I'm making my downloadable Enrichment Handbook available for free so that everyone can use it!
For anyone who isn’t sure what “enrichment” means for dogs: it’s a broad term encompassing toys, games, chews, sniffing adventures, puzzles, interactive learning, problem-solving and more. Providing your dog with opportunities to explore new objects and the world around them is what enrichment is all about!
While there are plenty of studies to provide evidence for the beneficial nature of enrichment, I picked out just three to illustrate the point. Here are some of the takeaways that I wanted to share with you.
1️⃣ Research indicates that feeding enrichment for dogs improves ability to learn through rewards.
2️⃣ In another study, providing enrichment and training significantly increased desirable behaviors while reducing unwanted behavior.
3️⃣ Providing auditory and olfactory (smell) enrichment appears to decrease vocalization and stress-related behaviors in dogs.
What do you do to provide your dogs with enrichment opportunities? Let me know in the comments!
1) Milgrim NW, Head E, Zicker SC, Ikeda-Douglas CJ, Murphey H, Muggenburg B, et al. Learning ability in aged beagle dogs is preserved by behavioral enrichment and dietary fortification: a two year longitudi- nal study. Neurobiol Aging 2005;26:77–90.
2) Herron, M. E., Kirby-Madden, T. M., & Lord, L. K. (2014). Effects of environmental enrichment on the behavior of shelter dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 244(6), 687–692. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.244.6.687
3) Amaya, V., Paterson, M. B. A., & Phillips, C. J. C. (2020). Effects of Olfactory and Auditory Enrichment on the Behaviour of Shelter Dogs. Animals, 10(4), 581. MDPI AG. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10040581