The key takeaway from enrichment is that it is to allow your dog the opportunity to perform natural ‘dog behaviours’
Offering enrichment should be more than only allowing your dog access to food through puzzle feeders and toys though
Puzzle feeders and toys are great but they also take a lot of brain power, make sure to mix up your enrichment activities to include less-puzzle based activities such as scatter feeding, LickiMats, snuffle mats etc
Remember, the only measure needed for enrichment is enjoyment, not how long or difficult the activity is. The activities are for the dogs enjoyment, go scatter their kibble in the yard, let them shred that box.
What can you look for to make sure your dog is enjoying themselves?
- The dog is going back for more
- Relaxed/loose body
- Not being overly ‘aggressive’ with the activity (such as stiff pawing)
- The dog isn’t lunging or barking
Its important to be able to recognise when your dog is getting frustrated, frustration cancels out the good stuff that dogs get from enrichment, it can be very subtle, or even look like over excitement.
Enrichment is about providing opportunities for your dog to express normal dog behaviours such as digging, ripping, shredding, sniffing, foraging, chewing etc without frustration.
Go have a look in our Instagram reels, the first one there, at the bottom (go spot the selling mistake) is a very classic example of what frustration looks like for Drake, it can look different for every dog.