Canine Enrichment: 5 Ways to Stimulate Your Dog’s Mind

Looking to stimulate your dog’s brain? Try these fun canine enrichment ideas!

Canine Enrichment Idea #1: Hide Easter Eggs With Treats Inside

With your dogs out of the room, fill some Easter eggs with treats and hide them around the room. Start off with the eggs in plain sight, and get harder as your dogs get more used to hunting. Eventually, you can put them behind pillows, in shoes, or on shelves that require your dog to stand on hind legs.

  

Canine Enrichment Idea #2: Make a Snuffle Mat

Buy a sink mat like this one, and cut strips of fleece about 1-inch wide and 6-7-inches long. (I used 262 strips.) You can get fleece throws at Walmart for less than the fabric itself often costs.

To make the mat, tie a strip between each set of two holes.

Top
Bottom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure you go both ways.

You’ll end up with a nice thick mat. Hide treats amidst the fleece strands (at first, just place them on top so your dog learns what to do). Because of your hard work, your dog will get some stimulating nose work!

 

Canine Enrichment Idea #3: Make a Bottle Flipper

All you need for this one is a long dowel and an empty water bottle. Poke holes so you can slide the dowel through the bottle. Put treats in the bottle.

Then balance it on two pieces of furniture, or have two people each hold an end. Let your dog learn to flip the bottle and make it rain treats!

 

Canine Enrichment Idea #4: Read to Your Dog

Buy a book that’s personalized with words your dog knows! Spend time reading to them, pausing to do the tricks or give them the treats mentioned in the book. Your dog will love practicing language skills!

Canine Enrichment Idea #5: Hide Treats In a Knot Pillow

Available at Walmart, these toys aren’t intended for dogs…but that’s a great use for them! Just hide treats in between the knots and let your dogs have fun finding their treats!

Make sure you supervise your dog in any of these enrichment activities. Many of these ideas involve using items that aren’t made for dogs, and may cause choking hazards if used unattended.