What Does Canine Enrichment Actually Mean?
It's all about living more like nature. Canine enrichment can be defined as "meeting all of an animal's needs as closely as possible to how they would be met in the wild," according to authors Allie Bender and Emily Strong in their book Canine Enrichment for the Real World: Making It a Part of Your Dog's Daily Life. The goal is to encourage our dogs to "engage in species-typical behaviors in healthy and appropriate ways."
Put simply, dogs have behaviors that are genetic and innate, and "enrichment" is allowing them to engage in and practice those behaviors. To do this, you first have to know who dogs are as a species and what their needs are.
While these behaviors aren't appropriate everywhere (i.e. digging in your neighbor's yard) or all the time (rolling in dead worms right after a bath for instance), you want to offer frequent opportunities for you dog to act on a variety of their natural instincts.
Your goal should be to incorporate enrichment into your dog's daily routine. These natural dog behaviors encourage your dog's curiosity, build confidence, and make them happy.