The best tip to offer is to do tricks with your dog. While it is important to exercise them outside on a good walk and give them a chance to run free, socialize with other dogs in an offleash area, working their brains is just as important.

If you notice after taking your dog to training classes they come home and sack out. Most dogs will get extremely tired from doing brain work. I like to offer rainy day tips and tricks and encourage these fun activities during nice days as well.

The biggest effort a dog can make is to control their impulses. Sitting still when they want to move, leaving a treat or their food when they want to eat it and waiting to go get that ball or toy. Using reward based training techniques for these basic training opportunities will not only train your dog to be better behaved but will also make them very tired from all that mental effort.

Start by getting your dog’s attention, then when they are looking at you, pop a healthy treat in their mouth. Don’t use the treat to get their attention, just to hold it. The first time you do this, your dog will be ready for you to do it again and again. Especially if they are food motivated.

Continue to get their attention and immediately pop that healthy treat in their mouth. As you do this, your dog will quickly learn to look at you anticipating that treat. This is the time to start waiting before delivering the treat to help them learn that all important impulse control. As your dog’s skills grow, you can increase difficulty like moving further away, or holding onto the treat longer, having them lay down and wait instead of sitting.

All of these added components will make it harder for them and therefore will grow their brains and their abilities. This will also teach them how important it is to look to you before deciding what to do allowing you to mold them into great citizens.