• Sarah Groves


Updated: May 11

Keep your dog entertained, mentally stimulated and calm with enrichment!

By Sarah Groves Dog Training - puppy training specialist covering Neath, Port Talbot, Swansea and surroung areas

Enrichment is one of my FAVOURITE topics when it comes to dog training.

It's fun for all of the family, easy to apply and when provided in the right way, can make a huge difference in promoting calm.

What is enrichment?

Enrichment is all about providing your dog with activities throughout the day which will help with channelling their excess energy and give them something to THINK about.

When we get a dog we think about the PHYSICAL exercise we need to provide, but many owners under estimate the importance and effects the MENTAL exercise can have on your dog.

The idea of enrichment is to tune into your dog's natural instincts, and give them something to do in a controlled environment, promoting calm and preventing your dog from finding their OWN things to do and essentially becomming self employed!

Where to start?

Your dog has a set amount of food allowance for the day - take advantage of this and make mealtimes more FUN!

One of the first things I reccommend for every dog - no matter what breed or age - instead of feeding all meals from the bowl, use different feeding toys to get your dog using their brain to figure out how to get the food out.

There are SOOOOO many different feeding toys in the shops these days - here are some of my favourites!


The Kong is a rubber feeding toy with a hollow cavity in the middle which you use to stuff your dogs favourote food with.

Suitable for all breeds and ages, the Kong is fantastic because you can make feeding time really easy to start, and then build the difficulty of the challenge over time.

Take a look at my Kong Recipes ebook here for stuffing ideas, and how to make a start with your dog.

Licki Mat

The Licki Mat is a sillacone tray with ridges in it. The idea is to spread your dog's favourite food on to lick.

The action of licking on the licki mat will release endorphins in your dogs brain, having a natural calming effect.

My top 5 Favourite licki mat spreaders:

- Peanut butter

- Natural yogurt

- Mashed banana

- Cheese - soft or cheddar

- Baby food (as long as it doesn't contain grapes, raisins, garlic or onions)

Once you have spread your dogs favourite food on the licki mat, it can be given as it is, or put in the freezer for a couple of hours to make it last longer.

Snuffle mat

The snuffle mat is a usually made from a rubber matting with fleece knotted through, and is designed so that you can hide dry food or kibble in the material.

The purpose of the snuffle mat is to encourage your dog to sniff to search for the food.

This is and excellent feeding toy for those dogs who eat too fast and to give your dog a great brain work out.

The sniffing, searching and seeking out the food uses up excess energy and promotes calm.

Does your dog have an amazing enrichment game?

I would LOVE to know!

Comment below with your dog's FAVOURITE enrichment activities!

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