If you have somehow found your way to this corner of the internet, we can presume a few things about your character. The most relevant and arguably most important being that you are an animal lover. If this is true, you have a lot in common with our team at Underdogs Long Beach.
We are animal lovers and strive to be advocates and champions for all dogs. We believe that every dog has a voice and deserves a chance to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life, which is why we use a science-based and force-free dog training philosophy.
It can be tricky to discern their feelings when it comes to dogs, and often we don’t like to assign a human “feeling” as it may or may not be correct! However, with the help of science and many studies, we know for sure that the key to a happy and healthy dog is regular enrichment!
If you are new to the world of dog training and are unsure how to start enrichment with your dog(s), don’t worry, you are in the right place! Today, we will break down in detail what enrichment is, why it is important, and link to a few great resources to make it easier for you to begin implementing it into your routine as soon as possible!
According to the experts, enrichment is any activity that allows your dog to engage in innate behaviors like chasing, smelling, digging, chewing, and scavenging. Allowing your dog to engage in these behaviors will enable them to be physically, emotionally, and mentally satisfied.
Unfortunately, most of our modern lifestyles aren’t conducive to natural enrichment. Dogs who don’t receive stimulation are more than likely to enrich themselves with unwanted behaviors (i.e., chewing the couch, digging the backyard, etc.).
A study done by Purdue University shows that dogs respond to stress in several behavioral and biological ways. Dogs who are stressed or are not adequately stimulated can respond with direct aggression, urinating/defecating, increased panting/metabolic rate, etc. Prolonged stress can also weaken the immune system. In turn, they are leading to increased disease susceptibility and poor recovery from illness.
In short, stress is harmful and can lead to poor health in your dog.
However, with enrichment, you can reduce stress in your dogs while simultaneously increasing their health and happiness! Providing enrichment opportunities allows your dog to have a sense of control over their environment, helps to build their confidence, and develops their problem-solving skills.
In training, this is incredibly important, especially with dogs suffering from a traumatic past. Further, enrichment activities allow your dog to engage with the world around them by encouraging their curiosity.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!