Enrichment » Fun & games » Canine Enrichment

Helping your dog to live his best life

A lack of mental stimulation is a leading contributory factor in dog behavioural problems.

Here are a few ways to give your dog the feel good factor:


We all have our favourite walks and that’s ok, but shaking it up with a trip somewhere new can be enjoyable for both of you.

Take them to the woods, through the streams, and in the mud.  Find a dog friendly beach or river and enjoy splashing in the shallow waters.

Let them get a little messy exploring the great outdoors.


Dogs are by nature furry, sniffy, tail wagging machines!  Dogs love to sniff and it is how they evaluate their world.  

Letting your dog have a good sniff around whilst out on his walk – gives his brain as much of a work out as your giving his body.

Hiding food for a treasure hunt or using a snuffle mat is fantastic stimulation and allows them to use their instictive foraging skills.


Foraging and hunting are instictive behaviours.  Quite often the thrill is in the chase.  It feels good to forage! By varying how we feed our dogs, we allow them to use their brains and engage in natural behaviours.

Rather than feeding all their food from a bowl, consider using enrichment toys like Nyla Cones – why not try out some new recipes?

Nylabone treat toys have pockets and cavities that are perfect for spreading with your dogs favourtite treat and make chewing even more yummy!

Remember – enrichment feeding is not about feeding more food, it’s about feeding in more interesting ways.


Make time for your dog – playing, grooming or giving them a massage. Just you and your dog.  Give them your full attention.

How about finding some appropriate dog friends for canine play sessions, or just a sniff if they prefer – going for group walks is as social for them as it is for you.

Playing with your dog gives him enjoyment, mental stimulation and increases your bond.

There are lots of ways to play, but two favourites are:


The idea of fetch is simple – you throw your dog’s favourite toy and he brings it back to you. Repeat. Over and over and over!

It’s an easy game that you can play anywhere – living room, garden, local park or whilst walking in a safe location.

Does your dog have other ideas?!

Whilst sounding simple, some dogs have their own ideas about the rules of this game and like to chase after the toy but not bring it back!

If this is your dog, a simple trick you can try is to throw the toy for him, wait for him to pick it up and then you run in the opposite direction. He should chase after you.  Once he’s caught up with you, ask for the toy and praise him when he gives it back to you.  Hopefully, after a couple of goes, he should get the idea and play properly.

Hide & seek!

Dogs love a game of hide and seek as much as children do!

Tell your dog/pup to sit and stay (you may need someone to help you by holding him in the early days) and then find a spot to hide.  When first teaching you dog, don’t hide too well as they may get bored or frustrated and lose interest in the game.  Then call your dog and see if he can find you.

Is this a bit too easy?

Another way to play is to hide a treat or his favourite toy.  Starting with treats – let him have a good sniff of the treat (held in your closed hand).  The hide the treat in a different room or location of your garden. Then call him and see if he can sniff it out. 

When this is going well and he understands the aim of the game, you can try the same game with his favourite toy.

You can also find and take part in local organised activities such as:

  • Agility
  • Flyball
  • Doggy dancing
  • Tracking
  • Dog shows
  • Obedience classes

These are a great way to build on your dog’s training and socialisation as well as meeting other like-minded humans too!

To find organised activities local to you, look on the Kennel Club website.

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