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Dog Enrichment | Cannon Dog Training | East Bay, Oakland, Piedmont, Montclair, Emeryville

Dog Enrichment article by Tania Lanfer of Cannon Dog Training.

Dogs get bored!

Ditch the food bowl! Dogs are scavengers and love to work for their food! Feeding out of puzzle toys, training games, and nose work games will prevent boredom and tire your dog mentally. Novelty and rotation are our friends when talking about enrichment. Rotate toys and chews every week, do a different kind of trick training every few days, etc. 
 

1) Training walks

Going for a walk with your dog? Teach her to go into objects, sit on staircases, go up on fire hydrants, etc. A beautiful post here.


2) Kongs

Kongs are possibly the best food toys out there. They are safe and you can stuff them with almost any kind of food. This will keep your pooch occupied during your absence, during a class, in the office waiting for a vet exam, etc. I own 8 Kongs for my own dog and I make plain yogurt, cream cheese or low sodium chicken broth frozen Kongs with her kibble. No reason to use a food bowl when she can work for hours on her Kongs!


3) Chews

I made a video for a specific dog that I talk a little about the chews I like giving to dogs.


4) Food dispensing toys

  • Kong Wobbler
  • IQ Treat Ball
  • Dog Tornado Interactive
  • West Paw Zogoflex Toppl
  • Petsafe Busy Budy Twist'n Treat
  • Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball
  • OutPets Buster Food Cube
  • Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom
  • Site with comparison between different puzzles

5) Find your treats


6) Busybox

My dog exploring a busybox:
 


7) Tug game

 A video with the steps for tug. And here a video of tug with rules.
 


8) Flirtpole


The flirtpole is oh-so-useful! Do you have a reactive dog and would like to exercise her inside the house without the exposure of her triggers? Do you have a puller who gets over-aroused outside? Take a notch off that energy with the flirtpole before going outside.

Here is a blog post about the flirtpole.
 


9) Training tricks

Trick training is fun and will tire your dog mentally! That are many books and videos online with good ideas for brain games.


10) Music

  Through a Dog's Ear to help with anxiety, arousal and mask outside noises.