Animal Enrichment Comes In Many Forms at Brother Wolf

By Lisa Boland, Behavior and Enrichment Manager

Enrichment is an important component of the care we provide to Brother Wolf animals while they wait for their forever families. It comes in many forms, such as puzzle toys, fun feeders, positive training, sniffy walks, hikes, classes, and playgroups — to name a few!  

Follow our Behavior and Enrichment team on Facebook

Our dogs enjoy many enrichment activities on a daily basis. Inside the adoption center, each dog eats meals from puzzle bowls or toys, which gives them constructive outlets to expend mental energy. Staff members also routinely work with dogs to lower arousal levels when entering runs, delivering food, and preparing them for walks.

Outside, dogs enjoy playgroups — one of the most exciting activities for the social ones! The social and interactive cues that the dogs learn from each other are invaluable, and it’s such a heart-warming experience to see the dogs playing and having fun. Playgroups are also often been a bridge for the Behavior Team to connect with shy, undersocialized, or fearful dogs. The innate enthusiasm and interpersonal interactions give the Behavior and Enrichment team an opportunity to closely observe how each dog builds confidence. Playgroups happen five days a week, and we can always use more volunteers to assist with this essential enrichment program!

Click here to read more about playgroups

Volunteers also help us with our popular nosework classes. It is fantastic to see the dogs use both their noses and their brains as they search! We keep close records of each dog’s nosework participation and methodically increasing the difficulty as they expand their skills in the class.  

Click here to read more about nosework

Dogs new to nosework start on concrete or artificial turf because it doesn’t hold old scents (making it easier to find the prize). But Ambrosia (pictured left) is a pro! She has graduated to the most difficult environment.

We are also currently developing an agility foundations class to add to the weekly fun. Agility will offer the dogs confidence, body-awareness, and general skill building. It will be exciting to see them conquer obstacles and put together complex behavior chains!  

Away from the Adoption Center, we have an amazing group of Outward Hounds volunteers who take the dogs on hikes three days a week. What a unique opportunity for the dogs! These hikes also allow us to learn valuable information about how the dogs explore their environment!

Click here to read more about Outward Hounds

Finally, our Behavior and Enrichment team partners with a talented group of volunteers called “Manners Patrol”, who utilize clicker training to employ behavior modification and trick training. These exercises help give the dogs adoptable skills to take home to their new families — and they often gather a repertoire of adorable tricks!

Our cats receive enrichment too! We ensure that each cat has scratchers, different textiles, a “hidey hole”, and toys available to them at all times. These enriching tools help the cats explore their environment with confidence, and are excellent for providing mental and physical stimulation. The Behavior and Enrichment team also does behavior modification and training with the cats.

We love working with the dogs and cats, and it is a constant thrill to see each animal enjoy their various enrichment opportunities! As you can imagine, we are always in need of training treats and enrichment toys to continue our valuable work with the animals.

Please consider making a donation from our Behavior and Enrichment Amazon wishlist, or use the button below to make a monetary donation to our Help Me Learn fund.

 

  -  

Recent Stories

BACK TO TOP
Saving the Hurricane Florence Animals
By Audrey Lodato, Director of Animal Care Emotion is a part of animal rescue work. You learn to manage it.… Read More
Fence Keeps Dogs Safe While Caretaker Heals
By Savannah Merritt Our NeighborCorps Program recently helped a gentleman named Ri and his two dogs, Tara and Sam, by… Read More
Volunteer Risks Life to Save Dog From Cliff
By Kelly McPeek-Mullins, Dickenson County Chapter Manager When a community comes together, amazing things can happen. That is certainly the… Read More
Formerly Sad Dog Gets Happiest Life
By Jamie Stillwachs, McDowell County Chapter Manager A few weeks ago, a little white dog came to us from the… Read More
Read All Stories
CBD Oil Offers Relief To Anxious And Arthritic Dogs
Update from Brother Wolf's Medical Manager: "Last week, I discontinued giving CBD oil to the dogs in the study that we… Read More
LifeLong Animal Rescuer Needs YOUR Help!
Imagine this: You’re a lifelong animal lover, and you’ve rescued animals your whole life. You raised your children to love… Read More
Meet Dr. David Crouch, Animal Hero
Dr. David Crouch, from Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery, is a true animal hero and is one of the driving forces… Read More
Near-Death Cat Makes Unbelievable Transformation
By Angela Henson, Foster Team Coordinator and Adopter Lupe was brought to us on a cold day in February, in… Read More
Read All Stories