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Dog Enrichment Ideas

What Is Dog Enrichment?

Enrichment is providing animals with needed environmental stimuli that satisfy their natural instincts, which promotes physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. It's not just for our pets either!


Enrichment provides an outlet for instincts such as chewing, digging, hunting, herding, or scent tracking. Each breed was created to perform very specific tasks, most of which involve a large amount of physical and mental stamina. Without appropriate ways to use their natural gifts, dogs will often exhibit problem behaviors, boredom, or become stressed and anxious.

Why is Enrichment Important for Your Dog?

  • Enrichments Helps with Puppy Socialization

  • Enrichment Helps Reduce Canine Anxiety and Stress

  • Enrichment Prevents Your Dog From Getting Bored

  • Enrichment Provides Physical and Mental Exercise for Your Dog

Different Types of Dog Enrichment

Enrichment for the Canine Senses (Sensory Enrichment)

There are different kinds of enrichment to consider — it's not only about the latest treat or toy. When considering ways to enrich your dog's environment, think about the five senses: smell, sight, hearing, touch, and taste. Variety is key when it comes to enrichment for your dog. Mix it up from one day to the next.

  • Use different kinds of materials when making your dog puzzles, as these smell, feel, taste, look and sound different while your dog is tossing them around trying to get their food out. Switch out different types of toys to provide variety.

  • Walking on different kinds of surfaces, and letting your dog roll around in the grass or dirt is giving them some excellent tactile enrichment.

  • Play different sounds or types of music for your dog for sound enrichment. Hang up a wind chime every so often, or introduce the sounds of different birds or animals they don't usually hear

  • Create a scent garden by spritzing diluted and dog-friendly smells on various surfaces and letting them explore.


Environmental enrichment is especially important for young puppies in their initial imprint period (between 7 to 16 weeks of age). If you have a young puppy, download our FREE Pupstanding App for an interactive socialization checklist to work through different enrichment experiences.

Cognitive Enrichment for Dogs

From puzzles to training sessions, problem-solving is also considered an enrichment activity because it expends both physical and mental energy. "Cognitive enrichment can wear out a dog as much as a run in the park. Training sessions and brain games can be equated to crosswords or sudoku puzzles for humans," Paulik explains.

Sign up for a dog training class that goes beyond just the basic obedience behaviors, such as trick training or nose work classes. There are lots of dog sports you can get involved in as well, many of which build on a dog's natural breed tendencies.

If your dog is a herding breed or mix, a sport like Treibball (Urban Herding) is a great way to work their skills. Earthdog or Barn Hunt gives terriers an opportunity to dig and track rodents. From dock diving to Flyball, there's a sport for every dog and their person! And just because a dog might not be genetically predisposed to a particular activity, it's still fun to try it out and see if they enjoy it.

Even if you live in an area without nearby dog sports clubs or training classes, there are online options to get you started, such as the Fenzi Dog Sport Academy.

Social Enrichment for Dogs

Beyond just environmental enrichment, dogs also need social enrichment such as play and interaction. "Dogs are incredibly social creatures and isolation can cause them large amounts of stress," says Paulik.

If your dog enjoys and does well playing with other dogs, consider regular playdates or trips to the dog park (Learn more about What You Should Know Before Taking Your Puppy to the Dog Park here).

Dog daycare is another great option to give your dog social interaction with other dogs. If you're not sure if your dog would like going to daycare, read our article "Will Your Dog Enjoy and Do Well in Daycare."

Age-Appropriate Enrichment

Enrichment should be tailored to each individual dog’s preferences, needs, and abilities. Senior dogs have different needs and physical abilities than adolescent dogs and puppies need different things than adult dogs.

If your dog is hard of hearing or sight-impaired, adjust the enrichment to really engage the senses they do still have, like smell or touch. If they have a harder time moving around or have arthritis, choose enrichment activities that they can enjoy while staying comfortable in a small area. Consider putting down a mat to give them some traction while they work on a puzzle.

When asked if there is any kind of enrichment activity or toy to avoid with a dog, Paulik made an excellent point: "This really depends on the dog. If they are very insecure or tend to give up easily, you want to avoid any toy or activity that frustrates them or causes them stress.

Watch the dog’s body language as they are engaging in the activity. If they appear to be stressed or uninterested, try something easier so they can build confidence knowing that this is something that they can succeed in."

       Available For Adoption     

514 State Route 5S, Mohawk, NY 13407
Phone (315) 866-3255

Cute little Freddie is looking for a home.
Freddie originally came into the shelter as a stray and nobody claimed him. He was then adopted but he didn’t get along with the smaller dog in the home so he was returned to HCHS again.  Freddie is around 2 years old, housebroken, walks well on a leash, and is a good dog. Freddie can also be protective in the home. (He loves his house very much. ) Please share Freddie as he really is a good boy, he just needs some guidance in his life.

For More Information Contact the
Herkimer County Humane Society

133 Hilltop Rd

Sprakers NY 12166


Shar Pei / Terrier / Mixed
Large Young Male (neutered)

Pet ID # 2023-Angus

Angus is a 1 to 2 year old neutered male Shar Pei mix. He is looking for a breed experienced home. He seems good with cats and is okay with some dogs. He has never lived around kids.

Please share this handsome man and email to find out more about him.


More about Punky

  • Up-to-date with vaccinations

  • Good with cats

  • House trained

  • Neutered

  • Color: Brindle

For More Information Contact the

Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter, Inc


Fulton County

Regional SPCA


117 West Fulton St., Gloversville, NY 12078

More about Archie

  • House trained

  • Up-to-date with vaccines


Pet ID # D23031GS

Dachshund / Chihuahua / Mixed
Small Adult Female (s

This little nugget was found as a stray and was unclaimed by her family. Lucky for Blossom because she was in desperate need of vet care. She had a severe mouth infection and as a result had all of her teeth pulled. Blossom is not letting that hold her back! She is happy and healthy (now!) and ready to show you how sweet and fun she is! We are still learning about her likes and dislikes and will update her profile as we find out more!

For More Information Contact the

Fulton County Regional SPCA

117 West Fulton St, Gloversville, NY 12078

(518) 725-5956

fun fact

What animal kills the most humans every year?

The animal that kills the most humans every year is the mosquito.

The largest spider in the world is the South American Goliath Birdeater

Common swifts can fly for ten months without landing.

Bees pollinate more than 30% of the world’s crops

The sloth spends 98% of its life in the trees

Koalas sleep for

18–22 hours a day

meme of week
        MEME of the WEEK       
About Us

About Us

Hi, and welcome to Nubbies N Tails. We are a Motley Pack of Dogs, full of corgi cuteness: bossy, funny, laid back, spoiled characteristics who would like to offer a positive dose of Dog. Here at Nubbies N Tails, you will find a wide range of pet-related topics: stories of our Pack, Dog News, Recipes, Tips, Humor, Videos and Pictures of Corgi Flops, and much more. Cause every dog knows he needs to keep up to date with the news from the canine world.


Of course, our days are short (just like our legs!) and there are lamp posts to sniff, animals to chase, toys to play with and mailmen to run off. It may not always be easy to stay on top of everything, but we will give it our best. Some of our content is written from our eyes and minds, but the rest comes from our Fur Parents, whom we Wuff very much.

Hello, we are Tracy and Brian, fur parents to some amazing pups. As you can attest to their "Who We Are" page. They inspired us to create this website to share their adventures and life with you all. We also would like their inspiration to infect the community of dog lovers out there. So come join us here, as we explore and share much information, articles, corgi fun facts, photos, recipes, and much more. Not only a life of a dog but the hoomans in it!

You can find us also on 


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  • TikTok

Meet The Corgi Crew



Greetings I AM ENDORA, the Managing Editor.

I’m a 10-year-old Corgi / Jack Russell mix. Being the smallest of our pack comes with its challenges. But I have learned to be BIGGER than my size. I rule our Pack with an Iron Paw and my bite is worse than my growl.

I enjoy chasing cats, squirrels, rabbits, moles, and chipmunks.

I have had run-ins with skunks and a baby woodchuck.

Oh, and Tom the turkey.



Ciao, I am Davinci.

Being the eldest of our pack at 14 years old, I give our pack sage advice and the knowledge and wisdom that comes with old age. I am a mixed breed and so some of my pack think they are above me, but they've learned I'm no pushover.

As the eldest, I have issues with my health. I'm blind, going deaf, and have diabetes. I will use my knowledge and wisdom to give you articles on the important issues that are needed in a dog's life. 



Montague "Monty"


I'm Montague, "Monty" for short.

I’m a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and I wuff lounging around the house and yard, relaxing and taking pictures. Most of all, I WUFF DAYDREAMING!

At 5 years old, I may not have all the experience as the Old Man, or my grumbly sister Endora, but I have a relaxed insight they both miss. 





Morning - Noon - Night  It's ALWAYS on my mind!

Hey Guys, I'm Kaos (YES, I live up to my name).

I am, like the only Cardigan Welsh Corgi in our pack.

I will be your FOOD CRITIC, as FOOD motivates my daily life. Doesn’t matter if it’s the great food Mom makes us or the food that is on mom and dad’s plate! It's all FOOD!

I have been eating great food for my entire 3 years of life!



Hello Everyone, my name is Dutchess and I’m Momma’s little princess. I am the baby of the pack, only 1-year-old and SPOILED ROTTEN. Monty is my full-blooded brother; we share the same mother and father.

I am going to be writing about MY life, puppy gossip, fashion, TikTok, and all MY social media.

Remember to Follow and Like My Socials.




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