Category: Enrichment

food dispensing toys

Dogs are natural hunters and scavengers so why are we still feeding out of a bowl? All animals need environmental enrichment, so let’s look at the simplest way to do that. Kongs are one of my favourite food dispensing toys in the world and I just happen to have over a dozen of them in my freezer at all times. West Paw also makes fantastic stuffable toys!

Read More
black kong

Dogs are natural hunters and scavengers – they’re problem-solvers! When we bring dogs into our homes and feed them out of bowls, we’re asking them to do something that goes against what they are programmed to do…they need an enriched environment!

Food is a valuable resource – sure, it sustains life, but it can also enrich environments, create positive associations, reinforce desired behaviours, and be the source of a lot of fun. Every kibble in a bowl is the tragic loss of an opportunity for one of these things above.

Get rid of that food bowl and start enriching your dog’s environment! Give them something to DO. A mentally stimulated dog is a good dog.

Read More
dog looking at food dispensing toy

When training our dogs, it’s crucial to consider their currency. What does that mean? How does your dog like to get paid? What do they find most reinforcing?

When we go to work, we get paid in the form of money – paycheques and monetary bonuses. If the paycheque stopped suddenly, we would question and likely stop working. Imagine if your boss sent you an envelope with Monopoly money in it on payday in place of your regular cheque!

Let’s consider some variables – sometimes the US dollar is more reinforcing than the Canadian dollar (like right now) and other times it’s the reverse. Sometimes winning a trip to Hawaii is more exciting than the equivalent in a cash prize.

When it comes to dogs, there are so many options for reinforcement out there – all you have to do is get to know your dog!

Read More