Puzzling It Out

Puzzling It Out
July 12, 2013 by Sandy Robins

I have been researching dog and cat intelligence for an article that I am currently working on and it is truly a fascinating topic.

The way to gauge canine intelligence is by how a dog performs and learns different behaviors. I discovered that American psychologist Edwin Thorndike was the first person in the early 1900s to test this animal behavior theory to learn more about both feline and canine intelligence. He created special puzzles boxes from which his subjects has to figure out how to exit and, when they did, they got a treat.

There is no record of how his published results have impacted the plethora of puzzle toys that exist for our pets today but there has to be a connection.

It's a fact that our dogs have to spend many hours alone when their owners are out working to earn the kibble and consequently boredom is a huge issue. The plethora of dog puzzles now available are wonderful to keep pets mentally engaged and physically active as they try and figure them out.

What I like about them is that they are available in different degrees of difficulty so that you can truly test your pooche’s cognitive skills.

One of the biggest ranges of puzzles on the market comes from a company called Kyjen www.shop.kyjen.com/plastic-puzzles. Recently I got several samples and had a lot of fun putting them to the test.

What we did was set up a game night with neighborhood dogs and let them compete against one another.  Everyone had a good time and the dogs got to take home a puzzle as a reward.

Dogs really enjoy a good challenge. These puzzles are plastic. So when they get very drooly, you can rinse them under a tap or pop them into a dishwasher.

They are a great gift for the dog who has everything ...

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