Simple Enrichment Ideas for Your Dog

Getting Out and About with Your Dog:

  • Go for a walk or a hike! Throw in cues like sits, downs, and reinforcing eye contact to keep your dog working and engaged.
  • Go on a field trip! Home Depot, Lowe’s, Half Price Books, West Elm, and Anthropologie all allow dogs, as do a number of pet friendly restaurants around town.
  • Take a class together! Whether it’s basic obedience, working on a target behavior, training for the Canine Good Citizen test, or engaging in a sport or game like agility, nose work, or fly ball, training is an awesome way to bond with your best friend while brushing up on manners!

In the Home:

  • Invest in puzzle toys! The Kong Wobbler, Kong Classic, and Buster Cube are some of the cheapest and best on the market but there are a wide range available in stores and online.
  • Make your own puzzle toys:
    • paper towel/toilet paper tubes with peanut butter smeared inside
    • cottage cheese containers or empty yogurt cups with an inch of chicken broth frozen at the bottom
    • empty cereal boxes with dog treats inside
    • an empty plastic water bottle inside an old sock. ice cubes made out of chicken broth or water with bits of kibble mixed in
    • old sock stuffed with kibble and knotted … the possibilities are endless!
  • Play a game or work on training exercises together! Run through some sets of Dr. Karen Overall’s Relaxation Protocol, play hide the treat, play simple Pattern Games like the Up and Down Game or 1,2,3 Treat!, work on favorite behavior cues or learn a new trick … whatever you and your dog enjoy!
  • Practice being calm! Do some TTouch, canine massage, listen to music, spray a new scent in the air, watch a movie or read a book and cuddle together … something low-key you and your dog can enjoy.

For the Yard:

  • Ultimate ice cube: If your dog works through the regular-sized ice cubes too fast, use a cottage cheese or Tupperware container as a mold. Fill with water/chicken broth and throw in some favorite treats!
  • Fill a kiddie pool with water and throw in some chicken-broth ice cubes.
  • Fill a kiddie pool with sand and mix in hidden toys!
  • Build a simple obstacle course!

*Easy Kong Stuffings: peanut or almond butter, canned pumpkin or sweet potato, mashed banana, canned dog food, plan non-fat yogurt, a combo of different yummy things (fruits, veggies, meat, etc.) you know your dog enjoys! FREEZE IT to make it last longer!

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