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The goal of canine enrichment

It's in the word: the goal of canine enrichment is that it is enriching for the dog.


I could stop this blog right there!


Of course I keep on writing, because what I see is that canine enrichment is often used for human benefits instead. Frequently asked questions in enrichment groups are:

  • "how can I keep my dog busy?"

  • "how can I make it more difficult so it lasts longer?"

  • "how can I tire out my dog?"


Questions like that make me a bit sad.


Don't get me wrong, I do understand that sometimes we just can't have a dog bouncing around our feet asking for attention and we need something to "keep them busy".

But the fact that those questions get asked so regularly makes me feel that some dogs are a burden instead of a joy.


When we meet our dog's needs and do activities with them that they like, they will be happily snoozing and resting when we are not engaging with them.


Tessa and Puck doing the rose Puzzle. Tessa sits and observes, Puck is sniffing for treats

It would make me so happy if I would see questions like this more often:

  • "my dog is a [breed] and he loves [activity], what other activities do you think he would like to do?"

  • "my dog is very active and we do all kinds of sports, I would love some suggestions for calm enrichment activities in the house"

  • "my dog is an adolescent and we are struggling a bit, are there activities we can do to strengthen our bond?"

  • "my dog is getting older and just retired from [sport], do you have suggestions for activities that we can do together instead?"


With the second list of questions another perspective and approach of canine enrichment is created, with the core focus: an activity that is enriching for the dog in front of us.


There are so many activities that are easy to incorporate in your life that will benefit your dog and therefore also you! For some ideas you can read Spice up your dog's life.


There are many activities you can try out yourself, internet and socials are full of inspiration and DIY instructions. As soon as you have found something you want to do more often with your dog: find a trainer/coach/instructor that knows all about the activity. I can promise you that their input and guidance will help you and your dog enjoy the activity to the fullest!


Puzzle Dog is an expert in guiding people and their dogs in their 'puzzle journey'. We use the Hersenwerk method in our work. Hersenwerk is a harmonious interplay between humans and animals, based on sensory experience, customization and freedom of choice


In our guidance we focus on the individual dog and their human; customizing the puzzle activity will make it enriching for both of you! You can find our courses in the Puzzle Dog Academy.


We have FREE tips to get you started!




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