Free Canine Enrichment: “Roll It”

Roll it

The aim of the Canine Enrichment game "Roll It" is to teach your dog a new skill or strategy to solve puzzles. Many dogs will just try to destroy any canine enrichment puzzle versus trying to figure out the solution to the game. Teaching a dog a skill like "roll it" will make them more thoughtful in their problem solving strategies.

Requirements

  • Can be played on or off leash in small space

Equipment

  • Towels of different sizes or thicknesses
  • Food or treats
  • A toy
  • Tie down (if needed)

Step by Step

1. Find a clean towel that is medium in size. If the towel is too thick it may make the game too easy. If the towel is too thin, it may make the game more difficult.

2. Put the dog in a down stay on a different mat or put the dog on a tie down. You want the dog to watch you setup the canine enrichment game. Depending on the size of your towel, you will want to fold in half lengthwise. Put a few treats in a line at the edge of the towel. Start rolling the towel. After each roll of the towel, put a couple more treats in the towel before you make the next roll. Once the towel is completely rolled up with treats, give a hard pat to keep it from just rolling right back open. Lastly, put a couple treats right on the open edge to get the dog started in the right place.

3. Release your dog from the stay or take them off the tie down. Direct them to the open edge of the towel where you placed 2 open treats. If you skip this step, the dog may just try to get to the treats from the rolled edge and just mess up the whole game. Keep directing them to the correct edge to start the game of rolling. Be sure to praise their efforts to roll the towel open to get the treats.

4. If your dog gives up and just tried to lay down on the towel, encourage them to get up or back up. Then, unroll the towel just enough to show them the next line of treats and quickly cover it back up. Verbally encourage them to try to get the treats.

Genius Level

  1. Once your dog understands the canine enrichment game, you can hide a toy in there as well. This will help reduce the amount of food your dog is getting and bring an element of play to the game.
  2. If you want, you can put the rolling behavior on cue “roll it”. This is not a necessary part of the game but would be fun so you can expand the rolling behavior to other situations.

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