Keeping a Husky happy requires more work than most people expect. Honestly, their high-energy personalities can create issues for even experienced pet owners. So it’s vital to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep their boundless energy in check.
Games capable of providing mental stimulation are an excellent option. These games offer a release value for any pent-up energy while keeping your Husky’s brain working. I’ll even highlight five of my favorites to give you a solid starting point.
But before I dive into these games, let’s discuss the importance of mental stimulation. It’s crucial to know why it is a major component of keeping your Husky happy!
Why is Mental Stimulation Important for Huskies?
Mental stimulation doesn’t get the attention it should from dog owners. Instead, most people will prioritize exercise and other physical activities when developing a schedule for their pups. But the mental side is just as essential to your dog’s overall well-being.
In other words, keeping your dog’s brain engaged helps keep them healthy. That’s why owners must provide multiple methods of mental stimulation. Otherwise, your dog won’t be as happy as possible.
But health isn’t the only reason why mental stimulation is important for our puppers. So let’s take a look at some reasons why owners must do their best to provide it.
1. Promotes Happiness and Keeps Their Brain Engaged
It may seem overwhelming to think about whether your Husky is happy. It can drive a dog owner a little crazy because our canines won’t be giving verbal feedback. I’ll admit the thought enters my mind multiple times per day.
However, it’s an essential exercise because dogs can suffer from depression much like humans do. So owners must do whatever possible to keep them from feeling down or falling into a depressive state.
An excellent way to keep it from happening is by providing heaps of mental stimulation. It could be from playing games, more walks, or even learning new tricks. Any activity capable of making them use their brains.
Furthermore, Huskies are known for being an active breed. So their stimulation needs are much higher than most dogs. So you must be extra cautious to ensure they get their necessary physical and mental exercise.
If you do, it’ll keep their brain engaged and help fight off conditions like dementia. It’s an easy way to provide the best life possible for your Husky. After all, their lives are a bit shorter than ours, so it’s essential to make sure they’re happy for every single day of it.
2. Prevents Boredom and Encourages Good Behavior
Since they’re an active breed, boredom is a massive issue for Huskies. It can make them act out and entertain themselves with destructive behaviors. Ever have that recurring nightmare of coming home to your couch being ripped apart? Pent-up energy and boredom is how it becomes a reality.
But providing constant sources of mental stimulation can lessen the possibility significantly. It’ll also lower their aggression and anxiousness. In turn, your Husky will be better behaved, especially when left alone at home.
Many owners have reported it being helpful in the socialization process, as well. Keeping their brains engaged can help them acclimate to the idea of other dogs or pets. It’ll encourage good behavior in many areas.
3. Exceptional Training Tool for Younger Huskies
Training younger Huskies isn’t always the fun experience an owner anticipates. Sometimes, you’ll need all the help you can get. Mentally stimulating toys and games are invaluable tools in cultivating a successful training process.
After all, these games make them more confident while teaching good behavior. You also won’t find a better outlet for any pent-up energy (and no more zoomies). So it can help your Husky release it, which allows them to focus solely on what you’re trying to teach them.
4. Excellent Way to Bond With Your Pup
Bonding with their pup is a top priority for every owner. Nothing does this better than mentally stimulating activities, such as walks in the park, games, or teaching them tricks. It’ll help them become familiar with your personality and calm, especially during the early years.
Spending any time with your dog will help cultivate a better bond. So these activities are another way to strengthen it while providing all these other benefits. Therefore, it’s a good idea to set aside time each day for these activities.
5 Fun Mental Stimulation Games for Your Husky
It’s now time to discuss fun ways your Husky can get their required mental stimulation. I’ve collected a list of five games that have proven track records. Each one has provided me with endless amounts of bonding memories with my pups.
So let’s see if one or multiple could be fun options for your pup. I promise, there’s no reason your Husky won’t love playing these games!
1. Hiding Your Husky’s Treats
I thought it’d be fun to start with an old favorite: hiding your dog’s treats. It has been used by owners to keep their dog’s mind busy for a long time. It provides them with mental stimulation while making them use their noses to find the rewards.
Additionally, it’s fun to watch your dog search and sniff for their treats. I have done this activity with various breeds, and all seem to have a blast. Huskies won’t be any different, and it may even become their favorite game. I should also mention playing the game couldn’t be easier.
How to Play
It starts by grabbing a few treats and getting your dog in a sitting position. Tell them to stay while you put treats around them on the ground.
Once the treats are in place, give your dog the release command by saying, “Find the treats.” They should chomp down on them immediately. But don’t forget to praise them while they find these treats.
After a few times, your Husky should understand what “Find the treats” means. You can start placing the treats further away and hiding them in more challenging places. Huskies should be good at this game, so don’t be afraid to be creative.
2. Red Light Green Light
The classic grade school game can be effective with your Husky. “Red Light, Green Light” has become a favorite in my household to help manage my dog’s hyperactive nature. Husky owners deal with the same issue, so this game is a perfect option.
For instance, this game can be a godsend for teaching a dog impulse control. You can use it to teach them how to stop and start on command, which is extremely helpful. Plus, it’s not too difficult to show a dog how to do it.
How to Teach Your Dog the Red Light Command
You’ll want to start by teaching them the red light command. Begin by asking them to sit/stay and walk a few steps away from your Husky. Next, face them with a treat or toy in your hand and call them over.
As they come over, raise your hand and make a stop signal while saying “red light.” You may have to step toward them to stop your dog completely. Once they stop, reward them and praise them.
Keep practicing and increase the distance each time. Over time, they’ll understand the “red light” command and follow it at any distance without issue.
How to Teach Your Husky the Green Light Command
The process for teaching the green light command isn’t too dissimilar. You start with them in a sit/stay position and take a few steps away from them. Face them with a treat in your hand, but this time don’t call them over by their name: say “green light”.
You should also motion them over with your hands if they don’t understand immediately. Give them the treat when they come over to you. Repeat the process and increase the distance until you’re comfortable with it.
3. Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is an excellent way to get your dog’s brain working. It makes them think about how to find their human without causing them too much stress. Moreover, it can be quite a workout if you get creative with your hiding spots.
But there could be an issue if your dog doesn’t have a good handle on the “stay” command. It may require a second person to keep your dog’s focus while you hide. Aside from this minor issue, hide and seek is an easy/fun way to keep your dog’s mind turning!
How to Play
The game itself works by getting your dog to stay in a sitting position. Once obeyed, find a hiding spot around your house or yard. It’s not too much fun if they can see you hiding, though, so make it a little tricky for your Husky.
After hiding, call your dog’s name until they find the hiding spot. Give them a treat or praise when they do catch you. It’ll make them understand that this game has a nice reward for following through with it. So they should want to play again!
4. The Which Hand Game
Recently, I was having trouble finding a new game to entertain my dog. One of my friends suggested teaching him “The Which Hand Game.” I’d heard of it, but I thought it’d take forever to get my dog to learn.
I vastly underestimated how easy this game is to teach. It also does an excellent job at making a canine problem-solve to get a reward. In this regard, it met what I wanted in a new game to an absolute tee.
How to Play
The best part is all you need for the game is some treats. Once you’ve grabbed them, have your dog stay in a sitting position. Your Husky’s will focus strictly on the treats, which you should use to your advantage.
Make sure to allow your dog to watch the treats go into your hand (left or right). Next, you’ll want to close both hands into a downward-facing fist, extend them toward your Husky, and say “Which?” Once your dog touches the correct fist, release the treat and praise them.
Some dogs will take a bit of time to understand the game. But with time, I’m confident your Husky won’t have any trouble getting it. The key is to only reward them when they touch the correct hand. It’ll engrain in their minds that’s what releases the treat.
5. Teach Your Husky New Tricks
The last game isn’t much of a game but rather an open-ended challenge. I want to suggest trying to teach your Husky a few new tricks. After all, trick teaching is one of the most rewarding ways to provide sizable amounts of mental stimulation.
It also doesn’t hurt that Huskies are capable of learning almost anything. These dogs are one of the smarter breeds, so high-level tricks and obstacle courses aren’t out of the question. Here’s a great video showcasing a few more challenging commands I’d recommend trying with your pup.
Somehow, I even managed to teach my Beagle a few of them. He’s not the best when it comes to listening to me.
How Much Mental Stimulation Does A Husky Need?
Every Husky’s stimulation requirements will be different as they aren’t all the same. It can vary based on their preferences and overall lifestyle. But generally, this breed is an overly active one with high physical and mental exercise needs.
Most experts recommend about an hour or two of mental stimulation daily through walks, games, training, or other activities. But regardless, you must plan on providing it every day without fail.
Of course, don’t do it in a single exercise session. This stimulation amount would overwhelm your Husky if provided all at one time. It’s much better to separate the activity into various sessions throughout the day.
In this way, think about much like their food. You don’t want to give them their entire daily food intake in a single feeding session. Instead, it’s much healthier to separate it into multiple feedings to prevent health issues.
You’re now more than ready to meet a Husky’s mental stimulation needs. The only part left is to teach your dog these fun games and keep things fresh. If you do, there’s no reason to believe your Husky won’t be an incredibly happy pup.
But remember, these games can’t be the end-all solution. You still need to take them on walks and find other activities to engage their minds. It’s all about hitting that one to two-hour requirement in different ways throughout the day.
Lastly, don’t forget to let me know how these games worked with your Husky in the comment section. I’d also love to hear about any new ideas that you’ve discovered. Thanks for reading!