Canine Enrichment ~ Snuffle Mat

Enrichment

[en-rich-muh nt]

noun

1. an act of enriching.
2. the state of being enriched.

3. something that enriches :
the enrichment’s of education and travel.

 

Now lets add a Canine to that and make it Canine Enrichment:

One standard definition of enrichment is: “Additions to an animal’s environment with which the animal voluntarily interacts and, as a result, experiences improved physical and/or psychological health.”

Types of enrichment: (Behavioral-Environmental) Any stimulus which evokes an animal’s interest in a positive way can be considered enriching, including natural and artificial objects, scents, novel foods, and different methods of preparing foods (for example, frozen in ice). Most enrichment stimuli can be divided into seven groups:[4]

  • Environmental; enhancing the animals’ captive habitat with opportunities that change or add complexity to the environment.
  • Feeding; by presenting food to an animal in different ways, such as hidden, scattered throughout their habitat, buried, or presented differently, natural hunting and scavenging behaviors are encouraged by requiring the animals to investigate, manipulate, and work for their food as they would in non-captive environments. Feeding enrichment is the most common technique used.
  • Manipulation; providing items that can be manipulated by the paws, feet, tail, horns, head, mouth, etc. This promotes investigatory behavior and exploratory play that is often closely related to behaviors that can be seen by the species in a natural, wild habitat. It is not uncommon to see manipulation and feeding techniques combined. Many objects offered to an animal in their habitat can contain treats that require the animal to open, break apart, and/or find the treats through obstacles within the enrichment object.
  • Puzzles; requiring an animal to solve simple problems to access food or other rewards. These puzzles can include puzzle feeders that contain the animal’s meal or manipulation objects that are presented.
  • Sensory; stimulating animals’ senses: visual, olfactory, auditory, tactile, and taste. Olfactory senses can be activated by presenting scents that the animal would encounter while hunting and mating in the wild. Caretakers include prey, predator, and pheromone scents within the enclosure. Auditory senses can be activated by playing recordings of the animal’s natural habitat, animal, and vocalizations that can be heard by the species in the wild.
  • Social; providing the opportunity to interact with other animals, either conspecifics or interspecifics.
  • Training; training animals with positive reinforcement or habituation. This technique not only helps the animal to become mentally stimulated, but also helps to create and form a bond between the animal and his/her caretaker; allowing the caretaker to get a closer look at the animal on a daily basis and allowing for easier daily and veterinary care. ~Wikipedia

Since we are learning that dogs need mental and physical activities to keep them from unwanted behaviors. We are finding more and more ways to enrich their lives so they can become better pets. When becoming better pets the dogs are happy as they are getting much needed mental stimulation and you are happy because your pet isn’t destroying things as it has a job to do when you give it one in enrichment toys. There are many different enrichment toys out there, store bought ones as in puzzles, kong toys, tug-o-jugs and home made ones as in a water bottle with holes and treats in it for the dog to figure out how to get the treats out or like below a “Snuffle Mat”.

A “Snuffle Mat” is a interactive toy that you hide treats in between the strips of fabric and have your dog use it’s nose to sniff out the treats and mouth to gobble up the treats once they find them.  For a snuffle mat you will need about 2 yards of fleece and a small dish mat that I got at the dollar store.

Cut fleece into strips.

You start by cutting your fabric into strips.

Cut into smaller pieces.

You then cut them down even further into 6-8 inch strips.

Ready to start.

Staring the knot tying process.

Take one 6-8 inch strip and start in the first row of the dish mat weave your strip in one hole under the divider and into the next hole and up tying it around the divider.

Keep tying each row until each row is filled up.

You keep doing this same procedure until all the rows are filled up going the same way.

How the top should look.

How the bottom looks.

Now go the other way and fill in all the empty holes.

Now you will turn your mat and push the already done strips out of your way and fill in the holes going the other way on the mat.

This is how the mat looks going the other way.

I found it easier to locate the holes and push your previous strips out of the way.

I found it easier to locate the holes and push your previous strips out of the way. You keep at this until all the holes are filled going the other way.

Finished top of the mat.

Finished bottom side of the mat.

When you are done with your mat it’s time to have some fun with the pooches.

Glory was first and she loved it.

Glory stuck her nose in and rooted around til she found a treat and kept on digging.

Gambler was naughty and ripped it when he couldn’t get anymore treats.

Gambler on the other hand was naughty and when he couldn’t find anymore treats he proceeded to rip the strips. So you should be with them when using this toy so you can stop that behavior and not have them wreck your mat.

I can’t wait to try out this snuffle mat with a litter of pups.

This mat I did have fleece cut for me at ~$5.00 a yard and the dish mat was $1.00. It took me about ~2 hours to make and cost $11.00. I did find fleece blankets at Walmart for $2.50 so I bought two of them for the next project so then it would only cost me $6.00 plus time.

I am told that to get the dog slobber out of the mat to wash it in vinegar and dawn dish soap and it comes right out. I haven’t had to wash mine yet.

Enjoy and enjoy watching your pooch interact with this canine enrichment toy.20

 

America’s Most Popular Dog Breeds

America’s Most Popular Dogs

Dogs vary greatly when it comes to size, behavior, characteristics, temperament, and amount of care or exercise required. However, they all have two things in common. One – they all evolved from the same species – the gray wolf of Central Asia – thousands of years ago. And two – they are the best friends mankind could ever hope to have.

Today, there are more than 330 dog breeds in the world, though the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes only about 190 of them. Recently, the organization released its annual list of popular dog breeds in the United States. Let’s say that no one was surprised when the gentle, intelligent and family-friendly Labrador Retriever retained its No.1 spot as America’s most favorite dog for the 26th time in a row. The loyal and courageous German Shepherd and the kind and trusty Golden Retriever followed close behind at the second and third places. Curious and cute beagles and dignified and equable bulldogs rounded up the top five. If you are a dog owner or are planning to get one soon, don’t forget to check out this new infographic from TopDogTips to know where your favorite dog breed ranks on the list!

188 Most Popular Dog Breeds in America 2017 (Infographic)

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever ranked 43 in popularity.

Pretty cool chart, thanks TopDogTips!

 

Fun With Filters In Saskatchewan Prairies

When we got to Saskatchewan our first stop was to meet up with a friend of ours. While waiting I just had to take some pictures of the gang while we waited. I edited them with different filters.

As you can tell it was a bit windy but overall such a beautiful day and beautiful subjects to photo.

Have a great day!

Wordless Wednesday is a community linkup of bloggers. Visit our host, BlogPaws, and you can use the icons below the post to hop from site to site. It is a great way to discover new blogs…..or even just a convenient way to find all of your favorites in one place. When you visit each site, be sure to leave a comment and let them know you found them through Wordless Wednesday.

 

Goodies For All ~ Bone Appe-Treat #chewyinfluencer

Chewy White

Ding Dong Chewy.com #ChewyInfluencer calling.

Glory here the spokes dog for Chewy’s new Goody Box.

We have some exciting news! At Chewy.com you can now get Goody Box Bone Appe-Treat (Surprise Dog Treat Selection) boxes delivered right to your door!

I can taste the goodness right through the box, this is going to be great!

Description:

Reward your dog with a pet gift box that’s filled with a specially curated selection of top-selling treats from premium brands. We’ll take the guesswork out of treat shopping, because each item is a tried-and-true pet-approved treat. Whether your four-legged friend’s a fan of soft and chewy bites or prefers something with a little crunch, he’s sure to love this pet gift box full of potential new favorites.

Let me check out the goodness. Every last item, let me at it.

Key Benefits:

  • Five or more full-size goodies from premium brands, including some grain- and gluten-free options.
  • Free shipping on every Chewy Goody Box order!
  • Handpicked gifts for dogs; recommended for pets at least 6 months old and 10 pounds.
  • Great savings on everyday prices in this treat-only box.
  • Surprise your own precious pooch, or give the Chewy Goody Box to friends and family as a thoughtful pet gift box.
  • It’s great for special occasions, new pet adoptions, pet birthdays or a special present for any day of the year.

So much goodness, I don’t know where to start.

Glory thought this box was the cat’s meow, even know their was some treats that could be multi species she decided she wasn’t sharing with the cat. The box came packed with 6 different treats, 5 bags/jar of treats and a chew stick (bully stick).

I think I should try out these treats first.

After sniffing each and every treat she decided she wanted the Halo treats, she tried to open them herself but couldn’t get the job done.

Never mind I think I should have this chew stick.

Since she couldn’t get the jar of treats open she decided the chew stick was the one she would try first.

I’ll just take this over here to this nice spot in the sun.

And off she went to find a comfy spot to chew on her chew stick.

A insert on all the different treats in the box and a page about training.

What was pretty cool about this box is along with the treats there was a insert describing all the different treats and if you flip over the sheet it has some basic training commands and how to get your dog to do the commands.

This box is a big hit in the Sand Spring house hold.

Glory gives this Goody Box 4 paws up! If you like surprises and great treats for your pooches this is the box for you. For only $19.95 you to can have a box of goodness.

So what are you waiting for get on that computer and go to Chewy.com  and place your order today!

Saskatchewan First Hunt 2017

September 30, 2017 was our first day of hunting snow geese in Saskatechewan. There were 5 of us hunting with 4 Sand Spring dogs. John was double teaming the birds with Glory and Gambler on each side of him while hunting, I had Guilty and our friend Mike had 10 year old Pearl. Pearl is out of the first litter we had with Nellie. She is doing awesome for being 10, you wouldn’t know she was that age by the awesome job she did out in the field. She gave it her all, she was just a bit sore but no worse for wear. I was hunting next to Ron so Guilty got to retrieve my birds as well as Ron’s. This day she retrieved 20 geese. She was loving life for sure. All the pictures in this post today are of Guilty.

We ended up with 58 birds. 48 snows and ross’s combined, 3 canada’s and 3 mallards. A pretty good day for our first day. The dogs sure were tired at night time and so was I. When we go hunting we set our alarms for o-dark thirty which correlates to 3:15 a.m. we leave the farm house at 3:45-4 a.m. get to the field by 4:30 a.m. start setting up decoys and put out what we can leaving enough time to park the trucks away from the field and walk the dogs back which turns out to be about a mile walk, get our blind’s set up and then wait for shooting hours to start which was around 6:30 a.m.  When the hunt is over, we walk back to get our trucks, drive back out to the field and start picking up decoys which takes about 2 hours as well. We then head back to the farm house and clean our morning birds, eat a little lunch and by that time it is 3 p.m. At about 5-5:30 p.m. we get in the trucks and head out to scout looking for a field to hunt in the next morning. That can take 10 minutes up to a hour or more. Once a field is locked in it’s supper time and then bed time as o-dark thirty comes pretty darn quickly.

 

 

Pheasant Opener And Some Ducks For Guilty

Yesterday was the WI pheasant opener. Hunting started at 9 a.m and you are allowed one bird on the opener. It was a raining morning so John and Guilty took off to go duck hunting while Glory, Gambler and I stayed in bed until it was time for us to go hunting. I didn’t know where John was hunting until I pulled into the public hunting lot and saw his truck.

Glory

Glory, Gambler and I headed off to look for pheasants. The dogs were super excited since this was the first time they got to go hunting since we got home from Saskatchewan. They ran and ran and ran sniffing every blade of grass trying to locate a pheasant.

While led walking through the marsh we came across John’s canoe. Of course the dogs had to check it out and Gambler had to let him know it was his.

We we stopped by John and Guilty to see what they were getting. They have gotten four ducks and Guilty was not sharing them.

So we said our goodbyes and finished our hunt which turned up no pheasants for us this day. It was nice to get the dogs out for a run and to see how well Guilty did on her duck hunt.

Have a safe hunting Sunday.

My Favorite Wagon Wheel ~ {This Moment} See Beautiful

Each year when we stay at the farm house in Saskatchewan while hunting I have to take pictures of the dogs in front of the beautiful wagon that is on the property. I just love the wagon wheel photos. I see beauty in the wagon and the extra beauty of my dogs in front of it makes it even more beautiful.

Guilty

Glory

Gambler

And of course one of Guilty taking off.

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” ~ Camille Pissarro

{This Moment} See Beautiful is a once a month Blog Hop, every 2nd Friday of the month. simply create a blog post that made your day, week, and/or month … inspiring you in Seeing Beauty. Blog Hop inspired by See Beautiful.

Gonna Get That Feather

The Sand Spring Gang wasn’t only getting feathers in the field they were getting feathers in the lawn back at the farm house after the hunt.

Do I have something stuck to my lip?

I don’t know if you do Gambler but I think I do?

This one taste’s like a snow goose.

Let me try chewing it and get a better taste.

Maybe if I smell it I could tell who it is from.

na na I can’t figure it out.

Let’s take another taste.

Whoo wee look at all the feathers.

I gotcha.

Nom Nom Nom

Momma getting in on the feather action.

Come to momma.

How you like my mustache?

Jump jump jump to get the feathers.

Ah Guilty it’s over here.

Yup right here, momma’s got it.

You snooze you loose all the feather fun.

I had a great time and so did the dogs trying to catch a feather in the air.

Have a great day.

Those Ears Silly Girl

We all like blooper photos and I usually end up with enough of them when trying to get the gang in a nice photo shoot. Guilty hates sitting for pictures so she is usually the first one to take off, Glory will sit but usually can’t get her ear to lay right and Gambler will sit like a pro but will squint or close his eyes a lot.

 

I did manage to get a couple of decent picture out of this shoot but none of Guilty.

I enjoyed using different filters to see how the photos would turn out.

Have a great Wednesday!

Wordless Wednesday is a community linkup of bloggers. Visit our host, BlogPaws, and you can use the icons below the post to hop from site to site. It is a great way to discover new blogs…..or even just a convenient way to find all of your favorites in one place. When you visit each site, be sure to leave a comment and let them know you found them through Wordless Wednesday.

Saskatchewan Bird Jewelry

You may have heard waterfowl hunters say after a hunt “I got some jewelry while hunting today” or “this one has jewelry”, that means they shot something that was banded. What does banded mean?

Bird Banding Laboratory 

Bird banding is a universal and indispensable technique for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds. The North American Bird Banding Program is jointly administered by the United States Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service. Their respective banding offices have similar functions and policies and use the same bands, reporting forms and data formats. Joint coordination of the program dates back to 1923.

9/30/17 I shot this Ross’s Goose while hunting in Saskatchewan. Guilty was my pick up dog for the birds I shot. I didn’t realize until after the hunt and I was gathering up my birds to haul them to the truck that I had shot a banded bird. Our hunting party has only recovered 5 banded birds in the 35 years that some of the hunters have been hunting in Saskatchewan. This was my first banded goose in the 7 years I have been hunting there. Once I got back to the farm house and uploaded my pictures I took out in the field this bird was the second bird I shot that morning. I was pretty excited to have gotten a banded bird. The bird appeared to be an adult goose in really nice condition so of course I had to take proper care of it so I could bring it home and have it mounted to be displayed in my house along with the other special birds that we have shot.

Once you recover a banded bird you need to report the band to the Bird Band Laboratory by clicking here. You enter the information that is asked and the number that is on the bird band.

Once entered you hit submit and it will generate a certificate telling you the history of the banded bird.

They also send you an email with the information that you provided and information on the band.

INFORMATION YOU ENTERED:
About your Band/Bird
Band number: 1847-89353
Species: Ross’s Goose
How obtained: Shot.
Status of Bird/Band: Dead/Unknown
Date of recovery: Sep 30, 2017
Location of recovery:
Coordinates: Lat/Lon 54.00000 -106.00000
Wynard, Saskatchewan, Canada
INFORMATION FROM OUR FILES:
Species: Ross’s Goose
Date banded: 08/08/2013
Banding Location: NEAR IQALUIT, NUNAVUT, CANADA
Age: WAS TOO YOUNG TO FLY WHEN BANDED IN 2013
Sex: FEMALE
I then looked on the map as to where this bird was banded and the correlation to where I shot it.
Links (some really interesting information on bird banding and migration of birds):

U.S Fish & Wildlife Services: Bird Banding

Environment and Climate Change Canada – Frequently Asked Questions: Bird Banding 

This is a hunt that will be in my memories forever, a special hunt indeed with my Guilty girl.