The term “enrichment” refers to fulfilling the needs of animals. It’s not about keeping your dog entertained or exhausting him and more about encouraging, empowering, and encouraging him to engage in specific behaviors of the species. It helps keep dogs mentally, emotionally as well as physically healthy and can help to prevent and alleviate behavior problems.
Activities that are truly enriching result in positive, visible, and quantifiable behavior change. Let’s say your dog goes bonkers over deliveries. However, on days when he’s had sniffer before, he’s only barking for a minute, not three. In the mornings, when you the breakfast food around, he’s calmer and laid down rather than pacing around when you go to work. Let’s go through three simple ideas for enriching your dog that will have a positive effect on your dog.
Dog enrichment idea 1: Scatter feeding
Time-outs are essential and why not use them to enrich your life? Scatter feeding is an easy method to tap into your dog’s natural need to hunt. It is best when it is paired with the kibble but it is possible to substitute other dry foods with low calories like Cheerios to make it more interesting.
- Take a picture of your dog’s food and let him go outside.
- Start with a small amount. Sprinkle the food into 2 feet of space, and then encourage your dog to look around the surroundings for it.
- The sprinkler space should be increased gradually to cover as wide an area as you can.
If you are feeding your dog free then scatter feeding is unlikely to perform. Another motive is not to feed your pet!
It is also possible to do this indoors with blankets, snuffle mats, and even newspapers for dogs that don’t like eating food items that aren’t edible.
Dog enrichment idea 2: Sniffaris
The dogs’ sniffers are their most powerful weapon. A short walk around the neighborhood or sniffer can be a boon to your dog’s mental health. It releases dopamine which is the “feel great” chemical that is found in the brain and promotes calmness. Explore wherever your dog’s scent will lead you, even if that involves examining the same area for a long time. Utilize the long lead to let your dog be free to explore. Change the way you walk your dog to different areas or take a different route and encourage out-of-the-way experiences with new scents.
Dog enrichment idea 3: Digging
You should make sure your pet is encouraged to dig! Digging is a specific behavior for each species that we often punish instead of encouraging. By providing the right areas for him to dig, you’ll be less likely to disturb your garden!
- Purchase or construct a sandbox, and put it in a location that has some shade. Kiddie pools make great sandboxes, too.
- A majority of dogs do not require any stimulation to get their feet on the soft sand. However, you can always put treats in the ground or a favorite toy to encourage them to move.
- Make sure to mark or click when your dog gets dirty.
- If he is trying to dig another place in the yard, Use a positive interrupt (such such as “oopsie!” or “sorry” or “too bad”) and gently draw him back to his Sandbox by offering a sweet small treat.
- It is possible repeat this process multiple times, particularly in the case of a dog that was in the process of tearing the turf.
The way you provide enrichment should also be long-lasting for the human over the long run. Deciding what is beneficial to your dog might require some time, but when you’ve established a set of activities that will benefit your dog, you’ll be able to quickly provide at a minimum two short opportunities each day to meet both your schedule and the dog’s requirements.