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For many dogs, an average day consists of lying on one couch until it’s time to get up and go lie on another couch. Unfortunately, idle paws are like idle hands…no good ever comes from them!
Boredom can make even the best dog do naughty things: it can turn shoes and remote controls into chew toys, the trash into an afternoon snack and the garden into a mosh pit. But it’s not your dog’s fault. Can you imagine being home alone all day with no thumbs?
Environmental enrichment combats boredom by engaging dogs in activities that stimulate them mentally and physically. And even in small doses, enrichment has other incredible effects:
It will improve your bond. The one between you and your dog. Which is really all your dog wants anyway. You two will have shared experiences, work better together as a team and, well, bond.
It will keep your dog young. Enrichment activities provide mental and physical exercise, keeping the mind sharp and the body fit. With a healthy mind and body, the length and quality of life are increased.
It will make your dog tired. Thinking, problem solving and physical activity are all exhausting. And as the old (and true) saying goes, “A tired dog is a good dog.” And a good dog gets positive attention and has a better bond with its owner, which is really all your dog wants.
It keeps life interesting. Can you imagine endless days with nothing to do? It sounds like a great vacation idea, but if that was your whole life, it would be extraordinarily boring. Enrichment breaks up the day, tosses in something new and triggers thought. It literally gives your dog a job.
It gives them the right thing to do. When all of your dog’s instincts tell him to bark, dig and chew, it’s hard for him to know how to channel that energy. Enrichment activities build on these innate behaviors and give your dog an appropriate outlet for his favorite fun.