Humans need mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy – and dogs are no different! There are a lot of options out there for games and toys that stimulate your dog’s brain and encourage them to think while playing. However, there are also some great games that you can make yourself with household items that will provide endless entertainment for your pup. Here are our top 5 easy DIY brain games dogs.


1 DIY Brain Game for dogs: Snuffle Mat

Snuffle mats are fun to have and easy to make. They encourage your dog to do some nose work, using their sense of smell to find the hidden treats – stimulating their brain and rewarding them afterward.


  • One rubber mat (you can cut it to your preferred size and shape)
  • One fleece blanket
  • Lots of treats!

Click here to see it in a video: How to make a SNUFFLE MAT for your dog

To make the mat, cut the fleece blanket into small 4-5cm wide segments and tie them around the mat until the whole area is covered. That’s it! Hide the treats in the mat and let the hunting begin! You can see our DIY Snuffle Mat post here.

Dog with snuffle mat

2 DIY Brain Game for dogs: Cardboard Train

All aboard the doggy train! This trick can keep your dog entertained for hours and you don’t need to worry about paying too much for this doggy ride. We recommend using items that you already have at home, which can easily entertain your pouch just as well as an expensive toy.


  • A few cardboard kitchen or bathroom tube rolls (use as many as you want, depending on how long you want the train to be)
  • An old scarf
  • Delicious treats

Just pull the scarf through the tube rolls and make a knot at each end. Hide the treats in the rolls and… you’re done! This one is easy, free, and entertaining.


3 DIY Brain Game for dogs: Hide & Seek

One of the oldest games to ever exist. We all know this one, and dogs can play it too! In this case, it’s more adventurous and the reward is delicious.


  • A few empty shoeboxes
  • Some small towels
  • Delicious treats

To get started, place the towels in the shoeboxes and hide treats underneath. Then hide the boxes around the house (in dog-friendly places, of course! We don’t recommend putting a box in your expensive china cabinet) and let the hunting begin!


4 DIY Brain Game for dogs: Spin the bottle

This popular game will keep your dog mentally stimulated and will motivate them to become better and better.


  • Two empty plastic bottles
  • A string
  • Two chairs
  • And as always, treats

Tie the string around the bottlenecks and around the chairs so the bottles are hanging and easy to spin. Put treats in the bottles and let your dog play – getting the treats out of the bottles one by one.


5 DIY Brain Game for dogs: The treasure hunt

Remember the trick from earlier with the kitchen or bathroom tube rolls? Here is another easy-to-do and interactive one:


  • A plastic tray or a box
  • Tube rolls to fill out the box
  • Tasty treats

Click here to see it in a video: Paper Roll Treat Box – DIY Mental Workout for Dogs

Place the treats on the bottom of the box, put the tube rolls on top and invite your dog for an adventurous sniffable treasure hunt.

So, here you’ll have it! Our top 5 DIY brain games for dogs, to stimulate and engage your dog in the easiest and inexpensive way!

We hope you get inspired and now you can turn your living room into a playful environment for your dog. Let your creativity flow and feel free to share with us any fun DIY game ideas you might have!