As we enter the second week of the Coronavirus Lockdown with limited exercise a day allowed for people and pups, knowing how to entertain your dog at home through canine enrichment has never been more important.
I recently read that just 10-20 minutes of mental stimulation or enrichment is equivalent to an hours walk for a dog. So given our current situation, adding 10 minutes of canine enrichment exercises twice a day into your dog’s daily routine could make the world of difference to how your dog copes during Lockdown, especially for those who aren’t lucky enough to have a garden.
But if you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry – I’ve put together a roundup of 8 great FREE canine enrichment resources where you can get as much inspiration as you need to keep your pup entertained during Lockdown and beyond.
And not only will your dog be happy to be kept busy, but they’ll be overjoyed at the extra quality time they’ll get to spend with you too. Here’s to happy hounds and humans…
How To Entertain Your Dog At Home #1 – Try the 100 Days of Enrichment Challenge from AniEd Ireland
With 100 ideas of canine enrichment ideas to try from AniEd Ireland (short for Animal Education Ireland), this challenge list is packed with inspiration and should keep you and your pup busy for quite some time. It’s well laid out with the ideas listed by day and a suggested equipment list for each week that you will need.
Of course, you can mix and match the daily ideas, so if you want to repeat some on some days in place of others, that’s just fine. You can follow the instructions on the website but an added bonus is the active 100 Days of Enrichment Facebook Group you can join to share how you’re getting on, see how others are doing the challenges or ask any questions.
How To Entertain Your Dog At Home #2 – Join the Canine Enrichment Facebook Group
With over 280,000 members from around the world, this well-established group is a goldmine for canine enrichment ideas and video inspiration and will keep you inspired for weeks. There’s a highly-rated book by the group’s founder Shay Kelly available on Amazon Kindle for the human reading list too.
Join the Canine Enrichment Facebook Group
How To Entertain Your Dog At Home #3 – Go Beyond the Bowl with the Beyond the Bowl Enrichment Group
Another popular group with over 36,000 members is Beyond the Bowl Enrichment Group, created by London based behaviourist Diane Kasperowicz and founder of Superhounds. This UK group is another great source of inspiration to keep your dog’s brains busy during Lockdown or at any time of the year!
How To Entertain Your Dog At Home #4 – Get tips on being a better pet parent with Barket Place
Bristol-based certified Animal Behaviourist Caroline Wilkinson and founder of Barket Place has a free Facebook Group’ Connect with Your Dog’ as recommended to us by our friends over at PAAW House. In the group, you can get advice and tips as well as try the mini-series: ‘5 Simple Ways to Entertain Your Dog at Home‘ or the ‘3-week Recall Challenge’, the latter even on Lockdown it seems – and there’s a new 3-week Recall Challenge starting tonight!
Join the Connect with Your Dog Facebook Group
How To Entertain Your Dog At Home #5 – Join in the fun and games on the Positively Pawfect Facebook Group
This is a new group inspired by the Coronavirus Lockdown, set up by South-west London Dog Trainer Sandy Sharma. Sandy’s specialises in game-based training and enrichment and was recently awarded the ‘Most Outstanding Canine Enrichment Walks Award’ for London by Lux Magazine.
For 25 days, Sandy will be sharing a training tip or enrichment idea on the group. As it’s still a new/small group, this could be a good place to start if you’re just getting started or feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Join the Positively Pawfect Facebook Group
How To Entertain Your Dog At Home #6 – Try the ‘Doggy Diaries’ from Poochville Doggy Daycare
South London based doggy daycare Poochville are using their extra time wisely to create a series of ‘Doggy Diary’ videos to give owners fun and straightforward ways to keep their dogs entertained at home. There are already several videos available, and more will be uploaded soon says Poochville founder Rikki.
Bookmark the Doggy Diaries
How To Entertain Your Dog At Home #7 – Maintain’ Dog (and Human) Sanity’ with Kirby Dog Training
Heading over to Instagram, London based dog trainer Ella from Kirby Dog Training is posting regular ‘Dog Sanity’ challenges to keep humans and hounds sane during these crazy times! Look for the Dog Sanity highlight on Ella’s Instagram to see the videos.
Watch the Dog Sanity Highlights
How To Entertain Your Dog At Home #8 – Have Fun with Toilet Roll!
And finally, make the most of that spare toilet roll you have in the cupboard and explore the ‘101 Things to Do with Toilet Roll and Your Dog’ Facebook Group! Set up for some lighthearted fun by North Yorkshire based dog trainer Jo Brook (founder of Positively Canine), this is one way to put that extra toilet roll to good use!