skdt blog

Daily Enrichment is EASY!

I stumbled upon an enrichment challenge, 100 Days of Enrichment brought to us by AniEd Ireland, and I'm so excited about it for a couple reasons!


First, if you know anything about me at all, it's that I love and am a huge proponent of mental enrichment/exercise! I'm always happy to hear more about new ideas and a challenge like this is sure to add a few more ideas to our arsenal!


Second, I'm excited to put my money where my mouth is and show you and my clients how easy it is to incorporate a little bit of enrichment in your SideKick's life on a daily basis!


Today is Day 7 of the challenge and this blog post is an explanation of the first week of challenges and a demonstration of how Ruby and I approached each day of week 1!


If you're interested in participating in the challenge, I 110% recommend checking out the blog post on AniEd Ireland's website! If you're not sure about committing to the full 100 days of the enrichment challenge, follow along with me and Ruby on Instagram as we make our way through each day - you might just find a few, fun, new ideas for you and your SideKick to take advantage of!

SideKick Dog Training | Private Dog Training Milwaukee WI

 

Day 1: Stuffables

In hour house, we're no strangers to stuffable food toys! Ruby loves her a stuffed Kong and I'm a fan of coming up with new things to stuff in it (as you can read more about in a previous blog post if you're interested in what I've come up with)!

SideKick Dog Training | Private Dog Training Milwaukee WI

Day 2: Play - Release the toy, Release the joy

This day's challenge is about teaching a release or drop it to your dog - and making it a fun thing to do! This is a skill Ruby has under her belt because it's one we worked on from an early age (and often)! In this video, you can see (or hear) that I'm never even able to give our Drop It cue because it's such a habit to drop the ball - even though I only had a dry biscuit treat to share with her!


Day 3: Handling & Husbandry

With Ruby, as I've mentioned a few times on this blog before, we quickly learned that she's uncomfortable with anything touching her, so even brushing was a challenge initially. We stumbled on and developed a way for her to tell us if she was comfortable letting something touch her, though - a Ready cue or target.

  1. I hold something up - in this video, it's her brush - and ask her if she's ready.

  2. If she targets the item with her nose, you can touch her.

  3. Briefly touch her with the item - in this case, brush her for a few strokes.

  4. Treats! Because handling means good things happen!

Note: if Ruby does not target the item, then she isn't comfortable and it's too much of an ask right now; she does not get touched with the item, but she still gets a treat.


This is a process we've found works for us; there are, however, so many different ways to go about cooperative care and husbandry procedures.