Blythman and Partners - Veterinary Practices in Tyne And Wear

Puppy Advice: Enrichment

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Bringing your new puppy home is an exciting time for all involved. The first few months of life for a puppy are key to shaping their brain and future. This vital window begins to close at 16 weeks old, so it is essential we start teaching them from the very beginning.

We recommend reward-based training as puppies respond well to this method and avoids using harsh techniques.

It is incredibly rewarding training your puppy, but it can quickly become overwhelming especially when searching for advice, it can often lead to being incorrectly informed.

Here are some simple tips and advice we believe will help your puppy succeed in the big, wide world!

Blythman and Partners recommend every puppy enrols onto a training course provided by a recognised dog trainer/ behaviourist.

Please ask for more information.


Mental enrichment should be a huge part of your puppies’ everyday life as it helps build a happy and more confident puppy. It can also help with unwanted behaviours by giving them an outlet to express natural behaviours. Digging and shredding are natural behaviours for some breeds therefore they must be given an outlet to express these behaviours in a safe way. There are 6 categories to providing enrichment:

  • Toy – Engage in toy play to help strengthen your bond using a flirt pole/ tug toy. Having a toy rotation system is a great way to prevent puppies getting bored.
  • Food – Mealtimes should never be wasted in a bowl whilst their brain is developing. Encourage them to use their nose to search for their food, try scatter feeding on grass or hiding in a rolled-up blanket.
  • Sensory – This is to stimulate their senses, sight/ touch/ sound/ taste, and smell. Creating a scent garden of dog safe herbs are a great way of stimulating several senses at home. Doggy TV and bubbles are also easy to provide whilst they are in between vaccinations and not yet ready to venture into the wide world.
  • Physical – Making your puppies living space fun and exciting giving them outlets to perform certain behaviours such as a giving them a dig pit/ tunnels and playing scent games.
  • Cognitive – Problem solving/ brain games. Using interactive toys or puzzle feeders are a great way to keep them thinking, allowing them to gain confidence.
  • Social – Spending time with people/ play mates and new environments. Dogs are social animals and by allowing social time it can improve their communication skills and reduces the chances of reactivity and fear.

Please note there are many ways to train your puppy. If you are ever in doubt or have specific issues, please seek professional advice.

Useful links:

Finding a certified clinical animal behaviourist:

Dog training classes near you:

Training advice useful videos:

Analysing dog food:

Tags: Puppies & Dogs
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Blythman and Partners - Veterinary Practices in Tyne And Wear