Environmental Enrichment Programme - Halo Dogs

Environmental Enrichment Programme

Environmental Enrichment Programme

 

 

1. Introduction

 

1.1 Clients, by virtue of using our services are doing so in the expectation and understanding that their dogs will integrate, socialise and interact with the other dogs and facilities we have available whilst learning good behaviours from trained staff using modern teaching methods

 

1.2 Our facility is not unique however there are few that operate quite like Halo Dogs. It can best be visualised and described as a scout camp for dogs or a school playground

 

1.3 Unlike a traditional kennel environment where a dog is kept isolated for extended periods, our dogs are rarely isolated. Dogs that are temporarily separated are done so based on health (or lack of) or behavioural needs only

 

1.4 Environmental enrichment is a term used to describe any type of interaction or activity that stimulates a dog’s senses, engages their minds or moves their body

 

Whilst experts are unable to agree how many types of enrichment there are, they generally fall into two main categories; ACTIVE & PASSIVE

 

Auditory Enrichment (passive)
Cognitive Enrichment (active)
Environmental Enrichment (active)
Food based Enrichment (active)
Human interaction Enrichment (active)
Visual Enrichment (passive)
Social Enrichment (active)
Olfactory Enrichment (active)

 

1.5 It is expected that all staff will be familiar with this Procedure regardless of role

 

1.6 Time spent reviewing these components should be allocated as a mandatory part of the training process for new staff

 

 

2. Aim

 

2.1 It is the intended purpose of this document to detail the Environmental Enrichment available at Halo Dogs

 

2.2 To document approved products and methods of use

 

 

3. Legal / statutory position

 

3.1 This policy is in line with current accepted best practise guidelines

 

 

4. Standards of conduct and performance

 

4.1 Context

 

4.2 It is vital for the mental and physical health and wellbeing of dogs that the contents and context of this entire document is understood

 

4.3 Failure to adhere to this programme potentially increases unnecessary and avoidable suffering

 

4.4 Vision and values

 

4.5 Halo Dogs Ltd has a vision to be:

 

‘A world class dog care service for London staffed by well trained, enthusiastic and proud people who are all recognised for contributing to the provision of high-quality, modern animal care.’

 

4.6 This vision has a set of values that support it. The vision and values are communicated to staff in a number of ways. The values include:

 

Respect and courtesy – ‘We will value diversity and will treat everyone as they would wish to be treated, with respect and courtesy’

 

Integrity – ‘We will observe high standards of behaviour and conduct, making sure we are honest, open and genuine at all times and ready to stand up for what is right’

 

Accept responsibility – ‘We will be responsible for our own actions and decisions as we strive to constantly improve’

 

4.7 These values are communicated to all staff with an expectation that staff integrate the values into their working practices

 

4.8 Other standards of conduct and performance

 

4.9 Halo Dogs recognises the importance of ensuring animal welfare is the primary focus behind every decision

 

4.10 Halo Dogs recognise our responsibility as an employer to ensure the staff are well trained

 

4.11 Halo Dogs recognise our responsibility as leaders of this emerging market to lead by example and establish and maintain high standards

 

 

5. Principles

 

5.1 The following outlines some of the key principles around the Environmental Enrichment Programme

 

5.2 Enrichment is only valuable if it matters to the dog. An item or activity is not enriching if dogs do not use it, are afraid to use it or are bored of it

 

5.3 Each dog will have individual preferences so it is important to tailor them to the individual dogs preferences when possible

 

5.4 The primary purpose and function of Halo Dogs is to provide safe and modern care based around social interaction and education

 

5.5 This programme will be reviewed annually

 

 

6. Enrichment Types

 

The lives of domestic and feral dogs are vastly different. At first glance, our pet dogs seem to have it made! They typically don’t have to worry about shelter, food or water, and their medical needs are usually met. Sounds like quite the life, right? But physically and behaviorally, our dogs were built for a different world, one more like their wild counterparts. A feral dog may spend as much as 70 percent of its day hunting and searching for food. This requires quite a bit of physical energy expenditure and use of problem-solving skills. For many of our canine companions, their day consists of eight or more hours just waiting for us to come home, and even when we are home, many of us cannot devote as much time to our dogs as we would like. This makes it difficult for dogs to meet their normal needs for movement and stimulation


Animals that are under-stimulated are at an increased risk for behavioural problems, including destructive behavior, digging, escaping the house or yard, excessive movement, attention-seeking behaviours, excessive vocalization and even stereotypic or compulsive behaviors. The good news is that many of these problem behaviours improve with appropriate enrichment. Many studies on the benefits of enrichment have been conducted on zoo animals. Benefits range from reduced stereotypic and self-injurious behaviors, improved learning, reduced aggression and fear, decreased reactivity to stressors and improved memory. In dogs, enrichment both early and later in life has been shown to slow cognitive decline

 

6.1 Auditory Enrichment

Auditory enrichment engages the sense of hearing. This type of enrichment is beneficial to any dog but can be particularly helpful if a dog is afraid of loud noises. Research has shown that classical music has been found to help dogs relax and should be considered a good choice when dogs are being transported

 

6.2 Cognitive Enrichment
Cognitive Enrichment is essential for keeping a dog happy and mentally healthy at any age.
Cognitive Enrichment include any activity that requires a dog to think gives them a job or uses multiple senses at once. Teaching new behaviours such as obedience exercises or agility are great opportunities for cognitive enrichment

 

6.3 Environmental Enrichment
Environmental Enrichment is about making our facilities interesting and stimulating. To this end we have multiple areas, offering different textures with different equipment including tunnels, sandpits, fallen logs, splash pools and even a slide. We make full use of our 540 acre farm including taking the dogs into our woods and to meet the farm animals

 

6.4 Food based Enrichment
Food based enrichment encourages dogs to use their natural skills to forage and search for food. This type of enrichment is great for getting a dog’s body moving and brain engaged and provides some variety to their day by changing the way they eat other than simply from a bowl.

 

6.5 Human Interaction Enrichment
Enrichment in the form of human interaction is an essential part of a dog’s life. We interact with the dogs in our care from the moment we collect them in the morning until we return them home in the evenings.

 

6.6 Visual Enrichment

Visual enrichment is a type of sensory enrichment since it engages a dog’s sight. Generally, there are 2 types of visual enrichment; inside and outside of their environment.
In the fleet for example we have removed the bulkhead to allow light in and some view of the driver and outside world. In the cottage lounge and cabin we have installed TV’s and colourful signs, particularly blue and yellow signs.

 

6.7 Social Enrichment

Social enrichment is anything where your dog will meet new people and other dogs and animals. By regularly interacting with others, a dog will become used to meeting new people and dogs also helping with any fear or aggression issues

 

6.8 Olfactory (Scent) Enrichment

A dogs primary sense is their nose and it is not surprising given they have up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about 6 million in humans. Dogs sniff everything which is why scent enrichment is so much fun.

Research on scent enrichment for rescue dogs by Dr Todd discovered that olfactory enrichment worked. Vanilla, coconut and ginger reduced barking and whining and coconut and ginger increased the dogs’ sleep

Halo Dogs uses Vanilla air fresheners in their fleet and randomly throughout their indoor facilities

 

 

7. Programme

 

7.1 Typical Day

 

7.2 Collection

The full experience begins when we arrive at a house to collect a dog. Many dogs are pre-empting our arrival and this is confirmed once the door is opened. Our staff are trained to interact and engage with the dogs in a professional manner to get the lead on a dog safely and usually by utilising a piece of dried beef liver as a reward. Therefore before we have even arrived at the van the dogs have benefitted from cognitive, human, visual, food and olfactory enrichment

 

7.3 Transit

During transit a dog may share a crate with their friend, the music should be classical, a vanilla air freshener is present and they may be able to see the driver and out of the window. Therefore the journey in to the centre provides auditory, social, visual and olfactory enrichment

 

7.4 Arrival

Upon arrival the dogs will be unloaded and walked from the fleet into the facilities where they will find their friends, play and socialise. This allows them to benefit from visual, auditory, olfactory, cognitive, environmental and social enrichment

The staff will interact with the dogs as an absolute minimum to take photos and provide an update to the client which involves cognitive and human enrichment as an absolute minimum however usually involves food, visual environmental enrichment too

 

7.5 Lunchtime

For dogs who have lunch they will benefit from food enrichment at lunchtime as previously agreed with their owners

 

7.6 Afternoon

The afternoon is often broken up with toys such as footballs, frisbees, walks in the woods or to meet the farm animals. For clients who have requested it, we also undertake education sessions. These encompass the full spectrum of enrichment options.

 

7.7 Pre-departure

Before home time each dog is checked and groomed which involves human enrichment

 

7.8 En-route home

The journey home involves classical music and vanilla scent

 

7.9 Arrival home

Once at home indoors, the staff member ensure a fresh bowl of water, removes the lead and says good bye involving cognitive, environmental, food and human enrichment

 

7.10 For dogs that have had to be separated through illness or behaviour, they are kept in the lounge with a TV and are afforded frequent walks across the farm, thus they benefit from auditory and visual enrichment and human enrichment.

 

Appendix 1

 

Environmental Enrichment – Slab Field

ItemCapacityAimEnrichment?
Sand Pit15 DiggingY
Cable Drums10Different levelsY
Tyre swings5ExplorationY
Tunnel5HideY
Chairs10Different levelsY
Couches10Different levelsY
Field Shelter25Shade and aestheticsY
Cabin20ShadeY
Dog Beds20Different levelsY
Raised Wood Hut10Smaller indoorY
Milk ChurnsAestheticY
Dog Cart4Different levelsY
BicycleSocialisationY
Dog StatuesSocialisationY
Benches10Different levelsY

 

 

Environmental Enrichment – Grass Field

ItemCapacityAimEnrichment?
Sand Pit 15DiggingY
Cable Drums10Different levelsY
Devils Causeway5ExplorationY
Tunnel5HideY
Grass Mound10Different levelsY
Grass Couches10Different levelsY
Field Shelter25Shade and aestheticsY
Slide2Entertainment Y
Tyres5Different levels, explorationY
Raised Wood Hut10Smaller indoorY
Oak Logs10ClimbingY
Table10Different levelsY
Bicycle– SocialisationY

 

 

Environmental Enrichment – Fleet

ItemCapacityAimEnrichment?
Vanilla scentOlfactory Y
Classical music– Auditory Y
Day Light and windowVisual Y
Crate sharing– Social 

Y

 

 
  
 
 

Environmental Enrichment – Garden

ItemCapacityAimEnrichment?
Field Shelter25Shade and aesthetics Y
Cabin20Shade, TV, beds Y
Bench5Different levels Y

 

 

Environmental Enrichment – Barns

ItemCapacityAimEnrichment?
Tunnel5Hide / exploreY
Chairs10Different levelsY
Couches10Different levelsY
Dog Beds20Different levelsY
Raised Wood Hut10Smaller indoorY
Dog StatuesSocialisationY
Benches10Different levelsY

 

 

Environmental Enrichment – Other

ItemCapacityAimEnrichment?
Education Sessions1Cognition, human enrichmentY
Walks10All 8 enrichmentsY
Games, footballs, frisbee etcallAll 8 enrichmentsY
Feeding1foodY

 

 

 

 

Appendix 2

Environmental Enrichment Programme

 

Good Weather / Outside

 Mon  Tue  WedThuFri Sat Sun
08 / 09Pick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick up
09 / 10Pick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick up
10 / 11WalkWalkWalkWalkWalkWalkWalk
11 / 12Free play outsideFree play outsideFree play outsideFree play outsideFree play outsideFree play outsideFree play outside
12 / 13Lunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / Rest
13 / 14Games / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / Training
14 / 15Walk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free play
15 / 16GroomingGroomingGroomingGroomingGroomingGroomingGrooming
16 / 17Drop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop off
17 / 18Drop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop off



Inclement Weather / Inside

 Mon  TueWed Thu Fri Sat Sun
08 / 09Pick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick up
09 / 10Pick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick up
10 / 11WalkWalkWalkWalkWalkWalkWalk
11 / 12Free play insideFree play insideFree play insideFree play insideFree play insideFree play insideFree play inside
12 / 13Lunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / RestLunch / Rest
13 / 14Games / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / TrainingGames / Training
14 / 15Walk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free playWalk / Free play
15 / 16GroomingGroomingGroomingGroomingGroomingGroomingGrooming
16 / 17Drop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop off
17 / 18Drop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop off

 

Dog isolating / Inside 

 Mon Tue Wed  ThuFri Sat Sun
08 / 09Pick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick up
09 / 10Pick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick upPick up
10 / 11WalkWalkWalkWalkWalkWalkWalk
11 / 12Rest with TVRest with TVRest with TVRest with TVRest with TVRest with TVRest with TV
12 / 13GardenGardenGardenGardenGardenGardenGarden
13 / 14Rest with TV+ KongRest with TV+ KongRest with TV+ KongRest with TV+ KongRest with TV+ KongRest with TV+ KongRest with TV+ Kong
14 / 15Walk / trainingWalk / trainingWalk / trainingWalk / trainingWalk / trainingWalk / trainingWalk / training
15 / 16GroomingGroomingGroomingGroomingGroomingGroomingGrooming
16 / 17Drop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop off
17 / 18Drop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop offDrop off

 

*All toys, play and training equipment to be checked, cleaned and disinfected daily*
*All damaged toys, play and training equipment to be replaced immediately*
*Kongs or equivalent to be made available to isolated dogs and use of vanilla / coconut / ginger spray scents / air fresheners is recommended if not contraindicated