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Enrichment and Games to Keep Your Dog Entertained!

Our dogs need more than just dog training. Salt Lake City has a variety of pet stores where you can purchase numerous enrichment activities for your dog such as Healthy Pets Mountain West, The Dog’s Meow, Ma and Paws Bakery, Dawgs ‘N’ Whiskers, and Paw Paw’s Pet Boutique.  Last Friday, I decided to attend a toy making workshop to make some dog toy’s for Seiki.  The toy workshop was created by Utah Dog Trainers Alliance and was hosted mostly by Skye Poitras with Skye’s Dog Training and Laurie Schlossnagle with Side by Side Dog Training.  We made a flirt pool, snuffle mat and tug toy.

The flirt toy was made out of PVC pip and we attached a toy at the end of the pool that could be moved around a dog to chase.  This toy requires some space to use and is definitely a great way to get your dog exercised without you having to run with your dog.  Because my dog is older, and I live in a small apartment I gave my flirt toy to another dog owner.

The tug toy was made out of braided fabric. We also braided a handle on the tug toy. Tug is a great game to play if it is incorporated with obedience.  It can also be fun to use a tug toy as a reward when your dog does perform an obedience command.

Lastly, the snuffle mat was my favorite.  This was a rubber mat where we weaved small pieces of fabric through the holes.  As a result, I had a toy where I could easily hide treats or food for my dog.  My dog then had to sniff to find the food.  Fun!

There are many other enrichment activities that you can do with your dog including:

  • Hiding your dog’s food to find in your house.
  • Throwing your dog’s food on the floor for your dog to sniff and eat.
  • Putting food or treats in a Buster Cube or Kong.

There are endless toys and activities that you can play with your dog.  These toys can also be used as a reward in dog training.  Salt Lake City is a great place to look for fun interactive dog toys.

Your Turn!  We would love to hear from you in a comment below!

What enrichment activities do you do with your dog?  What new ideas are you discovering?


Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training, Salt Lake City 

2 responses to “Enrichment and Games to Keep Your Dog Entertained!”

  1. megan says:

    Something we do is give our dog some peanut butter in her Kong as a treat and a distraction. It will keep her busy for a long time and she’s even started bringing it in her mouth to me in the kitchen where she’ll nudge my leg with it. Like “hi, here it is, I’m ready for more!”

    I like the idea of hiding her food around the house too, and the snuffle mat. I’m sure I could make one and she would love it 🙂

    • fourleggedscholars says:

      Hi Megan!! That is very cute!! You can also mix the peanut butter with other treats in the kong. Another option is to freeze the kong with peanut butter alone or mixed with kibble / treats. This makes the kong last a bit longer!! If you need support in how to make a snuffle mat let me know. They take a bit of time to make but are pretty cool!! Namaste!