Back then, the role of dogs in our lives was different to what it is now. Before, they had jobs with purpose. Dogs, like the English Setter & Retrievers, assisted hunters in finding or retrieving game. Terriers hunted vermin and Rottweilers protected the herds. Few dogs these days have a purpose other than be our companions.
As a companion dog owner, it is your responsibility to give your dogs purpose. This does not mean putting them in the back yard with some toys! It does not mean buying another dog to keep the other one company or occupied. As the term 'Environmental Enrichment' implies, we need to enrich our dog’s lives. The consequence of not doing so is a bored dog that will do things to keep itself occupied, entertained, and exercised both mentally and physically such as re-landscaping the garden or chewing the outdoor furniture.
So what can we do to help keep our dogs lives enriched? Here are some activities you can conduct:
Kongs - click here to read more...
This can serve as a good mental exercise for your dogs. Your pet should not be a mere play thing; it should also be a productive member of your family. Give them challenging activities. For example, instead of making dinner time a hoover session, use Kongs. Block the small end and pour chicken or beef stock. Add bits of frozen food and freeze them over night and give them to your dog as you leave for work. This will surely keep them busy while you are gone. You can even stuff Kongs with your dog’s favourite treats.
This can exercise the instincts dogs naturally have. You can be creative about how and where you can hide Kongs and give your pets enriched dog lives.
Peanut Butter Box - click here to read more...
In this challenge, you will need a cardboard box smeared with peanut butter or cream cheese on each side of the box. Put some dry treats inside as well. Seal the box with tape and then punch holes on each side. Once your box is sealed, put it out and release your pet. You will have fun watching them investigate and trying to figure out how to get inside it. As an effective environmental enrichment game, you need to ensure your pet does not swallow any tape or cardboard.
Premier - Bristle Bone - click here to read more...
See the video for more information on the activity.
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