How can we enrich the lives of our four-legged friends, just as they enrich our lives?
As we’re celebrating the bond we have with our dogs, we want to address the importance of canine enrichment and how it can encourage your dog to become more confident, learn new skills, and strengthening your relationship.
Although the concept of providing enrichment sounds complicated, it’s a really fun way to interact with your dog and build trust. We all love our walks, however, providing your dog with mental stimulation is just as important as their physical needs.
If you’re new to the world of canine enrichment, or are just looking for some inspiration, here are our ideas using things you might already have:
Why not sprinkle some of your dog’s food into a cardboard box (our air-dried food boxes would be perfect for this), or a selection of different boxes, and let them rummage around to find the food.
If they are confident with the box, try adding an extra challenge, such as combining empty bottles, toilet paper rolls, newspapers, empty egg cartons or even their toys into the mix.
Begin this activity by placing an item, we suggest a super tasty Innocent Hound treat, somewhere that is easily visible to your dog, and say ’find it’. If your dog does not appear interested in the treat, try showing them where it is, as this is great for boosting your relationship.
Keep repeating this process until your dog begins to look for the treat as soon as you say, ‘find it’. Once they are actively looking for the reward, you can make the game slightly trickier, by hiding the treat in harder to spot locations, or even when your dog is out of the room. This game can be played both indoors and outdoors while out and about!
Playing with Your Dog
Spending quality time with your hound is so important for your dog’s mental stimulation, as well as our own mental wellbeing.
Playing ‘which hand’ is the treat in, is a great way of interacting with your dog. Simply hide a treat in one of your hands, present your dog with both hands, and when they show interest towards the hand containing the treat, reward them by opening your palm and letting them enjoy the yummy treat inside.
Training your dog is another form of cognitive stimulation and is a fun activity for both you and your dog to participate in. You could try trick training, agility, flyball or even obedience training?
Providing stimulation in appropriate ways will only encourage positive health and wellbeing, as well as building upon your human-hound bond.
Please always ensure your dog is supervised during enrichment activities.
Share your enrichment with us on social media using the hashtag #MyInnocentHound.