In this line of work, we often see very nervous dogs needing more focus work and emotional regulation and some very drivey dogs needing more biological fulfillment/play.
Trying to navigate themselves through our world can be incredibly stressful for dogs.
ny lack confidence, clarity, and live in constant confusion while having unmet needs with no outlet to relieve them.
What do you do to relieve stress or blow off steam?
When we get stressed or anxious, we turn to things that fulfill us, make us happy, and allow us to decompress. Colouring, hiking, reading, Yoga, hanging out with friends and family. These are some of the things we do as an outlet.
Dogs with behavioural problems like reactivity are incredibly stressed out, living in that negative feedback loop continuously playing in their head. Offsetting that stress through biological fulfillment can drastically help them blow off steam.
Fulfilling your dog's needs is not about having a big backyard, getting them a sibling or walking your dog three times a day. Fulfillment is about tapping into their primal nature.
Some examples of enrichment activities include:
Flirt Pole = Satisfies prey drive and promotes physical exercise
Teaching your dog to indicate on an article = Promotes increased focus and concentration
Ball hunts and Snuffle Mats = Provides olfactory enrichment and promotes calmness.
Swimming = Although it's not for every dog, it provides physical activity and is easy on your dog's joints.
Agility = Promotes physical and cognitive stimulation.
These are just a few things that can give your dog a feeling of fulfilment and build a stronger bond between you and your dog.
When we give our dogs an outlet, we typically see problem behaviours decrease and confidence in your dog increase.
So the next time you see your dog digging, sniffing, forging, and exploring, don't get mad; remember it's natural and who they are.
Instead, think about how you can give your dog an outlet to enjoy your life together.