Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? A recent study from researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna found that older pups are not only able to learn tablet games, but are also able to age more gracefully because of it.
The November 2017 research found that tablet games on touchscreen devices can serve as a form of brain training for our four-legged friends. Researchers say playing these games can help keep your doggo more cognitively alert and engaged into his or her later years. As you might know already, our fur babies benefit from a good amount of mental exercise, so it’s encouraging to hear that they may be able to stay sharp into old age by learning new tasks.
“Many of the dog owners who participated were very skeptical about whether their dogs could learn to use the touchscreen,” lead researcher Lisa Wallis said in an interview with Digital Trends. “Indeed, the older dogs took longer to train, but were able to learn the protocol and to complete the tasks we set them.”
One brain teaser included challenging the dog to select a certain icon with its nose on the touchscreen. If the canine succeeded, he or she would get a treat from the owner. Wallis said the older dogs took their time with the tasks, but eventually caught on — and even had some fun along the way!
“Not only were they able to learn, but many owners remarked how much their dogs enjoyed their touchscreen sessions,” she said.
However, she did caution that this activity may frustrate dogs in some cases. She suggests owners keep an eye out for signs of stress while their dog is playing.
Would you try this activity with your aging dog?
Next, see some of the world’s biggest dogs in the video below:
h/t Digital Trends