Boredom and biting go hand in hand. A puppy with nothing to do will find something to do, and often that something involves sharp little puppy teeth on valuable pieces of furniture or fragile human skin.

Think of it this way: chewing is to bored puppies what scrolling social media is to you while you're waiting for the dentist. If there's nothing else to do, that's what you'll do.

A helpful solution then is to give your puppy something to do. That's where mental stimulation comes in. Mental stimulation is just a fancy way of saying "making your puppy think."

Now, this isn't the answer to everything. It's okay and even encouraged to have a life outside your puppy, so no one expects you to always be there to provide "mental stimulation."

Instead, it's just another tool in your tool belt. Sometimes you'll reach for the management tool, sometimes the physical stimulation tool, and other times you'll go mental.

One reason you might reach for that mental tool first: training is mental stimulation. What better way is there to spend your precious time than accomplishing two goals with one game?

What follows in this section are Harper's favorite games for making your puppy think. One thing all these games have in common is they help your puppy practice making good decisions. It's the most important skill any dog can have and the foundation of a great relationship with your pup.

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