Just as it leads to fulfillment in human lives, so does enrichment in dog’s lives. If you look at the categories of enrichment dogs benefit from, you’ll see they are not very different from our own.
You know how important your dog’s buddies are. You only need to see her wrestle, groom, flirt, run, and play with besties in daycare or at the dog park to understand the joy it brings. Increasing your dog’s circle of friends around the neighborhood, at the dog park, and maybe even at the kayak club, bank, beach, and office can be even more beneficial depending on your dog’s personality and social needs. Life with friends means a joy doubled and a sorrow halved.
We all need a job. It’s call life purpose, whether it is to use innate breed skills, or just squirrel hunting on a walk, the inner drive calls us all. Figuring out what your dog is most stimulated by helps choose his activities. We designed our Enrichment Activities so there is something for each breed and personality type - and it is interesting to see which activity appeals to which dog. Hard data from enrichment studies shows us that a key factor in keeping dogs interested is to not present everything to them at once.
By engaging smell, appetite, vision, sound,muscle coordination, problem solving and strategizing, soothing touch, and feral drives through games, we can replace all the things we deny our dogs. What? Me deny my dog? Hey, we all have things we don’t want our dogs to do, such as digging a hole to China in the backyard, or chewing the legs off the new dining room table. But dogs are just following their wild instincts when they do those behaviors, so if we take away, it is kindest to prevent that kind of "shenaniganery" in the first place with a full, rich life that doesn’t beg destruction of our property out of sheer frustration and boredom.
All dogs have roots in hunting telling then to intensely chase, dig, sniff, find, and tackle food sources. When a dog searches for treats and food they are experienced at a higher level of satisfaction. Period. Anyone who has replaced bowl feeding with earning food by hand during training knows that enthusiasm improves along with attention, interaction, and communication - provided the food is desirable. We give dogs a taste of this hunting ground in our Mental Challenge Course with several puzzles and challenges to earning food - and they love it.
To add a little spice to your dog's day go here: https://www.heredoggydaycare.com/enrichment-activities/