Just like we exercise our dogs muscles, we must exercise their brains!
Without mental stimulation dogs tend to become bored and destructive… which can lead to unwanted behaviors. Do any of these sound familiar???
Eating shoes, eating furniture, eating homework, tearing up the carpet, etc…
These behaviors can be exacerbated for shelter dogs. As their time behind bars ticks by slowly, shelter dogs show signs of boredom in very obvious ways. Many shut down, bowing their head or staring at the wall for hours upon hours.
Others become stir crazy and frantic in their kennels, oftentimes turning in circles or constantly barking.
Either way, these behaviors can make them less attractive to potential adopters.
To combat this problematic vicious cycle, West Valley Animal Shelter in Chatsworth, California started a Friday night enrichment program for their long term resident dogs (and it ROCKS!)
Every Friday night, after the shelter closes their doors, a group of volunteers gather together to throw a party for the pups!
These “parties” consist of training sessions that are run by volunteer coordinator, Charla.
By the way, Charla is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the well being of the shelter dogs and I adore her!
The dogs get to go to the play yard and learn mentally stimulating training commands like “sit, stay, down, paw”. They then get to go inside and play a type of “ring around the rosy” game with mats and treats!
It gives them exercise, socialization skills and a wonderful opportunity to learn manners that may literally save their life!
Please watch below for more information and for some fun games you can use at home to help enrich your pets life!