All posts by AniEd Ireland

Easter Egg (Puzzle) Hunt

#100daysofenrichment may be officially over, but that doesn’t mean the enrichment needs to stop.

Easter Egg boxes make GREAT puzzle boxes for different Busy Boxes…you’ll have to eat all the Easter Eggs so…

Make sure to keep the chocolate away from pets and if you have had a real Easter Egg hunt, make sure that you have cleared away all the eggs before allowing your dog access.
Instead, set up an Easter Puzzle Hunt for them!

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And the great thing about this challenge, is you can play at any time of the year, anywhere!

From Day 101 on…

#100days is over…what do we do now?

Just because it’s Day 101, doesn’t mean the enrichment has to stop!

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You make #100days what it is

I never anticipated that this little project, from our little company, would reach so far and generate so much interest. But it did. And that’s down to you and your participation and support.

I can’t thank you enough for getting involved, sharing, and for providing feedback. The messages and comments of gratitude, letting me know how you and your pet have benefited has been the most amazing reinforcement. Throughout, it’s kept me going, striving to produce the best resources with the most information.

I have enjoyed every moment of the community aspect of this project; seeing how you have applied the challenges, how you have made adjustments to suit you and your companion, and most of all, watching pets engage in enrichment activities in a truly enriching manner.

That’s all you. Thank you.

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Start on Day 101

The hope of any #100day project is that participation helps to establish long lasting habits, beyond the one hundred days. You can continue to incorporate any or many of the challenges into your daily lives with your companion animals.

  • you might pick challenges or days that are particularly valuable and enjoyable to you and your pet
  • think of challenges that are about just being and living with your pet – lots of those involving just being and providing choice might be good considerations
  • go back and start at Day 1 all over again
  • each day’s challenges provide multiple options so you might go back and do an alternative challenge from each day

Whatever way you plan to do it, please do keep doing it.

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Keep going

The blogs, as is, will remain in place so you can dip in and out or even start again. New people might like to join in or lurkers might like to get stuck in and really have a go at it.

Our Facebook group will remain open and I will moderate and join in as often as possible. Please continue to share the #100daysofenrichment link (https://aniedireland.wordpress.com/100daysofenrichment/).

We can keep this project alive and kicking so that we can reach more and more pets and their people.

Please stay on board and in the loop!

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Day 100 Pockets

Welcome to Day 100 of #100daysofenrichment and thank you for joining us on this journey!

Although our challenges are directed mainly at dogs, we want all species to enjoy and benefit from #100daysofenrichment so, please join in, adjust and adapt to help your pet or companion live a more enriched life.

Don’t forget to review all the information leading up to #100daysofenrichment and more here on playing safe. Know your dog!

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Pockets

At a glance:

  • let’s have fun with puzzles again today and try out some of the challenges you didn’t get to try yesterday, or build on yesterday’s progress
  • puzzles that you can make as simple or complex as your dog desires
  • food based enrichment
  • turn your dog into a pick-pocket on the hunt for puzzling fun
  • get the family involved in this one – kids love making puzzles for pets and these challenges offer lots of opportunities for children to use their imagination to come up with the best busy boxes for their pets.
    Remember, supervise children in all enrichment activities and interactions with pets.
  • Some pockets puzzles might take some time to prepare, but you can work on more straight-forward challenges if time is tight.

What do you need?

  • anything that has pockets; might include old hoodies or jeans, or bathroom organisers, plant or shoe organisers
  • food rewards and toys
  • boxes, tubs, paper, eggboxes, balls, paper cups, cardboard tubes, bottles, and all your puzzling stuff!
  • Stuffables

Enrichment Goals:

  • to encourage a wide range of foraging and exploratory behaviours
  • to do more feeding related behaviour than eating
  • to encourage the development of strategies (behaviours) for getting the food out of  the pockets and puzzles
  • by varying the design of your pockets puzzles we will facilitate carrying out a range of different behaviours, broadening the dog’s repertoire

While this challenge is certainly food based, they are also experiencing cognitive, sensory and environmental enrichment, with lots of crossover between categories.

Working out how to get to the food and developing dexterous skills in manipulating the puzzles are examples of cognitive challenge.

Sniffing out, tasting and chewing food all offer sensory pay off, but so does finding their way through each food puzzle, determining its value,  and engaging in the puzzle of getting to the good stuff.

Pockets puzzles encourage pets to interact with their environment – just the very interaction with the puzzle is encouraging the pet to manipulate their surroundings, to get the things they like.

By offering a variety of pockets puzzles, we want to help the dog expand their range of puzzle-busting behaviours and facilitate your pet applying strategies from other puzzles to new ones; that’s a true cognitive gift and is growing your dog’s brain!

What goals can you add to this list for your pets?

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How can we achieve these goals?

  • give your pet plenty of space for working on puzzles and bear in mind there will be mess, so think about spaces that are easier for clean up
  • hang up  pockets puzzles on the back of a chair (for clothing) or secure a pockets puzzle under a closed door so that is kept in the same spot
  • the more difficult you have made the challenge, the higher the value the reward must be so use HIGH value foods to motivate exploration and experimentation and make it VERY easy to get the food (no frustration!)
  • if your dog just dives in, in full on destruction mode that might also be an indicator that they need an easier challenge so they get to experiment with a broader range of behaviours

What adjustments will you make for your pets?

Applications of Pockets Puzzles:

Lots of dogs enjoy snuffling and rooting, and pockets puzzles give them an outlet for this behaviour and can be a fun and simply way of slowing eating behaviour, while encouraging a broader repertoire of behaviour.

Puzzles pockets are pretty adaptable so difficulty can be increased and decreased to suit the individual dog’s abilities and comfort level.

Care does need to be taken with the level of challenge presented. Remember, enrichment must be enriching, so it’s much more beneficial to keep the challenge doable and allow the dog to develop the skills.

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Because of the home made nature and variable materials used in these puzzles, it’s best to supervise your pet carefully when they have access.
Know your dog! If you have an ingester, some of these puzzles may not work for your dog.

If you are concerned about your dog ingesting non-food items during puzzling, have a pocketful of HIGH value treats in your pocket and be ready to toss a couple toward your dog, across their eyeline, if you think they are thinking about eating the paper.
Making sure the challenge is very doable and they can get to the hidden food rewards quickly is key to modifying their behaviour and expectations during puzzling.

Check all your equipment for this challenge carefully and make sure to remove tape, staples, other fastners, small pieces and plastic pieces. Play safe!

Enrichment Options

Today’s challenges:

Beginners: 

  • add food rewards to each puzzle
  • hang clothes pockets puzzles from the back of a chair, or similar
  • use shoe organisers, or similar, flat on the floor
  • use pockets that aren’t too deep
  • fill the pocket with lots of food so it’s easy to get

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Intermediate:

  • introduce simple puzzles to some of the pockets, for example paper parcels
  • hang clothes pockets puzzles from the back of a chair, or similar
  • use shoe organisers, or similar, flat on the floor
  • use pockets that aren’t too deep

Advanced:

  • add a mix of puzzles to different pockets to really challenge your dog with the Ultimate Puzzle!

Get your puzzles ideas from the #100days masterlist and some of these ideas here:

Pockets Puzzles:

A hoodie, jacket or even an old pair of jeans make for a great pockets puzzle. Hang it on the back of a chair or bundle it up on the floor and let the puzzling begin!

Clip

Puzzlemania!

The Ultimate Puzzle is a shoe organiser or other pockets puzzle with a different puzzle in each pocket!

Clip

Clip

Clip

Suspend it!

Clip

Your challenge

Now it’s your turn. Show us what you and your pets, of any species, can do with these challenges!

Post to your social media accounts, using the #100daysofenrichment so that we can find you and join our Facebook group to share your experiences, ideas and fun!
You can comment right here too 🙂

We look forward to hearing from you and your pets – have fun & brain games!

 

Day 99 Pockets

Welcome to Day 99 of #100daysofenrichment and thank you for joining us on this journey!

Although our challenges are directed mainly at dogs, we want all species to enjoy and benefit from #100daysofenrichment so, please join in, adjust and adapt to help your pet or companion live a more enriched life.

Don’t forget to review all the information leading up to #100daysofenrichment and more here on playing safe. Know your dog!

IMG_5452

Pockets

At a glance:

  • puzzles that you can make as simple or complex as your dog desires
  • food based enrichment
  • turn your dog into a pick-pocket on the hunt for puzzling fun
  • get the family involved in this one – kids love making puzzles for pets and these challenges offer lots of opportunities for children to use their imagination to come up with the best busy boxes for their pets.
    Remember, supervise children in all enrichment activities and interactions with pets.
  • Some pockets puzzles might take some time to prepare, but you can work on more straight-forward challenges if time is tight.

What do you need?

  • anything that has pockets; might include old hoodies or jeans, or bathroom organisers, plant or shoe organisers
  • food rewards and toys
  • boxes, tubs, paper, eggboxes, balls, paper cups, cardboard tubes, bottles, and all your puzzling stuff!
  • Stuffables

Enrichment Goals:

  • to encourage a wide range of foraging and exploratory behaviours
  • to do more feeding related behaviour than eating
  • to encourage the development of strategies (behaviours) for getting the food out of  the pockets and puzzles
  • by varying the design of your pockets puzzles we will facilitate carrying out a range of different behaviours, broadening the dog’s repertoire

While this challenge is certainly food based, they are also experiencing cognitive, sensory and environmental enrichment, with lots of crossover between categories.

Working out how to get to the food and developing dexterous skills in manipulating the puzzles are examples of cognitive challenge.

Sniffing out, tasting and chewing food all offer sensory pay off, but so does finding their way through each food puzzle, determining its value,  and engaging in the puzzle of getting to the good stuff.

Pockets puzzles encourage pets to interact with their environment – just the very interaction with the puzzle is encouraging the pet to manipulate their surroundings, to get the things they like.

By offering a variety of pockets puzzles, we want to help the dog expand their range of puzzle-busting behaviours and facilitate your pet applying strategies from other puzzles to new ones; that’s a true cognitive gift and is growing your dog’s brain!

What goals can you add to this list for your pets?

IMG_5450

How can we achieve these goals?

  • give your pet plenty of space for working on puzzles and bear in mind there will be mess, so think about spaces that are easier for clean up
  • hang up  pockets puzzles on the back of a chair (for clothing) or secure a pockets puzzle under a closed door so that is kept in the same spot
  • the more difficult you have made the challenge, the higher the value the reward must be so use HIGH value foods to motivate exploration and experimentation and make it VERY easy to get the food (no frustration!)
  • if your dog just dives in, in full on destruction mode that might also be an indicator that they need an easier challenge so they get to experiment with a broader range of behaviours

What adjustments will you make for your pets?

Applications of Pockets Puzzles:

Lots of dogs enjoy snuffling and rooting, and pockets puzzles give them an outlet for this behaviour and can be a fun and simply way of slowing eating behaviour, while encouraging a broader repertoire of behaviour.

Puzzles pockets are pretty adaptable so difficulty can be increased and decreased to suit the individual dog’s abilities and comfort level.

Care does need to be taken with the level of challenge presented. Remember, enrichment must be enriching, so it’s much more beneficial to keep the challenge doable and allow the dog to develop the skills.

Clip

Because of the home made nature and variable materials used in these puzzles, it’s best to supervise your pet carefully when they have access.
Know your dog! If you have an ingester, some of these puzzles may not work for your dog.

If you are concerned about your dog ingesting non-food items during puzzling, have a pocketful of HIGH value treats in your pocket and be ready to toss a couple toward your dog, across their eyeline, if you think they are thinking about eating the paper.
Making sure the challenge is very doable and they can get to the hidden food rewards quickly is key to modifying their behaviour and expectations during puzzling.

Check all your equipment for this challenge carefully and make sure to remove tape, staples, other fasteners, small pieces and plastic pieces. Play safe!

Enrichment Options

Today’s challenges:

Beginners: 

  • add food rewards to each puzzle
  • hang clothes pockets puzzles from the back of a chair, or similar
  • use shoe organisers, or similar, flat on the floor
  • use pockets that aren’t too deep
  • fill the pocket with lots of food so it’s easy to get

20190414_212019575_iOS

Intermediate:

  • introduce simple puzzles to some of the pockets, for example paper parcels
  • hang clothes pockets puzzles from the back of a chair, or similar
  • use shoe organisers, or similar, flat on the floor
  • use pockets that aren’t too deep

Advanced:

  • add a mix of puzzles to different pockets to really challenge your dog with the Ultimate Puzzle!

Get your puzzles ideas from the #100days masterlist and some of these ideas here:

Pockets Puzzles:

A hoodie, jacket or even an old pair of jeans make for a great pockets puzzle. Hang it on the back of a chair or bundle it up on the floor and let the puzzling begin!

Clip

Puzzlemania!

The Ultimate Puzzle is a shoe organiser or other pockets puzzle with a different puzzle in each pocket!

Clip

Clip

Clip

Suspend it!

Clip

Your challenge

Now it’s your turn. Show us what you and your pets, of any species, can do with these challenges!

Post to your social media accounts, using the #100daysofenrichment so that we can find you and join our Facebook group to share your experiences, ideas and fun!
You can comment right here too 🙂

We look forward to hearing from you and your pets – have fun & brain games!

 

Day 98 Sunday Fun day!

Welcome to Day 98 of #100daysofenrichment and thank you for joining us on this journey!

Although our challenges are directed mainly at dogs, we want all species to enjoy and benefit from #100daysofenrichment so, please join in, adjust and adapt to help your pet or companion live a more enriched life.

Don’t forget to review all the information leading up to #100daysofenrichment and more here on playing safe. Know your dog!

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Every Sunday during #100daysofenrichment is Sunday Funday! This means you and your pet repeat your favourite challenge or challenges from the week.

You can do it exactly as you did first time round, you can try a different option, build on your progress already established, reinvent and rejig it…what ever you want to do with the last week of challenges!

Day 92 Winebox Puzzles Pt. 1

Day 93 Watersports

Day 94 Winebox Puzzles Pt.2

Day 95 Grasses

Day 96 Freestyle Friday

Day 97 Sniffing Saturday – SNIFFARI (again)

Your challenge

Now it’s your turn. Show us what you and your pets, of any species, can do with these challenges!

Post to your social media accounts, using the #100daysofenrichment so that we can find you and join our Facebook group to share your experiences, ideas and fun!
You can comment right here too 🙂

We look forward to hearing from you and your pets – have fun & brain games!

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Day 97 Sniffing Saturday

Welcome to Day 97 of #100daysofenrichment and thank you for joining us on this journey!

Although our challenges are directed mainly at dogs, we want all species to enjoy and benefit from #100daysofenrichment so, please join in, adjust and adapt to help your pet or companion live a more enriched life.

Don’t forget to review all the information leading up to #100daysofenrichment and more here on playing safe. Know your dog!

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SNIFFARI!

Saturdays during #100daysofenrichment are all about emphasising the dog in all our dogs; all about sniffing and doing dog things.

Let’s have another Sniffari, to bring #100daysofenrichment to a close. I love collecting items of interest to bring home to Decker – I store them in the bathroom or shed to which the dog doesn’t have much access. Sniffari’s might happen on the road too, by bringing your dog to places of interest, that offer lots and lots of sniffing opportunities.

The tideline, where items from possibly all over world have washed up, makes for great sniffari-ing:

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A fallen tree, once the area is safe, adds total novelty and the opportunity to investigate something he wouldn’t otherwise get to:

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Last summer, in one of the workshops run for AniEd trainers, we discussed Scent & Sniffing. For this first time, I tried out something that I had been putting together in my head for quite a while…a sniffari!

I would love to say that I originated the term, but I think the credit goes to dog trainer Kristi Benson. And I would also love to claim that I came up with this idea, but I saw some similar version of this on an Australian company’s page: Dog Solutions. 
Here’s their fantastic Mobile Snuffle Park:

Mobile Snuffle Park

AniEd’s version of this is possibly a little different and I am hoping to develop it more and more.

What is a SNIFFARI?

Sniffari is an olfactory adventure for your dog. It can be as elaborate or as basic, as large or small, and as complex or simple as you like. You are limited only by your imagination, and how far you want to take this.

We went all-out-elaborate for our workshop. Attendees from around the country brought lots of bits and pieces to build the Sniffari. AniEd is already filled with “rubbish” that we use for puzzling and enrichment, so we contributed lots too.

Here’s a quick tour of the more elaborate set-up:

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Here’s a less elaborate set up from a PlayDates session:

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Our Sniffari is not just an olfactory journey, but a multi-sensory one. The dogs are drawn in and around many substrates, obstacles, sights AND smells. Many layers of cognition are engaged, meaning that so much brain power is involved.

A full enriching experience!

Setting up your SNIFFARI!

You can see the sorts of bits and pieces we have used, everything from fur to furniture!

You can set up your sniffari indoors or outdoors.
Outdoor sniffaris provide more space and extra challenge in the way air and the breeze moves through the obstacles.

When holding sniffaris outside, I tend not to include as much local vegetation etc. as it’s presumed the dog has olfactory information about this already. But when held indoors, I have tried to add vegetation of different types and from different locations as much as possible.

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Adding plants, like this lavender, to snufflemats in a box, to contain the odour, proved a big hit on our Sniffaris.

It features a lot in this Sniffari with Ned and Dexter showing great interest in it:

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In our Sniffaris we have used tents, chairs and tables to add different dimensions. We used a wooden frame, pool noodles, streamers, mats of different substrates, tubs of water, platforms and hula-hoops to add in physical and tactile challenge. We used seaweed, plants, old shoes, fur, feathers, toys, boxes, old food and cosmetic containers, vegetation, twigs and branches, sweeping brush, different containers, and lots of bits and pieces to add real olfactory interest.

We have also presented the interesting odours in different ways; up high, down low, under or behind other obstacles, hanging up, poking out, in tubs and boxes to contain and concentrate odour and most importantly, laid out with plenty of space in between each obstacle.

This space allows the dog to choose how they move in and around the course, and also to allow for lots of airflow to move.

Make sure the item/s aren’t dangerous and are safe to be sniffed, that they don’t contain or have never contained substances toxic to dogs, and make sure they’re appropriate for your dog. For example, it’s not a good idea to bring back vegetation that strange dogs may have peed on to unvaccinated puppies.

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Really, there should be no food used in this Sniffari. It changes the dog’s approach to this challenge. By using novel and interesting things and presenting them in new ways, most dogs will be encourage to explore if given time. As usual on Sniffing Saturdays, us humans are just hanging out letting our dogs do what they do best.

Group sniffaris aren’t always going to work. After this cooperative group had each had an individual chance to explore, under very close supervision they got to sniffari as a group:

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You can see more about our workshop sniffari and how the dogs benefited here, and also see how different dogs got on with AniEd sniffaris: Posie on Sniffari, Busy on Sniffari, Arlo & Brady on Sniffari.

Take your pet on Sniffari!

Your challenge

Now it’s your turn. Show us what you and your pets, of any species, can do with these challenges!

Post to your social media accounts, using the #100daysofenrichment so that we can find you and join our Facebook group to share your experiences, ideas and fun!
You can comment right here too 🙂

We look forward to hearing from you and your pets – have fun & brain games!

 

 

 

Day 96 Freestyle Friday

Welcome to Day 96 of #100daysofenrichment and thank you for joining us on this journey!

Although our challenges are directed mainly at dogs, we want all species to enjoy and benefit from #100daysofenrichment so, please join in, adjust and adapt to help your pet or companion live a more enriched life.

Don’t forget to review all the information leading up to #100daysofenrichment and more here on playing safe. Know your dog!

Freestyle Friday

Now it’s your turn to get creative! Every Friday is Freestyle Friday. We’ll give you the ingredients for a puzzle or enrichment device and you build it.

Rules:

  • you must use all the ingredients
  • you can add anything else you like, or nothing at all
  • whatever you come up with must be enriching

Day 96 Ingredients

You must use the following:

  • your dog’s absolute favourite toy or item – see if you can come up with a new or different game or interaction today

You can add food or toys or anything else appropriate, if you like. Or you can use this as it is.

We can’t wait to see what fun and brain games you and your pet get up to with this one!

Your challenge

Now it’s your turn. Show us what you and your pets, of any species, can do with these challenges!

Post to your social media accounts, using the #100daysofenrichment so that we can find you and join our Facebook group to share your experiences, ideas and fun!
You can comment right here too 🙂

We look forward to hearing from you and your pets – have fun & brain games!

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