The importance of enrichment for dogs (and what IS it?)

July 27, 2018


To enrich is to add greater value or significance to something. Enrichment for dogs can be anything that provides mental or physical stimulation for them. Providing this enrichment is important because it can help a dog learn to focus, develop impulse control and overall confidence. It also reduces stress and boredom which can lead to unwanted behaviors (digging, barking, aggression, etc).


Allowing your dog to experience new things-people, places, experiences, smells and allowing your dog to figure things out for themselves (and yes, that means sometimes making poor choices) helps your dog become a healthy, happy, stable companion. If this isn’t enough, providing enrichment for your dog can help build a stronger bond with you and will make your dog easier to train. I also love that if done properly, enrichment allows dogs to be themselves and you can appreciate them for who they are.

If you let your dog sniff the trail on your next hike or ask your dog to find a treat that you cleverly hid somewhere in your backyard THOSE are examples of providing enrichment. See? It’s easy.


What Dogs Want exists to provide enrichment services for dogs that help them become happier, healthier and more confident. We do this through the use of games and activities that instill manners and teach important skills such as impulse control, conflict resolution and body awareness. We choose activities that easy, effective, and fun to do. These games and activities were created by dog behavior and enrichment specialists and are designed for humans to do with their dog. This is a very important part of creating those strong social bonds!


We offer several programs and services to benefit your pup, from day programs at our Enrichment Center located in Phoenix, Arizona to our subscription box that provides several new brain games or activities each month that keep your dog mentally and physically sharp. We also work with daycare providers and local rescue groups to help develop ways to provide enrichment for dogs in their unique settings.



For more information, or to treat your dog to one of our boxes of brain games, visit us: You can see some of our students having fun (and get some great ideas of things to try at home!) by visiting us on Instagram @whatdogswant or check out our Facebook page @itswhatdogswant.


Go have fun with your dog!

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