Today we’re talking to Christine Young. Christine is CPDT-KA certified trainer & dog lifestyle expert with over 20 years experience with dogs and horses.
Christine is here to talk to us about the importance of enrichment for your puppies.
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What is enrichment?
- Enrichment is beyond food toys and puzzles
- Just about anything you do with your puppy can be enrichment
- Training is enrichment
- It is easy to overdo it, so be mindful that your puppy is allowed to relax without enrichment too
When most people think of enrichment, they think of food toys. What other options might exist?
- Flirt poles
- Decompression walks
- Tearing cardboard
- Pulling paper out of cups to get treats
- Nosework classes or teaching your dog to find your keys, phones, etc.
How does chewing and licking help a puppy relax or learn life skills?
Does giving your puppy an outlet for chewing make them want to chew more?
- It teaches them to use their teeth appropriately
- Use a braided fleece tug toy
- If you provide them with appropriate things to dig, they aren’t going to tear your couch apart
- As owners, we limit their lifestyle just by having them as pets. We need to be able to meet their needs.
Are there breed-specific enrichment ideas that you recommend or like?
- Water sports or water activities like the beach or the sprinkler
- Be mindful how much water they are drinking
- Snuffle parks
Where can people find more enrichment ideas?
- Canine Enrichment Guide
- Emily Strong’s Book
- Facebook Groups
- K9 of Mine Blog Posts: Best Games to Play with your Dog
- Puzzle toy suggestions
Where can you find Christine Young:
Kayla is from Ashland, Wisconsin but lives in Missoula Montana. She holds a degree in biology from Colorado College and has spent years working in zoos, animal shelters, as a private dog trainer, and with working detection K9s. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. She shares her life with her border collie Barley.