Barking dog solutions: give your dog a job


For 200 years dogs have been carefully bred for specific purposes. Furthermore, this has generated some incredible design feats. This includes dogs that have a sense of smell so exquisite that they can detect a single scent molecule, dogs that demonstrate incredible speed and agility, barking dogs to alert to the presence of game and dogs that can be the most dedicated companion.  Dogs are now fully fledged family members.  Many of the roles fulfilled in the past are now carried out by humans or automated machines. Therefore, sensitive alarms have replaced the hyper-vigilant barking dog, rat traps have replaced the heroic Jack Russell terrier and Dalmatians’ lack a horse carriage to trot next to.

Times have changed….many of our dogs have become unemployed and with unemployment comes an increase in training problems and behavioural disease.

Give your dog a job

Environmental enrichment strengthens your dog’s brain fitness through meaningful ‘employment’. Enrichment is aimed at providing positive, independent and self-rewarded activities that meet the individual needs of your dog thereby reducing the amount of time your dog has available to perform undesirable activities. Enrichment can take many forms; Kalmpets shares some ideas below:

Say ‘no’ to the food bowl!

There are very few activities dogs can perform independently of their humans. Feeding is one of these. As a result, your dog inhales their daily ration in a nanosecond and their one day job is over in a matter of moments. Above all, feeding enrichment stretches this job over the course of the day presenting food in a way that allows for independent and self-rewarded activity.

Dogs naturally enjoy foraging for their food. Providing opportunities where they can search for their food stimulates their senses and gives them a productive job to do.

Kalmpets top feeding enrichment ideas are below (***note: all toys have the potential to become a hazard if ingested, always monitor your dog to ensure they are not ingesting non-food items***)

Recycle your recyclables:

Treasure hunts:

Dog Slurpie:

Probably my summertime favourite – fill empty ice-cream or yoghurt containers with dilute chicken or beef stock, add a few treats and/or toys then freeze. Deliver the frozen block from the container and let the slurping begin!

Let your dog follow their nose

Certainly, a good belt-out run or aerobic activity helps to maintain physical health, however, the more you walk/run your dog the fitter they become and the more you have to walk/run your dog…… Daily exercise is important but Kalmpets challenges you to focus on content rather than distance when walking your dog. Dogs are ‘one big nose on four legs’ and they enjoy nothing better than a good sniffing session. Sniffing is energetically expensive leaving your dog both satisfied and exhausted.

Sniffing session tips:

Exercise tips:

At-home dogification

For Further Reading

Dog training foundations

Nose work

More feeding ideas

What issues are you
having with your pet?

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