Fun & Games
On the blog today we have more fun enrichment games to share. These games are designed to offer your pooch a range of different textures and puzzles to explore. Not all o f these games will work for every dog, but if you have had success with our previous enrichment games and are looking for more textures and puzzles to challenge you dog with, these are worth a try!
When I play enrichment games with my dog, Mozart, I use his kibble as treats and rewards.
Fleece + Ball
For this game you need strips of fleece and a ball with holes. There are many dog toys on the market that would work well in this game. I’ve used a cat toy I got from a $2 dollar store (they look like plastic practice golf balls)
Thread strips of fleece through the ball, adding a few treats as you go.
Your dog will have to roll the ball and pull on strips of fleece to get the treats.
If your ball has bigger holes, you could try rolling thicker strips of fleece to thread trough the ball, you could even hide a treat in each roll.
Or stuff the ball with fleece, your dog will have to remove the fleece to dislodge the treats.
This game also uses fleece and a ball with holes.
Try tying fleece to the ball and fill with treats. Your dog will love rolling the ball around to find all the treats.
Tie a lot of fleece for a denser and fuller ruffle ball.
DIY Yoghurt Pottle Puzzle
I first saw this game online and thought Mozart would love this game. My dog loves yoghurt pottles! He likes to lick leftover yoghurt and find treats under upturned pottles. Yoghurt pottles are the perfect size to make mini pupsicles in summer. They are a vital part of our enrichment fun.
This game takes his favourite enrichment toy and adds an extra twist!
Rubber bands add a new texture and nose experience, which I thought would be fun to challenge Mozart with.
For this one you need a box or container, yoghurt pottles, and rubber bands.
Fill your container with yoghurt pots (try to find a container that will pack the pots in, so they have little room to move)
Put a few treats in each pottle and let your dog retrieve them.
Once your dog can retrieve the treats with ease stretch a couple of rubber bands over the container. Don’t go crazy, just add two and watch your dog suss out this new texture.
As your dog grows more confident with the bands add more bit by bit.
Your dog will have to stick their nose between the rubber bands to get to the treats.
Your dog may just flip the container to get the treats. That’s okay! They’re using their mind and brainstorming how best to get the treats. It’s all good enrichment.
If your dog likes to chew yoghurt pots skip this game or keep a close eye on your dog. Don’t leave them alone to chew the pots.
A strange enrichment game, this uses a shower loofah to make a snuffle toy. It’s light and very destructible but does introduce a new texture for your dog to puzzle over.
The game is simple, hide treats in the folds of a loofah and let your dog have at it.
I’ve used a braided style loofah, which was perfect for hiding treats, when pulled the braids stretch and release treats. At first Mozart nosed and rolled the loofah then he figured out how to pull and snap the loofah to release treats. You could also use a round pom-pom style loofah.
If you have a very chewy and destructive dog, I would not recommend this game as loofahs are far from indestructible and will shred if your dog is too rough.
Treat Dispenser Tennis Ball
For this game all you need is a tennis ball, treats, and a knife.
Cut a hole in a tennis ball and hide treats inside. So simple!
Your dog must bite the tennis ball in just the right spot to release the treats.
I was very intrigued by this game. Mozart is not ball dog and has no interest in tennis balls at all, but he LOVES food. Treat balls full of yummies are the only balls he plays with. Treat balls ask your dog to roll the ball around to release treats through a small hole in the ball. Mozart is used to this style of ball play, when asked to bite down on the ball to get treats he was stumped. Mozart is usually quick at working his way through a new game or toy, it takes him 15 minutes tops to figure out a puzzle. He worked on this game for about three days. He has very little interest in tennis balls and not even super tasty treats could tempt him.
Dogs that love to chomp and play with tennis will have more interest in this game.
Enrichment games and toys are a great way to engage your pets' natural instincts, ease boredom on slow and rainy days, and allow owners and their beloved animals to connect and have fun.
Always supervise your pet and do not leave them alone with materials they could ingest. Take into consideration the age, breed, species, and general nature of your pet when deciding which games and toys would benefit your pet best. For example, brachycephalic dogs can damage their eyes on objects that have hard edges, and dogs that get frustrated easily shouldn't be left with anything that it is too difficult as this will only frustrate them more.
Posted: Friday 29 October 2021