Social enrichment is achieved by letting all of our dogs interact with one another, also introducing the puppies to the other adults helps with socialization. Other animals such as cats are great for this too.
Sensory enrichment includes auditory, tactile, and visual enrichment. For auditory we use a stereo to play music or talk radio to get them used to different and sometimes distracting sounds. Tactile enrichment can be achieved while grooming your dog. Visual enrichment is achieved by what our dogs can see around the house, like a mirror or television.
Physical enrichment encourages the animal to exercise its body as well as its mind. We use toys like balls, kongs, and other toys that can be stuffed with treats, scented, or presented to the animal as is. Good toys will encourage the dogs to manipulate behavior, chase or fetch things, even pounce. Any of these interactions keep the dog’s active, which in turn builds muscle, coordination, and may encourage social behaviors.
Food enrichment is typically any food item that is either presented in an enriching manner or a food item that is not a part of the animal’s daily diet (treat). Regular diet items can be frozen in ice cube trays using water, juice, or broth (depending on the animal’s taste), Sometimes we will chop treats up and scatter them around, toss them into a pool (we have a little kiddy pool they love to play in), hide them, or put them inside a favorite toy. Treats are enriching in themselves, but can also be presented in the same ways listed above. They love peanut butter and milk bones. Food enrichment is one of the most commonly used forms of enrichment since it typically stimulates social interactions, physical activity, and an array of senses used to seek and consume the food item. Food items and treats are also used for positive reinforcement and behavioral conditioning.