ENRICHMENT FOR DOGS
NUTRITIONAL = Helping the dog to have an outlet for their innate behaviors
What then is Enrichment?
All animals have behaviors that are so important, that the animal needs to perform these. This applies of course our dogs. Creating opportunities for animals to find an outlet for such behavior, is Enrichment!
Which of the dog's behavior is so important, that they need an outlet?
According to our experiences and experiments, it is the most important behaviors for the dog as follows:
Hunting Behaviour: different behaviors associated with hunting. Examples include: to chase after, track and intercept the prey.
Cooperation Behaviors: together with other work towards a certain goal.
Territorial behavior: behavior that is about controlling and guarding his territory.
Family Behaviors: social interactions such as play, conflict resolution and enforcement.
Eating behavior: different behaviors related to eating to do. For example, chewing and swallowing, seek food, and whether either can be eaten.
What happens if an innate behavior does not have an outlet?
If the dog does not have the opportunity to perform such behavior, it is primarily a risk that it will "pop up" in (for the dog owner) the wrong context. It can then develop into a problem behavior, such as illegal hunting or over-guarding. If for some reason not possible or is stopped by effective training, so the dog will start to feel bad. Typical symptoms of it has gone so far, is the so-called stereotypes. It is in brief behaviors that are repeated again and again, for example, "flanksucking", "shadow hunting" and "wandering".
What dogs need enrichment?
Enrichment is something that applies to all dogs, regardless of whether they live as pet dogs, kennel dogs, service dogs, or in any other way.
But you have to take into account the particular dog's breed, sex and personality when choosing which behaviors are most important to try to satisfy through enrichment.
How do you do?
First you have to learn more about the different behaviors, then try to come up with which ones are important to my dog. Once that is done may well ask which of these behaviors that my dog is unable to perform? You can also click on any "problem behavior" when trying to answer the last question.
Then, you have to create the conditions for these behaviors will be reflected in some form. We dog owners have essentially two ways to enrich our dogs lives. This is done either by the dog owner or through the environment.
Enrichment via dog owner: Enrichment as a dog owner is having and acting. Examples of this include some of the service branches and hunting training. We have for the sake of not suggested that all these are always good enrichment.
Enrichment through the environment: when using the dog's environment creates the conditions for the dog to perform certain behaviors. Examples of this may be appropriate feeding practices and some "dog toys".
What is good Enrichment?
We are often asked, is this good or Enrichment? Unfortunately it is not so simple that one can say that a particular activity is always great enrichment for all dogs. One must, as I said, take into account both the dog's breed, sex and personality (sometimes even years). Waxing, for example, is generally a good hunting Enrichment for sheepdogs. This means that they have an outlet for their particular, through enhanced breeding, specific parts of the original hunting behavior. But for a retriever is of course herding in most cases not a good enrichment. Bird Retrieving other hand tend to be a great enrichment for retriever hunting behavior!
Something else to consider is that enrichment as much as possible to mimic the situation in which behavior occurs in nature. So it is for a retriever better enrichment to retrieve birds, than sticks. Enrichment value is therefore also dependent on how it is implemented. Another example is the blood traces. For most dogs it is a good hunting enrichment. But if the track reeks of human odor or is put in straight and ninety degree angles, it does not directly mimic a natural hunting.
Theoretically, it is quite easy to judge what is good enrichment. Experiencing the dog to the hunt, it is a good hunting enrichment. Experience it instead to the guard an area, it is a good turf fortification. But to read his dog is not always easy.
The most important thing is what the dog feels, what it really have an outlet for and not what we call it.
What is the difference between the enrichment and activation.
To answer this question we need to also define activation. According to what has been written on the subject, the notion of activation that the dog will work with the brain. How does not matter, and the more the better.
Enrichment, however is that the dog will have the opportunity to perform some special and for the dog (both species and individuals considered) important behavior. The key is to choose exactly the right enrichment, and also no more than what the dog needs.
Naturally, some activation also enrichment. But there are two entirely different concepts.
What we have dog owners to benefit from enrichment?
In addition to the dog feel better, so it reduces the risk that we have a problem with our dog. In some cases, carried out correctly Enrichment and even help to remove the already existing problems. In the dog owners who have started with enrichment, we see an increased interest in dog behavior and language. This leads to an increased dog knowledge. For those who compete or work with their dog, there are pure dressage gains in exploiting the knowledge of the dog's innate behavior. We hope that more will return to select a task for what their dog is suitable for, and not as today that it will adjust the dog for the task you want to get involved with.
Maria & David Selin
ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT ON KENNEL CHANCO
The jollyboll - cable car
The candy spreader
The spools of thread
Climbing wall with nest in and with sleeping places on the roof
Climbing wall and transition to big stone
Study fruit and "birdpecking" behaviour
Frosen food block
Stone pile - view item
Variable candy vending machine
The stock pile
Climbing and jumping
Being with people, especially kids...