by Carol Milner and Jo Page // July 2017
Easy enrichment games!
What is enrichment and how does it help your dog?
Enrichment basically means those little extra things that you can do for your dogs to stimulate them and “enrich” their day and their quality of life. Enrichment is also a good way to end training sessions and give your dog something to prevent boredom, especially if you’re busy. It has been scientifically proven that animals prefer to work for their food (can you tell Coach Carol was at a behaviour science seminar at the weekend?) so these kinds of games can help fulfill that need in our dogs.
Make your own enrichment game for your furry friend
What you will need:
Plastic bottles (approximately 2 litre is perfect)
Rope or a bamboo cane
Pair of scissors
Anchor points (Carol used her garden arch, Jo used her dining table legs!)
Make holes in opposite sides of the bottles using the point of the scissors.
Thread the rope/cane through the holes ensuring the bottles can spin.
Attach to your anchor points – with rope this is easy just tie to something stable. With a cane you will need to tie to cross points.
Add a few treats into each bottle (ensuring they will come back out again through the neck opening).
The sound of the plastic may be a little bit scary for some dogs, but just allow them to investigate themselves, once they are happy and investigating you could always demonstrate the bottle spinning and a treat falling out and then sit back and watch them play. Other dogs will get it very quickly!
We provide all sorts of enrichment in our training classes for example snufflemats, food puzzle toys and ball pits. Come and join our classes for lots more enrichment ideas!