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The dogs work for their Easter treats!

Mishka and Samba had to put their problem solving skills to work - and step out of their comfort zones - to get the treats today!

As a little Easter treat and to add variety to the dogs' day, they were given a 'destruction box' today. Tasty dog treats had been hidden under layers of shredded card inside a cardboard box. The idea is that they have to work hard - using their brains and their bodies - to get into the box and then search the treats out! Problem solving to find food is a very natural thing for dogs to do, so this activity certainly encourages them to use their brains and rewards them for doing so!

How do you think the dogs coped with this?

Mishka's straight in!

Mishka went straight in and soon dragged out all the shredded card so she could hunt out the treats more easily. Very smart! She used her nose to sniff them out and then she was very clever in the way she used her paws and nose together to separate out the treat from the shredded card, which she then gobbled up!

A bit too scary for Samba!

Samba however was a lot less confident. She hung back and watched as Mishka got stuck in. The idea of putting her head into that box was just too scary for her - a step too far out of her comfort zone.

I found that if I adapted the activity to help her feel more comfortable, she was able to have a go and get the reward, just as Mishka had. I pulled out the shredded card so she didn't have to put her head into the box - the thing that was causing her most anxiety - and she happily snuffled through the card to uncover her treasure!

Can you think of a time recently when you've tried out a new activity? How was it? Was it scary, fun, challenging, frustrating? Maybe it was a mixture of those things, or can you think of another word to describe it? Perhaps you had to put your problem solving skills to work just like Mishka and Samba, especially if the activity didn't go as you expected first time round.

If you have a pet, you might want to have a think about making them a boredom-busting toy. There are some great ideas for games and activities in this blog by the RSPCA:

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