5 Simple Enrichment and Training Tips for Your Dog
As dog lovers, we know that our four-legged companions are incredibly smart animals. And just like us hoomans, not having opportunities to
use those smarts can lead to boredom, stress, and bad behaviour!
Regular mental stimulation is the key to helping your doggo live their best life. Some dogs love to solve puzzles, some like to (appropriately) destroy things, while others like to sniff and explore.
So how can you help your dog meet their daily enrichment needs? Here’s some ideas.
Take them on “sniffari’s” to new spots.
Exercise is essential for a dog’s general health and wellbeing, and as pet parents, we all know the benefits of taking our beloved pups for a daily stroll. While it’s undoubtedly great to burn off excess energy, it’s just as important to let your dog express their desire for fresh smells in exciting places.
With research suggesting that a dog’s sense of smell can be up to 100,000 times more acute than ours, dogs use their super-sniffers to interpret smells, which is how they understand the world. So, next time you take your pooch for a walk (or they take you), let them off the lead (if they can be trusted) or give them enough freedom to stop and explore. They’ll love you for it.
Teach an old dog new tricks.
Teaching your dog new things is a great way to provide enrichment for them and strengthen the bond the two of you share. Why not set a goal
to teach Fido one new trick a month. And don’t just stop because Rover knows “sit and stay”. Think about what else you can teach your doggo;
fetching the mail, rounding up the kids for dinner, or turning the lights off.
And it’s important to reward your four-legged friend with tasty treats while learning these new commands. Our Super Snacks Vita Shape Biscuits Vanilla Paws are a bite-sized fun treat which will have your doggo eager to please and fetching the mail from the letterbox in no time!
Avoid boring feed times.
Imagine being fed the same thing in the same way over and over again. It’d be pretty boring, right? And it’s the same for your dog. Providing variety and mental stimulation for your furry friend when they’re hungry is easy for you, and best of all, your pup will be entertained.
Instead of simply putting kibble in a boring old food bowl, next time, try hiding your dog’s kibble all around the house. Under cushions, chairs, in tight spaces that they need to work out how to get into or out of are ideal. Or, if your pooch is smarter than the average dog, try hiding some healthy and delicious Super Snacks Sticks in harder places like under a rug or in a bundle of folded-up blankets.
Naughty or bored?
An out-of-control pup is similar to an out-of-control toddler. A naughty dog digs holes in the yard or destroys the couch, right? While a naughty toddler draws on walls and throws food.
But, instead of naughty, it might be more accurate to say that a pent-up pup or a tantrum-throwing toddler is simply finding an outlet for their boredom. And so, when it comes to your pup, it’s important to provide opportunities for your dog to (appropriately) break, dig and rummage through things that aren’t off-limits.
A snuffle mat or puzzle toy are great ways to let your dog express their natural desire to rummage around! Or try an old toilet roll with some kibble taped on the inside that they can destroy. The possibilities for homemade toys are endless, and they don’t have to be expensive.
Tough snacks that take a lot of chewing to get through, like pigs ears, can be just as stimulating for your pup, and the great news is that they can also help with their dental hygiene. Now that’s a win-grin situation!
Give your time.
Time with their hooman family will always be the best possible enrichment for most doggos. While most of us aren’t lucky enough to be able to take our four-legged friends to work, make sure that the time you are with them is meaningful.
For example, don’t just throw the ball to them for half an hour when you get home. Instead, play a game with them, teach them a new trick, anything that uses their brain. By doing these simple things, you’re helping to enrich your pup’s life, and you’ll also reap the rewards through the unconditional love you receive in return.
Because quite simply, when you spend time with your dog, letting them do natural doggy things and challenging them to learn and grow,
you’ll have a happy, healthy doggo living their best life.