At the start of the year we were thrilled to welcome Al from ‘My Dogs Best Friend Northern Ireland’ to the Sanctuary to go through some training on scent work and the benefits it can be as an enrichment activity for our dogs and in particular our long term dogs.

As we all know dogs explore the world via their noses and by doing some short but effective scent exercises there are benefits to them both physically and mentally. This is particularly important as it connects directly to the aims and objectives of all our enrichment activities in addressing both the mental and physical well being of our animals. As our dogs stretch themselves mentally this ensures their rest and ‘downtime’ is much more valuable to them and therefore more effective.

For the scent training all we need is some hidden catnip for example and then we can leave the rest to the dogs sniff out its location. So, if you see our dogs searching around the Sanctuary premises, don’t be alarmed – nothing suspicious is going on just another day of canine enrichment!

This regular enrichment activity along with others ensures that our dogs have the best possible experiences here at the Sanctuary, particularly our long term dogs who call the Sanctuary their home.

Other enrichment activities that we do include filled kongs / antlers, daily toy change, grooming, introduction to wearing a muzzle and of course the highly effective and enjoyable Dogs Day Out Programme which takes place on a weekly basis. For those hotter days the dogs also have access to a pool and sand pit which proves very popular!