From cuddling to coconuts: A review of enrichment interventions in the shelter

The use of behavioral interventions designed to improve the welfare of shelter dogs has become much more commonplace; yet, many interventions have not been empirically tested. Within the literature, animal scientists have explored the use of a wide range of enrichment strategies with sheltered dogs and tested their impacts on physiology and behavior with the goal of improving welfare. In this presentation, I’ll examine these interventions which can be broadly categorized as either social interaction with a human or conspecific; object enrichment; or sensory stimulation. I’ll also discuss the implications of these studies, including which additive interventions show the greatest potential for positively impacting dogs’ lives in the shelter.