Whether we are talking about physical or mental activities, they have the advantage of occupying and entertaining our companions, avoiding long, boring days. The overall activity of a dog in a day is made up of:
- locomotor activities,
- vocal activities,
- masticatory activities,
- intellectual activities,
- sexual activities
Each of these categories brings together countless examples. Our dog spends time drinking and eating, peeing, going out into the garden and exploring, chewing on his toys (or the couch), playing with the other pets in the family, cleaning himself, being petted, … Their daily average activity is ± 8 hours per 24 (they need to sleep an average of ± 16h, up to 20h for a puppy).
The maxim “a healthy mind, in a healthy body” invites us to carry out both types of activities. This is also true for our dogs. According to Professor Bernard Sablonnière “Regular exercise stimulates neurogenesis by activating the release of neurotrophins, and cognitive stimulation activates the survival of young neurons formed in the hippocampus by promoting their connectivity in existing neural networks. “. Physical exercise helps to create new neurons, and mental stimulation helps in the development of these new neurons and their connection to the existing network. It is a team work.
Let us acknowledge that when we think about the activities of our dogs, the majority of us automatically think of physical activities, such as running, swimming, jumping, … All these occupations seem natural to us. Depending on the breed, predispositions can also be noticed: a shepherd will actively gather the people around him (people, dogs, …), a greyhound will sprint, a ratter will go on a hunt for small critters that would unfortunately run in front of him, …
During physical activities, one of the fifth senses of our dog goes into action (smell, sight, hearing, touch, taste), which, logically, makes his brain and neurons work (= mental stimulation). However, dynamic physical activities leave little time for the brain to analyze and process the sensory information provided.
 Source : Joël Dehasse, médecin vétérinaire et comportementaliste
 Source : Pr Bernard Sablonnière, médecin et biologiste français : « Le cerveau, les clés de son développement et de sa longévité »
 Neurogénèse : création d’un neurone
 Neurotrophines : molécules indispensables à la survie des neurones