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Wild Enrichment Saturdays!
Yamnuska Wolfdog walking in the sanctuary enclosure in alberta canada.
December 1, 2023

Wild Enrichment Saturdays!

Join us the first Saturday of each month for some Wild Enrichment!

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A high-content wolfdog from the yamnuska wolfdog sanctuary in cochrane, alberta
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Wild Enrichment Saturdays! 

Our Wild Enrichment Saturdays will happen on the first Saturday of the month at 1 pm! This is a unique opportunity to see the wolfdogs enjoying some more novel types of enrichment that they don't experience on a daily basis. A full schedule for 2024 of what each Wild Enrichment Saturday will look like can be found below. While we do intend to stick to this schedule, they are subject to change. Our Wild Enrichment Saturdays are included with any admission to the Sanctuary.

Wild Enrichment 2024

January 6th – What did the wolfdogs get for Christmas?

In our first Wild Enrichment event of the year, we are excited to highlight the generous contributions received through our Candid Christmas Campaign for the wolfdogs. Ruby and Enzo, formerly part of the Grotto Pack, have now been relocated to the newly constructed Pharaoh enclosure. We will be conducting an activity with them to formally present them as the Pharaoh Pack. The enclosure features a fantastic viewing alcove, providing optimal opportunities to view the wolfdogs without visual barriers.

February 3rd – To Howl, or Not to Howl with Mawko!

Being a low-content wolfdog, Mawko is easily prompted to howl by various sounds, such as sirens. In our February Wild Enrichment session, we plan to play an assortment of sounds for her using a speaker, aiming to discover which ones might elicit a howl. Mawko will be present on a collar and leash, enthusiastically greeting our visitors. The event will conclude with a collective howl, which happens to be one of Mawko’s favourite pastimes.

March 2nd – Paws and Puzzles

Numerous dog and pet owners are likely acquainted with food-dispensing enrichment toys like puzzle feeders, which offer fantastic mental stimulation. However, many of these puzzle feeders are not robust enough to withstand the wolfdogs' inherently destructive behaviour. In this session, our Facilities Manager, Joel, will design a specially crafted puzzle game that meets the durability standards suitable for wolfdogs. Join us to witness one of our wolfdog packs engage in problem-solving as they tackle this unique mental challenge!

April 6th – Low, Mid, High Content Comparison

If all goes to plan, this activity aims to present an opportunity to compare a low, mid, and high content wolfdog to show the behaviourally, physical and even the biological differences in wolfdogs of varying amounts of wolf content. During this activity, we will be teaching you all about phenotyping, which is the process we use to estimate how much wolf content is in each wolfdog. Not only will you get a chance to see wolfdogs outside of their enclosures on a collar and leash, but you'll also get to see the key differences in different amounts of wolf content and why it is important to classify wolfdogs into low, mid or high content categories.

May 4th – Star Wars Day!

On May 4th, we celebrate Star Wars Day, and for our May Wild Enrichment event, we're embracing this theme for some enjoyable activities. We'll be creating Stormtroopers using cardboard boxes and paper mache, filling them with a diverse array of treats for the wolfdogs to enjoy. This will present them with a problem-solving challenge as they figure out how to access the goodies inside!

June 1st – Tug-o-war with a Wolfdog

Believe you're stronger than a wolfdog? Curious about their strength? Here's your chance to discover! Our Facilities Manager, Joel, will be organizing a Tug-o-war station, offering you the opportunity to test your strength against some of our wolfdogs. We'll have safety rules and guidelines in place to ensure everyone's well-being, making this a unique and exciting activity!

July 6th – Pool Party!

Nothing says summer like a Pool Party! Our Engadine Pack has a giant stock tank and they love to jump in and out and splash around. We will be throwing a pool party for them with wolfdog-friendly treats, drinks and pool games, as well as having the sprinkler going! Come join us for some summer fun!

August 3rd – National Watermelon Day!!

In the summer heat, we like to try to help the wolfdogs cool down with this tasty treat. The wolfdogs happen to love watermelon and August 3rd happens to be National Watermelon Day! So, we will be treating one of the packs to some watermelon in a variety of ways. We may put some in their big tanks of water, up on their platforms, or hang some off some tree branches. This will provide some great mental stimulation for them!

September 7th – Painting with Mawko  

This is a fan favourite, so we knew we needed to run another Painting with Mawko session for 2024! Mawko is quite the artist and wants to show off her artistic talent to you all! Mawko will be coming out of her enclosure to enjoy some wolfdog painting. You will surely be calling Mawko, Mawkoangelo, or Mawkasso by the end of this session. Mawko's masterpieces from the activity will be available to take home via a donation to the Sanctuary!

October 5th – Wolfdog Scarecrows

October marks the arrival of Fall and spooky season, and we're embracing the spirit of the season with some entertaining activities. We're crafting scarecrows for the wolfdogs, filled with an assortment of treats and scents for them to investigate. To capture the essence of Fall, we'll also be creating a sizable leaf pile for one of our packs, concealing tasty snacks throughout for added enjoyment.

November 2nd – Pizza Party!

Did someone say Pizza Party?! Limited tickets are up for grabs for guests eager to choose an array of toppings for the wolfdogs' pizzas in this exciting activity. We'll be crafting pizzas with perhaps some unconventional toppings and observing the wolfdogs' reactions. Will they eat it, roll on it, or perhaps mark it? The only way to know is to join us! While tickets are required for participation in selecting toppings, the activity itself is open to all Sanctuary visitors with regular admission.

December 7th – The Grinch ate Christmas

One of our wolfdog packs will be treated to a variety of Christmas goodies such as a meat-decorated Christmas tree, a Christmas wreath and some Christmas presents. We have a feeling that a lot of these decorations will be gobbled up by the wolfdogs. Leading us to believe they may have some Grinch-like tendencies and instead of stealing Christmas, they are going to gobble it right up!