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Dog Enrichment Guides

Unlock the secrets to keeping your canine companion mentally stimulated and engaged with enriching activities and games, as detailed on Sniffspot's insightful blog dedicated to dog enrichment.

The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States

Do you have a water-loving dog looking to burn some energy? There are countless dog parks to visit throughout our country — but some of them become far too hot in the midday sun to be safe for your pets to play. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best dog water parks throughout the United States! At these locations, your pup can frolic, splash, and swim to their heart’s content.

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Best Toys for Herding Dogs thumbnail

Best Toys for Herding Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

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The Best Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

The Best Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers (Facts + Infographic)

Does your dog destroy every toy you give them? Is your house littered with remnants of fabric and stuffing of all different sizes? Are you tired of investing in “indestructible” toys only for your pup to still dismantle—or worse, get bored of—them in just a few days?

Read more

Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need? thumbnail

Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

You’ve been told your dog needs regular exercise. There’s a reason “walking the dog” is a classic daily activity: Frequent excursions give your pup a chance to experience the world, maintain a healthy weight, and — most importantly — spend time with you! Consistent physical activity can also improve their strength, muscle tone, coordination, and mental ability over time.

Read more

Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs thumbnail

Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

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Comprehensive Guide to Enrichment Activities for Dogs thumbnail

Comprehensive Guide to Enrichment Activities for Dogs

Dogs evolved in an open world. They could act naturally without unfair repercussions. They had space to run, interesting stimuli to sniff, and plenty of opportunities to move their bodies freely.

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Most recent dog enrichment guides

10 Unconventional Ways to Exercise Your Dog thumbnail10 Unconventional Ways to Exercise Your Dog
Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs thumbnailComplete Guide To Herding With Dogs
Dog Agility: Complete Guide to the Dog Sport thumbnailDog Agility: Complete Guide to the Dog Sport
Introduction to Dog Nosework thumbnailIntroduction to Dog Nosework
Nosework: Enrichment for Every Dog thumbnailNosework: Enrichment for Every Dog
Five Ways Truffle Hunting Helps Reactive Dogs and Their Owners thumbnailFive Ways Truffle Hunting Helps Reactive Dogs and Their Owners
Variety is the Spice of Life: Canine Exercise Recommendations from the Latest Research thumbnailVariety is the Spice of Life: Canine Exercise Recommendations from the Latest Research
Lure Coursing: Complete Guide thumbnailLure Coursing: Complete Guide
Bikejoring: What is It & How to Get Started thumbnailBikejoring: What is It & How to Get Started
The Pocket Guide to Flyball for Dogs thumbnailThe Pocket Guide to Flyball for Dogs
Comprehensive Guide to Skijoring With Dogs thumbnailComprehensive Guide to Skijoring With Dogs
The Best Dog Enrichment Toys thumbnailThe Best Dog Enrichment Toys
Canicross: Guide to Trail Racing With Your Dog thumbnailCanicross: Guide to Trail Racing With Your Dog
Comprehensive Guide to Dog Exercise thumbnailComprehensive Guide to Dog Exercise
Best Toys for Herding Dogs thumbnailBest Toys for Herding Dogs
Comprehensive Guide to Enrichment Activities for Dogs thumbnailComprehensive Guide to Enrichment Activities for Dogs
Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need? thumbnailDog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?
Best Ways to Exercise Your Dog thumbnailBest Ways to Exercise Your Dog
The Best Mental Exercises for Dogs thumbnailThe Best Mental Exercises for Dogs
What is Dog Sledding and How to Do It thumbnailWhat is Dog Sledding and How to Do It
Best Dog Frisbee Discs for Playing Fetch thumbnailBest Dog Frisbee Discs for Playing Fetch
The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States

Do you have a water-loving dog looking to burn some energy? There are countless dog parks to visit throughout our country — but some of them become far too hot in the midday sun to be safe for your pets to play. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best dog water parks throughout the United States! At these locations, your pup can frolic, splash, and swim to their heart’s content.

Read more

Best Toys for Herding Dogs thumbnail

Best Toys for Herding Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Read more

The Best Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

The Best Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers (Facts + Infographic)

Does your dog destroy every toy you give them? Is your house littered with remnants of fabric and stuffing of all different sizes? Are you tired of investing in “indestructible” toys only for your pup to still dismantle—or worse, get bored of—them in just a few days?

Read more

Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need? thumbnail

Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

You’ve been told your dog needs regular exercise. There’s a reason “walking the dog” is a classic daily activity: Frequent excursions give your pup a chance to experience the world, maintain a healthy weight, and — most importantly — spend time with you! Consistent physical activity can also improve their strength, muscle tone, coordination, and mental ability over time.

Read more

Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs thumbnail

Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Read more

Comprehensive Guide to Enrichment Activities for Dogs thumbnail

Most recent dog enrichment guides

10 Unconventional Ways to Exercise Your Dog thumbnail

10 Unconventional Ways to Exercise Your Dog

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs thumbnail

Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Dog Agility: Complete Guide to the Dog Sport thumbnail

Dog Agility: Complete Guide to the Dog Sport

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Introduction to Dog Nosework thumbnail

Introduction to Dog Nosework

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Nosework: Enrichment for Every Dog thumbnail

Nosework: Enrichment for Every Dog

By: EricaWells
Erica  is a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) through the National Association of Canine Scent Work. She teaches Agility and K9 Nose work classes, both sports she participates and competes in with her rescued Brittany Spaniel, Mimi and newest monster, Gator.

Five Ways Truffle Hunting Helps Reactive Dogs and Their Owners thumbnail

Five Ways Truffle Hunting Helps Reactive Dogs and Their Owners

By: Kristin Rosenbach
Owner - Wagnificent K9 Truffle Dogs, LLC
Freelance Truffle Hunter & Teacher
Reiki Master Teacher

Variety is the Spice of Life: Canine Exercise Recommendations from the Latest Research thumbnail

Variety is the Spice of Life: Canine Exercise Recommendations from the Latest Research

By: Danette Johnston
Owner - Dog's Day Out, Ballard, WA
Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)
Licensed AKC CGC Evaluator
NW Coordinator, Doggone Safe

Lure Coursing: Complete Guide thumbnail

Lure Coursing: Complete Guide

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Bikejoring: What is It & How to Get Started thumbnail

Bikejoring: What is It & How to Get Started

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

The Pocket Guide to Flyball for Dogs thumbnail

The Pocket Guide to Flyball for Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Comprehensive Guide to Skijoring With Dogs thumbnail

Comprehensive Guide to Skijoring With Dogs

Adventure is out there, and our dogs make it better.

The Best Dog Enrichment Toys thumbnail

The Best Dog Enrichment Toys

test * All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Canicross: Guide to Trail Racing With Your Dog thumbnail

Canicross: Guide to Trail Racing With Your Dog

One of the countless benefits of being a dog parent is having a built-in exercise buddy who is always ready to explore the outdoors and have fun with you. Of course, casual walking, jogging, and hiking are great ways to do so. But if you want to take it up a notch or two? Canicross might be just the activity for you!

Comprehensive Guide to Dog Exercise thumbnail

Comprehensive Guide to Dog Exercise

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Best Toys for Herding Dogs thumbnail

Best Toys for Herding Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Comprehensive Guide to Enrichment Activities for Dogs thumbnail

Comprehensive Guide to Enrichment Activities for Dogs

Dogs evolved in an open world. They could act naturally without unfair repercussions. They had space to run, interesting stimuli to sniff, and plenty of opportunities to move their bodies freely.

Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need? thumbnail

Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

You’ve been told your dog needs regular exercise. There’s a reason “walking the dog” is a classic daily activity: Frequent excursions give your pup a chance to experience the world, maintain a healthy weight, and — most importantly — spend time with you! Consistent physical activity can also improve their strength, muscle tone, coordination, and mental ability over time.

Best Ways to Exercise Your Dog thumbnail

Best Ways to Exercise Your Dog

It’s no secret that every dog needs regular exercise. Physical activity is important for us humans and our pets—moving our bodies improves strength, coordination, cardiovascular health, and even mental focus over time!

The Best Mental Exercises for Dogs thumbnail

The Best Mental Exercises for Dogs

Giving our dog’s problem-solving challenges is a great way to both tire them out and build relevant skills for navigating the world around us. Win-win, right?

What is Dog Sledding and How to Do It thumbnail

What is Dog Sledding and How to Do It

Dog sledding is the stuff of legends... and indeed, many popular books and films. Balto is a household name for his role in transporting medicine to the village of Nome. Disney movies like Eight Below have further popularized (and romanticized) dog sledding teams.

Best Dog Frisbee Discs for Playing Fetch thumbnail

Best Dog Frisbee Discs for Playing Fetch

Looking for the perfect new frisbee to take your dog’s fetch game to the next level—or just trying to replace an old favorite toy now that it’s lost or broken? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a deep dive into some of the best dog discs available today.

Top dog guides per area

Dog training guides

How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic)

Does your dog ever growl when you walk by their food dish? Maybe they get possessive of treats, carrying them far away and giving you side-eye when you start to approach — or snarling at your other pets or children if they get too close.

Comprehensive Guide to Scent Training for Dogs (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

Comprehensive Guide to Scent Training for Dogs (Facts + Infographic)

As almost every dog owner is aware, the nose of a dog is an amazing thing. Just as they can pick up sounds we can’t hear, their sense of smell and ability to pick up scents is well beyond ours. In fact, dogs have 40 times the number of olfactory receptors as humans.

How Much Does it Cost to Train a Service Dog? thumbnail

How Much Does it Cost to Train a Service Dog?

More than 80 million Americans rely on their service dogs to help them navigate the world. Task-trained assistance animals perform a huge range of life-changing—in many cases, life-saving—services: These dogs act as eyes for visually impaired handlers, provide mobility support, alert to seizures and blood sugar crashes, interrupt anxiety attacks, remind their people to take medications, and so much more.

What is and How to Handle Potty Training Regression thumbnail

What is and How to Handle Potty Training Regression

You thought your dog was house trained. Your home was clean from puddles of pee, those dreaded middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks were behind you, and you loved every minute of dog ownership… until your four-legged best friend started using the bathroom inside again. What’s going on?

Coprophagia: Why Does Your Dog Eat Poop? thumbnail

Coprophagia: Why Does Your Dog Eat Poop?

Ah, poop. We humans think it’s disgusting… but many of our dogs seem to love the stuff. If you’re wondering why your canine companion tries to eat feces (either their own or that of other animals) you’re not alone!

Dog reactivity guides

Rottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It thumbnail

Rottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It

Many dogs have gotten a bad reputation over the years for being "dangerous breeds." Rottweilers are among them. Much like pit bulls and other large, blocky-headed types of dogs, these powerful and beautiful animals are often assumed to be aggressive.

Dog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity thumbnail

Dog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity

Your dog is reactive. They’ll see another dog, person, or other stimulus in the environment (like a car or bike) while out on a walk and suddenly go crazy at the end of their leash. The barking, lunging, and growling feels embarrassing for you — and it’s clear that your pup isn’t having a great time either.

How to Socialize Your Reactive Dog thumbnail

How to Socialize Your Reactive Dog

Does your dog display reactivity to other pets or people? Maybe they’re a new rescue pup and are still settling into your home. Maybe they were sick growing up, so you missed their critical socialization period. Maybe they’ve had a bad experience after being raised as a normal puppy.

Definitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity? thumbnail

Definitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity?

Do you have a reactive dog or suspect you may have one? You’re not alone!

How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic)

Does your dog ever growl when you walk by their food dish? Maybe they get possessive of treats, carrying them far away and giving you side-eye when you start to approach — or snarling at your other pets or children if they get too close.

Sniffspot community guides

The State of Public Dog Parks Across the United States thumbnail

The State of Public Dog Parks Across the United States

From 2009 to 2020, there was a 40 percent increase in the development of public dog parks. Designated spots for canine exercise have become commonplace in every major city in North America — many pet owners won’t even consider renting an apartment that doesn’t have its own fenced-in pet area for their canine companions.

How This Family is Affording Their Dream Property Through Renting it Hourly to Dogs thumbnail

How This Family is Affording Their Dream Property Through Renting it Hourly to Dogs

Thousand Oaks, California has been a safe haven for Sniffspot host, Jen, since childhood. Having grown up in busy Santa Barbara, Jen, an introvert from an early age, would seek out solitude and serenity away from tourists attractions and droves of people visiting from elsewhere. “My grandparents own 60 acres about a 30 minute drive from here, and I grew up spending every summer and every holiday visiting them on the ranch,” Jen explained. “In Santa Barbara, we wouldn't go to the beach on the weekend because that's where everybody was, so you'd find places off the beaten path where the tourists weren't. For me, the ranch was just my happy place.” 

Host Tips: Ellen K. What Makes Sniffspot Successful for Me thumbnail

Host Tips: Ellen K. What Makes Sniffspot Successful for Me

Ellen is the host of Country Pasture Getaway, one of Sniffspot's most popular sniff spots. She has taken the time to write up the lessons she has learned about how to be a great sniff spot host.

How this Oregon Farmer is Making a Business From Renting Her Land to Dogs thumbnail

How this Oregon Farmer is Making a Business From Renting Her Land to Dogs

Just 20 minutes outside of the busy city of Portland, Oregon, and settled right on the banks of the Columbia River, you’ll find what countless visitors have flocked to the area in search of – mountain views, crisp, clean air, and running water for miles. What you might not expect to find, however, is a hidden oasis designed just for dogs and their people, owned and operated by a farming couple and enjoyed by visitors on two legs, and four.  

Host Tips: Fran T. Providing Great Guest Service at our Spot thumbnail

Host Tips: Fran T. Providing Great Guest Service at our Spot

Fran is the host of Ranch Setting, one of Sniffspot's most popular spots. She has taken the time to write up the lessons she has learned about how to be a great Sniffspot host.

Top dog trainers in the US

The Best Dog Trainers in the United States of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in the United States of 2023

Welcome to the United States Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in the United States based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used.

The Best Dog Trainers in New Jersey of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in New Jersey of 2023

Welcome to the New Jersey Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in New Jersey based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

The Best Dog Trainers in Michigan of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Michigan of 2023

Welcome to the Michigan Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Michigan based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

The Best Dog Trainers in Washington of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Washington of 2023

Welcome to the Washington Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Washington based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

The Best Dog Trainers in Florida of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Florida of 2023

Welcome to the Florida Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Florida based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

City dog parks guides

The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States

Looking for a space to play with your dog no matter what the weather’s like outside? Look no further than our list of the best indoor dog parks in the United States! These climate-controlled spaces are growing in popularity as pet ownership increases throughout the country. As a bonus, many of them also offer dog training, boarding, grooming, or daycare services on the premises.

The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered! It’s hard to narrow down, but we’ve put together some of the best off-leash dog parks throughout the country so you can plan your next adventure — along with a checklist of what to bring, what to know beforehand, and some frequently asked questions.

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Las Vegas? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks to plan for your next adventure in Sin City.

The Best United States Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best United States Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered!

The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Portland? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks and plan for your next adventure in the City of Roses.

dog enrichment

Cities were not built for dogs. Dogs evolved in an open world without fences and roads where enrichment was constant and quiet, relaxation was also possible. In today's world both of these things are at a premium. But there is a movement to provide for dogs the same kinds of experiences that they evolved for.

The topics covered in this enrichment blog section include socialization, nosework, dog sports and more.

Our blog is dedicated to relevant, high quality articles with modern advice aligned with recognized dog experts. We only advocate force free training methods and will never advocate for aversive methods.

dog enrichment FAQ

What is dog enrichment, and why is it important?

Dog enrichment refers to any activity or item that stimulates your dog mentally or physically, providing them with mental and physical exercise, entertainment, and engagement. Enrichment is essential for a dog's overall well-being, as it can help prevent boredom, reduce stress, and improve behavior.

What are some examples of dog enrichment activities?

There are many ways to provide enrichment for your dog, such as playing interactive games, providing puzzle toys, giving them access to nature, training, socializing, and more. You can also enrich your dog's environment by creating a safe and stimulating space for them to explore and relax in.

Can dog enrichment help with behavior issues like reactivity?

Yes, enrichment can help prevent and reduce behavior issues like reactivity, anxiety, and aggression. By providing your dog with physical and mental stimulation, you can help them channel their energy and reduce their stress levels, which can improve their overall behavior.

What are some common signs of dog reactivity?

Dog reactivity refers to a dog's tendency to react negatively to certain stimuli, such as other dogs, people, or objects. Some common signs of dog reactivity include barking, growling, lunging, or biting when encountering a trigger. Other signs may include raised hackles, a stiff body posture, or an intense stare.

How can I help my reactive dog?

If your dog is reactive, it's important to seek professional help from a veterinarian or certified dog behaviorist. They can help you develop a behavior modification plan that includes positive reinforcement, and counter-conditioning techniques to help your dog overcome their reactivity.

Can enrichment help with dog reactivity?

Yes, providing your dog with enrichment can help reduce their reactivity by providing them with a positive outlet for their energy and reducing their stress levels. Enrichment can also help your dog build confidence and improve their overall behavior.

What are some enrichment activities for reactive dogs?

Enrichment activities for reactive dogs should be designed to provide them with mental and physical stimulation while also helping them feel safe and relaxed. Some examples of enrichment activities for reactive dogs include scent work, puzzle toys, interactive games, training exercises, and slow-paced walks in quiet, peaceful environments.