Cockapoo owners know that their dogs are very smart. Well, at least in most cases! But your cockapoo could be even smarter with some brain training, and you could have fun doing these brain training games with him!

People are impressed by the amount that the resident cockapoo here in the Cockapoo Crazy household knows, like the names of objects, rooms, and so many tricks. We know that with a bit more training, we could make him a doggy Einstein. So we are sending some ideas your way and we can all have the smartest dogs on the block!

Brain Tip #1: Teaching A Dog English: Did you know that, by conservative estimates, dogs can learn at least 160 words? Some dogs learn by just listening to you speak everyday, while some may need a little encouragement.

Teach your cockapoo the names of some things, like certain toys. Get a few of your dogs favorite toys and make sure you call them by a one to two word name. These need to be clear and concise, so as not to confuse your cockapoo. Hold up one of the toys and say the name to your dog, then give it to him. Do this a few times and repeat with different toys. Soon you will be able to tell your pup to go get his blue ball, and he will be able to do it. You can name each of his toys and teach your cockapoo all of them, so he will be able to get the toy you ask for! Of course, this applies to more than toys, such as commands (Go to bed!) and even questions (Where’s mommy?) and is guaranteed to impress friends.

Brain Tip #2: Play Brain Games. Dogs need to exercise their brain to learn, stay focused, and not become mentally lazy. Here are some ways to do that.

Play a doggy version of the shell game: You can teach your cockapoo to find an object by scent. This will help his brain and his tracking ability. Take small bowls or cups and line them up. Use at least three. Put the treat you want to use under one bowl that your dog can see, then mix up all the bowls and have your dog sniff it out. He will have to move the bowl over with his nose after sniffing it out, so he gets a bit extra in the training. This is fun for you and your dog, and can be a fun parlor trick to show to your guests.

Hide and seek: Your cockapoo most likely has a favorite toy or a treat that he loves more than anything. If you want to, you can even do this activity with a bit of your cockapoo’s kibble. Make sure that your dog sees that you have the object, or objects, that you are going to hide. If you’ve practiced the “Stay” command according to our free Obedience Training Guide, just tell him to “Stay” so you can hide the item in another room. If not, have someone else hold your pup back so you can hide the item. When finished, say “go get it” and let your cockapoo go to work. He will search everywhere, and if he needs help at first you can give him some encouragement by moving nearer to where you hid the item. Your dog will catch on fast and this will become a nice activity to do inside or out.

You can also encourage brain health through agility training and problem solving toys like these dog puzzles. Even a treat toy stuffed with treats and peanut butter will encourage your cockapoo to think about how to get at the thing he wants. If nothing else, create your own games and just have fun teaching new things to your dog!