Definition of Environmental Enrichment
Enrichment is a dynamic process for enhancing animal environments within the context of the animals behavioral biology and natural history. Environmental changes are made with the goal of increasing the animal’s behavioral choices and drawing out their species-appropriate behaviors, thus enhancing animal welfare.
—1999 AZA Behavior Scientific Advisory Group
So we’re opening a canine enrichment center, what on earth do we mean by that anyways?!
We want to be purposeful about what we do with the dogs. We always have. Every living creature is always learning. We want to be intentional and purposeful about what our dogs are learning during the day. We want to create an environment for your dog that is conducive to learning about how to live peacefully with other dogs and people. We want an environment that supports the development of rich relationships. We want to create an environment in which each dog feels safe to engage all their senses and is able to express natural behaviors. At our enrichment center, the environment will be designed with the dog in mind. What do dogs really need? What do dogs really enjoy? These will be the criteria that help us determine what we add to the environment and how we encourage the dogs to engage with their environment. How we engage with the dogs will be intentional and deliberate. How we foster engagement with other dogs will be intentional and deliberate. A day at the enrichment center will be an intentional delivery of enriching experiences for your dog to support his/her emotional, social and physical well-being.