Quick Tips for Success: Environmental Enrichment in Kennels – Croney Research Group



Environmental enrichment is the provision of accommodation or enhancement to the kennel that improves the quality of animal care in various ways. Effective enrichment: a. increases the number and types of normal
behaviors dogs show. b. reduces abnormal behaviors. c. increases dog’s use of the space given to them. d. helps dogs to cope with stress by giving them the opportunity to have some control over themselves and aspects of their environment.

Many caretakers will be familiar with providing toys as one of the most common forms of enrichment for dogs and puppies. Enrichment opportunities can also be incorporated into kennel design which involves altering both the quality and complexity of the dog’s living space. There are five categories of environmental enrichment: social, nutritional, occupational, physical, and sensory.


Döring, D., Haberland, B.E., Bauer, A., Dobenecker, B., Hack, R., Schmidt, J., & Erhard, M. H. (2016). Behavioral observations in dogs in 4 research facilities: Do they use their enrichment? Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 13, 55-62. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2016.04.002

Hubrecht, R.C. (1995). Enrichment in puppyhood and its effects on later behavior of dogs. Laboratory Animal Science, 45, 70-75.

Kaulfuß, P. and Mills, D.S. (2008). Neophilia in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and its implication for studies of dog cognition. Animal Cognition, 11, 553-556.

Pullen, A.J., Merrill, R.J.N., and Bradshaw, J.W.S. (2012). Habituation and dishabituation during object play in kennel-housed dogs. Animal Cognition, DOI 10.1007/s10071-012-0538-2

Schipper, L.L., Vinke, C.M., Schilder, M.B.H., and Spruijt, B.M. (2008). The effect of feeding enrichment toys on the behaviour of kennelled dogs (Canis familiaris). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 114, 182-195.


Photo: pixabay.com/users/jai79-498637/

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Topic(s): Bare Bones Basics, Breeder Resource, Types of Enrichment