This article makes a great point that I don't see enough in the press — teaching your pet some tricks is a form of enrichment! It keeps their brains active, reduces behavior problems, and strengthens the relationships between pets and their owners. So play with your pet and teach them something, not just for your benefit, but for theirs.
"Probably the biggest reason dogs misbehave is they don't get enough exercise or mental stimulation," says Teresa Hanula of A Dog's World Dog Training & Pet Care in Fairfax, Va., whose trick-savvy 3-year-old border collie, Leroy, has his own Web site, www.theamazingleroy.com. "A half-hour of training can tire them out more than hour at a dog park. And it helps them learn how to learn."
Another advantage to trick training is that owners get less hung up on obedience, says Gerilyn Bielakiewicz, author of The Only Dog Tricks Book You'll Ever Need. "It's a lot more lighthearted, and people don't expect their dog to do it, so they're kinder and more generous with reinforcements -- which is how we should be all the time."
Read the full article here: Pet tricks are brain games; like Sudoku for dogs