Josh working away on get the food from a frozen licky mat.

Living with an aggressive dog 18

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by Erik Prins

02/08/2023

Freeze them.

A final post on enrichment techniques I used with Josh and it is about the toys you can buy. There are many to mention but what I have used are Licky mats. I don’t just use any licky mat, I search for those which are deep enough so I can put lots of different types of food in them and then freeze the Licky mats to make it more challenging for my hounds. I do the same with a Kong I fill it with treats and then freeze the Kong’s.

The advantage of freezing the licky mats or Kong’s is the time your dog will spend getting the food. They really have to work hard to get to the food. I did a test in a kennel where I timed the two different approaches, frozen and not frozen. For non-frozen the dogs spend between 5 and 10 minutes to get the food. The frozen version was between 30-40 minutes. So it does make a difference in the effort and energy they use.

Caesar, my black Greyhound, doing an indoor scavenging. Having his nose in a multi-cloured snuffle mat.
scavenging version 2

Snuffle mat

I also like to use a feeding ball, it literally is a ball which you can open and close and fill with food. They need to push the ball around to get food out. it needs training but when they understand the game they will entertain themselves for some time.

The snuffle mat is a great one, you can make them yourself as the ones that are sold are not that big and limits the amount of food you can hide. It is an indoor version of the scavenging game I do in the garden. You could use more than one throughout the house which makes it even more challenging for your dog. Enrichment is a great tool to keep them busy, entertained and also improve their mental health. It is such a simple way of making sure your dog is happy. Certainly, for Josh, it made a difference.

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About the Author

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Erik Prins

Hello, My name is Erik, I am a 3D (Dutch, Dyslexic, Diabetic), 55-year-old young man who lives with his wife, daughter and 3 Greyhounds in North Warwickshire. I volunteer as a dog trainer and run my own dog training and dog psychology business. I am proudly Dyslexic, please forgive my grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and you may be so lucky to experience my chaotic mind. I hope you will enjoy the content as it builds up over time.