If you want a fun indoor game for rainy, icy or super hot days... Teach your dog to use his/her nose and SEARCH! A majority of a dog’s brain is dedicated to process scent. Their nose processes scent on a very intense level and it is a driving factor to who they are and what they do. So teaching a dog to use their nose is very mentally stimulating and back to nature fun for them. Here is how you teach the game “SEARCH”
Step one: Teach the word “SEARCH”
1. With your dog in the room and restrained by leash or collar – hide very smelly treats around the room as he/she watches. Put them in sight. At the leg of a chair, by a toy, corner of the rug, by the door, etc. In plain sight.
2. Release the dog and say “GO SEARCH”
3. Do not point or give hints – but you can stand by it.
4. Say “GOOD SEARCH” as your dog finds and eats the treats. Be sure to say it quickly as soon as the dog picks up the treat.
Step two: Teach them to use their nose to search
1. Repeat #1 above but this time put them slightly out of sight. Just slightly under a toy, behind a chair leg, behind a box, etc.
Step three: Move the dog or the treats out of the room
1. At this point we don’t want the dog to see where you hide the treats so they don’t use their eyes but only use their nose.
2. Hide them under a cup, under a pillow, under a toy, under a towel.
3. Gradually make it more out of sight and harder to find.
• If your dog is Ball or Toy crazy - you can play the same game. It must be something new with a lot of new material & rubber smells to work.
• Do not put search items up on tables or places you don’t want your dog to get up on.
• Use very, very smelly treats like Liver, Freeze Dried Beef or Salmon treats.
• Do not put treats up high on things unless they have learned to lift their head when searching. This takes skill.
• If you have multiple dogs you will want to play this one dog at a time!