Enrichment involves all of a dog or cat’s senses and functions. Cognitive enrichment has a number of specific benefits.
Moving is a major stressor for everyone. All that packing, coordinating logistics, schedule disruptions, last-minute surprises. Just imagine how your dog feels, too!
Dogs by nature are social creatures. That’s the basis of social enrichment.
Physical environment is the third form of enrichment for animals. But feng shui for dogs? Go with me on this one.
It’s easy to overlook all the amazing smells, textures, sounds, tastes and sights in life when we get busy and focused on the demands of life. Our dogs are probably more tuned into these things than we are, but we tend short-change them on those experiences.
Dogs, for the most part, have it pretty easy these days.
They don’t have to hunt and forage for their own food. They have it presented to them two or three times a day. For many dogs, mealtime lasts, oh, maybe 30 seconds.
Who doesn’t like choices? I certainly do. I know my dog and cats do, too. Choice is at the root of a behavioral construct called Enrichment.
Alternatives to leaving your dog alone are plentiful, but you need to do some “crowdsourcing” to find creative options that work for you and your dog.
We know that addressing behavior problems early leads to effective behavior modification (for the better) and usually over a shorter period of time than resolving behaviors that have been practiced over a longer period of time. The trick is to acknowledge that a behavior quirk is emerging as a behavior problem.
I have had numerous conversations of late, with clients and other trainers, on the topic of Learner-controlled Learning. It is something I am very strongly in favor of, as a force-free trainer. Now, before you assume I’m advocating chaos and subversion, let me explain what I mean.
They are members of our family, our best friends, and lifelong companions. You would do anything to help them. Do you have the information and skills to keep pace with their needs?