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Dog Enrichment 101 What You Need To Know

Learning dog enrichment is critical to meet the needs of your pup both physically and mentally! That way your dog, is fully satisfied living a fulfilling and enriching life!

If you’re wondering what dog enrichment is or even how to enrich the life of your dog, you’re in the right place! In this article, we’re diving deep into what canine enrichment is and the best ways to enrich the life of your pup!

What Is Dog Enrichment?

Dog enrichment is about improving the quality of your pup’s life, so that your dog has all his natural needs met both physically, mentally and, in your dog’s day-to-day life!

Why Enrich The Life Of Your Dog?

Dog enrichment

You may be wondering, “what’s the big deal about dog enrichment?” “Why should I even care?”

The truth is, many dogs in today’s society are under-stimulated and spend the majority of their lives in our homes, without much stimulation or enrichment!

Below we’ll go over the reasons why dog enrichment is so important for your pup!

Why Dog Enrichment Is So Important.

Many times, as we go about our day-to-day lives as humans, our pups are usually left at home without much to do.

This may not seem like a big deal as many dogs just fall asleep through the day but the true issue lies in the fact that dogs that are not living an enriched and fulfilled life tend to have more behavioral issues.

It’s not uncommon to see a dog that isn’t living an enriched life have more “pent up” energy, pull on the leash, bark at strangers, dogs, growl, and even, bite! 

That means if your struggling with behavior with your pup it could be a direct result of the lack of dog enrichment!

Benefits Of Dog Enrichment 

Physically and Mentally Fulfilled

Proper dog enrichment will fulfill and satisfy your dog’s physical and mental needs, remember many behavioral issues in dogs arise due to not fulfilling your dog’s natural needs.

More Relaxed Dog

When you begin to enrich everyday life for your pup you’ll notice that your dog will be more and more relaxed because you are taking the time to enrich your dog’s lives in a way that benefits your dog!

A Dog That Listens More

Dog enrichment is not only a great way to only build a stronger bond with your dog but when done right and consistently also begins teaching your pup to listen to you.

Yes, dog enrichment is also training even if you don’t realize it!

A Happier Dog

Ultimately aside from the many benefits, this is probably one of the biggest of them all! Dog enrichment essentially leaves you with a happier and more fulfilled pup.

Dog Enrichment Made Easy

Canine enrichment doesn’t have to be difficult, or rocket science. Below we have listed out the best dog enrichment games you can practice with your pup that he/she will regardless of age or breed!

Treat Chase:

Treat chasing is a great game anyone can play with their pups! 

This short game fulfills your dog’s “prey drive” or desire to chase, physically gives your pup an outlet, teaches your dog to begin listening to you, all while making it all a game for your pup!

What you’ll need: Treats, Open Space

How To: 

  1. Get your dogs a favorite treat 
  2. The moment your dog looks up at you say “get it” and toss the treat away from you and your pup.
  3. When your dog gets to the treat you tossed say “come” and run away 
  4. When your dog is running towards you, give your pup a treat.
  5. Repeat!

Fetch

dog enrichment

Fetch is also a great game for dog enrichment! Why you ask? 

Well because playing fetch satisfies a dog’s natural prey drive and desire to chase! 

What you’ll need:  A Frisbee, a Ball, or a tug toy.

How To:

  1. Get your pup interested in the toy.
  2. Toss the toy a short distance away from you.
  3. Encourage your pup to come to you by running away.
  4. Repeat

To read the definitive step by step guide to teaching your pup how to play fetch click here

Tug Of War

Dog enrichment

Tug of war is another great game for dog enrichment! Tug of war is another game that satisfies a dog’s natural need to chase and catch something. This is also known as a dogs “prey drive”

Satisfying your dog’s prey drive leads to a dog that is enriched and fulfilled.

To learn how to play tug with your pup step by step read our guide on the tug of war.

Scent Games 

Scent games are a great form of dog enrichment!

Scent games use a dog’s nose to satisfy his/her desire to “search or seek” every dog has a natural desire to smell, it’s a dog’s number one sense.

By playing scent games you begin to enrich the life of your pup in a way that you may have never thought imaginable. 

Scent games force your pup to use his/her brain and nose in order to find something a reward.

What you’ll need: Your dog’s favorite toy or treat.

How To: 

  1. Have your pup sit and stay in a room.
  2. while your dog is in the room hide your pup’s favorite toy or treat in another room.
  3. Ask your pup to “find the toy”.
  4. Play with your pup when he/she successfully finds the toy or treat.

Outdoor Agility Games

Agility games are a great source of outlet for any dog!

Agility teaches a dog to maneuver through an obstacle course which benefits a dog by building confidence, providing exercise, and also mental stimulation!

Flirt Pole

A flirt pole is an excellent way to fulfill your dog’s needs and provide your pup with dog enrichment!

The flirt pole is essentially a huge cat toy for dogs, the reason it works so well is that it satisfies a dog’s natural prey drive.

The objective of the game with the flirt pole is to have your pup chase the pole and eventually get it!

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are a great form of dog enrichment as it allows your pup to mentally stimulate him/herself while trying to get a reward.

The one toy all of our pups love is a KONG.

Just put peanut butter inside and place it in the freezer to make it more difficult for your pup to get the tasty treat out! 

Conclusion

Dog enrichment

There are various ways to enrich the life of your pup, but sure to use all or some of the ones our pups enjoy to begin enriching the life of your dog!

To awaken your dog’s true potential contact us here or Give us a call!

Receive your free dog training consultation and set your pup up for success! 

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