Lonsdale is going the whole nine yards with plans to upgrade the three grassed dog exercise paddocks into one huge, sense-stimulating enrichment area.
RSPCA South Australia is currently in the planning stage for the development, which will see the shelter’s northern yards transformed into a puppy playground that dogs will love even more.
Using different textures, sounds and smells, the play equipment (all made from recycled tyres and pallets) will provide a mentally stimulating environment for resident dogs.
Building a full-on fun place for dogs
Enrichment yards are designed to promote instinctive canine behaviour. Many of the dogs coming into our care at Lonsdale have difficulty adjusting to the shelter environment; their need for respite and activities that build confidence is behind this decision to upgrade the main exercise areas.
Scratching and sniffing various textures helps to stimulate dogs and improve their wellbeing.
Conversely, under-stimulated dogs are more susceptible to behavioural issues. Happy, relaxed dogs experiencing positive stimulation are generally better behaved and therefore more easily able to find new homes.
So these upgraded yards promise to not only improve dog welfare, they might also reduce the length of time some dogs stay in our shelter before finding forever homes.
A year since we built our first dog enrichment yard
Lonsdale’s first dog enrichment yard was built next to the shelter’s vet clinic a year ago. Since the last patch of lawn was rolled out, it has become the most popular location for our staff and volunteers to walk dogs.
Equipped with a sandpit, fallen logs, tunnels and tracker tyres, there are numerous textures, smells and obstacles to keep our furry friends entertained.
Keep an eye out for the opening of our new yards in the not too distant future!