Enrichment - all the doggy things
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
Dogs do so much to enrich our lives, it’s only fair that we return the favor. Enrichment can bring more joy into your dog’s life, and help curb some not so welcome behaviors. Below are some quick and easy ways to spice up your pup’s life, which will in turn enhance the loving bond you already have.
Nose work. Hide tasty treats throughout a room and let your dog sniff them out. Variations on this include using a snuffle mat, hiding treats in a towel or under cups, and hiding treats in one hand, then offering both fists for your dog to choose which one holds the prize. You can also offer hand towels treated with different scents for your dog to engage with.
Container feeding. Instead of eating from a bowl, container feeding makes your dog work for their meal. A super common way to do this is with a food dispensing toy such as a Kong. You can also place food in a cardboard box or tube, or even a paper bag. For many dogs, the ripping and shredding satisfies their natural instincts. Watch it in action here!
Digging. If you have a digger on your hands, providing acceptable alternatives just might save your yard. You can create a dig box by filling a tub or box with toys and treats tucked within layers of towels or blankets, or try a digging toy such as the iDig. If you have the outdoor space, a covered sandbox filled with some fun toys can let your dog do their own yard work while you do yours.
Set up an obstacle course. Agility challenges can help your dog build confidence, while increasing their bond with you. You can simply line up a few chairs and lead our dog to weave in and out between them. Your fort building skills can come into play as you find ways to create tunnels and hurdles. For an outdoor course, you can purchase equipment or create your own.
What types of enrichment does your dog enjoy? Please share in the comments!