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This Dog Has Developed His Own Triathlon: Why enrichment is still important for your dog

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Yep, me, Poncho-the-dog has now officially created his own triathlon! Not being a breed specific water dog, or a animal that can ride a bicycle, I’ve had to develop my own “course”. So here it is:

  1. Running with my mom the dog trainer 
  2. Retrieving my favorite toy du jour 
  3. Barking at trucks, big and small, especially diesel.
You’d think, just like my mom thought, that after getting me to my race distance goal of 3.11 miles today (yippee mom! I’m ready for my 5K), that I would have been tired enough not to do anything but nap… that was her goal after all, since she has to go to one of her private dog training sessions and wanted to leave me nice and tired so I’d take nappies instead of practicing event #3. But nope! I wanted to practice the other two events as well. 
Lucky for mom she went to plan B…giving me my lunch when she walked out the door, and managing the home environment: access to area outside to potty, but not the full yard to run amok in. Hmm, clever girl she is. 
This is how mom plans her days and works my meals and activities into her own schedule, to make it work to her advantage. You can do this with your own dogs too. Mom says instead of giving meals away for free, you humans should use them when you need them! 
For instance, if you’re going to leave your dog alone, provide some enrichment for them. It’s similar to leaving human kids at home with games, movies to watch, books to read, and snacks. 
You can leave interactive foods toys stuffed with your dogs meals. Or a “kibble hunt” – sort of like a scavenger hunt. Hide food items in safe areas of the house – inside or outside. 
You can’t expect us highly active animals to entertain ourselves all day

long without some sort of guidance? Cuz ya know many of us dogs will find our own entertainment – sometimes you humans don’t like the choices we make, so it’s up to you to help us make the right decisions. Look what happened with my friend Nellie. Her mom learned very quickly, and Nellie hasn’t done any redecorating since! 
I wonder when mom and I are going running again? I wonder if mom is ever going to organize a real custom triathlon event for me? Hmm, something for this inquisitive canine to ponder…

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