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Tails Humane Society: Dog Enrichment Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We’re using the wobble cushion to build confidence in our dogs. Learning to step on, then sit and balance on the various surfaces gives them a sense of accomplishment. This is a great way to exercise our dogs in a calm, focused manner.

We use the rubber Kongs to provide our dogs with a calm, focused activity as they work to get their frozen/stuffed treats out, which helps break up the boredom for our dogs throughout the day.

The use of the Kong Feeder Wobblers during feeding time provides the dogs several benefits. Dogs being challenged to work for their food has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, build confidence, and improve appetite, and is overall mentally stimulating and exhausting. A tired dog is a calm dog, and a calm dog is much more likely to get adopted.

Thank you, we appreciate your support!

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Calliope (first four photos) came to Tails in January at 10 months of age when her owner was evicted and abandoned her in the apartment.

Upon intake, she was noted to be very jumpy and mouthy, lunging and barking at other dogs. She was put in a run in a quieter area since she was very stressed, panting heavily, jumping all around, and barking at every sound.

We worked on Calliope’s reactivity with dogs and began giving her frozen, stuffed Kongs to keep her busy when she was in her run. She quickly figured out how to get her food out of the Kong Wobbler, which also kept her focused on working for her food.

During her enrichment time, we were surprised to see how unsure she was about new items and began working with her on the wobble discs to build her confidence and give her success at trying “scary” things. Calliope’s behavior improved to the point that she could be moved to the main viewing area, where she was quickly adopted on July 6.

Fiona (fourth and fifth photos) was a 2-year-old female who came to Tails in January. She had been noted as being quite fearful when at Animal Control, so Tails moved her into foster to help her adjust. She began to show her overly-exuberant nature while in her foster home.

When she returned to Tails, she continued to be passed up because of her highly energetic behaviors. We began giving her frozen, stuffed Kongs in her cage to keep her busy and working on helping her build more confidence with the wobble disc.

Fiona’s confidence improved; she did great meeting a new family and was adopted on July 3.

Further Reading