Is that the right enrichment for your dog?
Think about sitting in a comfy chair drinking a hot cup of coffee with The New York Times crossword puzzle on a Sunday morning.
Sounds relaxing? Yes, and enriching.
But not for everyone.
Now think about giving a 6 year old that same crossword puzzle and cup of coffee. Enriching? Relaxing? Probably neither.
Would you be shocked that the 6 year old did not sit quietly and enjoy the crossword and cup of coffee? Probably not, but sometimes we give these dog equivalent crossword type puzzles to puppies or newly adopted dogs and expect them to sit quietly and appreciate the enrichment.
What behavior are we facilitating if we give a 6 year old the crossword and coffee? Probably not what we would get from the adult that enjoys crosswords and coffee.
Make sure the enrichment is enriching to the individual. The New York Times crossword puzzle is enriching but only to a certain audience.
Find the appropriate enrichment for your dog. What is enriching to one dog might not be to another, even the same age or same breed.
Enrichment is based on individual preference. Not all dogs will like the same thing. Not all activities or toys will facilitate the same behavior in every dog.