July 2020 – Enrichment of the Month Returns!

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/hn407y/july_2020_enrichment_of_the_month_returns/

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Hi there Puppy Raising Super Stars old and new!

We hope that you've managed through these past few months okay with the ongoing pandemic conditions you may be experiencing. Raising a puppy under these circumstances has been very challenging for us all in one way or another. In an effort to get back to some normalcy, we're back with Enrichment of the Month!

What's all this enrichment about?

This month, I want to take a moment to highlight what enrichment is since the term can seem very nebulous and mean different things to different people. According to Bender and Strong who wrote the book 'Canine Enrichment for the Real World.'

Enrichment is learning what our dogs' needs are and then structuring and environment for them that allows them, as much as is feasible, to meet those needs.

Take a moment and think about the enrichment activities you've been providing your puppy. Are those activities designed with intent to meet your puppy's needs? What needs do you think your puppy has?

I have to give a shout out to one of our community members, u/zobit, who recently provided a fantastic comment response where they detailed the different needs a puppy may have that enrichment can help satisfy.

The best enrichment provides acceptable avenues for dogs to engage in normal dog behaviour like: foraging, sniffing, playing, digging, chewing, ripping and chasing.

Far too often, we think about providing enrichment activities as just something to keep our puppy occupied – and even so there may be some entertainment for both you and the puppy, but we all know that our puppies often find their ways into trouble. Environmental management helps reduce incident of bad behavior, but what if that bad behavior is really your puppy saying "I need this"? What if we found ways to provide a safe way for them to engage in that behavior that meets that need? This is where intentional and well thought out enrichment activities can become a major game changer for you.

Share in the thread what you think your puppies needs are – what do they like? Are they always trying to forage for crumbs on the ground? Are they super sniffers who take every smell detail in? commonly digging in your garden? Did you get a herding breed who's nipping at your heels? Share some enrichment activities you do for your puppy to meet the needs they have – and this is a great place to exchange ideas on activities to meet a need your puppy may have that you are struggling with trying to meet.

We have all our previous Enrichment of the Month posts archived in our wiki for you to check out at any time.

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