it has learned that cars are dangerous. 

18. Gestures 

Dogs do many things that seem pretty smart: fetching balls, sniffing out drugs, and even helping the blind. But as it turns out, many of these behaviors aren’t that impressive.

They’re just gestures! Dogs don’t have a language like humans do, so they pick up certain gestures from us and then do them back. This helps us communicate with them and lets them know what we want. It’s a pretty clever system if you ask us. 

Positive reinforcement is a technique that can be used to train dogs. It is a form of operant conditioning, and the goal of positive reinforcement is to reinforce desired behaviors with rewards.

Many trainers and pet owners believe that positive reinforcement is the best way to train dogs. Reward-based training is based on learning theory principles, which have been used to train both humans and animals successfully.

There are many ways to reward dogs, ranging from threats and praise to play and affection. 


19. Play Brain Games 

Playing games with your dog can be a great way to strengthen the bond you have with her and to enrich her life. You can play several games with your dog simply using your imagination, household items, and your dog’s instincts. 

In addition to this, playing games with your dog is a great way to keep her mind and body active. Challenging your dog’s mind will stave off boredom, a common reason for misbehaving. 

20. Hide Your Dog Toys 

Results from a new study show that dogs are smarter than we think. In the study, researchers found that dogs can learn new words and that they’re much better at it than we thought.

In the study, a dog was given a command and then shown a series of objects that were paired with that command. The dog was then asked to select the object paired with the command from among a group of objects.

After that, the dog was shown the original paired object and a new one—but without the command. If the dog chose the new object, researchers knew the dog had learned a new word. 

Dogs have been mans’ best friend for thousands of years. Today, dogs are intelligent, loving, and loyal. But did you know that having a smart dog did not start as an intentional effort?

Dogs were domesticated in the past, and humans selectively bred dogs to look like they wanted or have traits that would make them more useful.

However, this did not consider the way a dog’s brain works or the fact that a dog’s brain is comparable in size (weight and volume) to a human child. What does this mean for you? That your dog has the potential to be smarter than you are. 

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