For some dogs, going out on a walk can be difficult – for instance due to age, or illness, or even because being out can trigger a nervous reaction to traffic, other dogs, bikes… the list goes on. In those cases, games and activities that you can play at home are so important. This is a great, easy scent game to play with your dog.
Mental Stimulation For Your Dog
It can be a calming – or exciting – game that provides mental stimulation and fun. It encourages your dog to sniff, something it loves and needs to do! My pair, Mino and Toxa, adore this game. When we first started playing it, Mino just looked at us. He had to learn to sniff around for the treats. Now he can’t wait to get his nose in!
- Give your dog a treat so it knows what to sniff.
- Shut the door of the room where you’ll be playing so that your pup can’t see you hiding the treats.
- Hide a few treats around the room. Put some in obvious places and each time you play, gradually build up to more challenging hidey spots.
- Open the door and say ‘GO FIND!’
Teach Your Dog How To Play
You might need to help your dog to begin with if it has never done any scent games before. Dogs are one of the few animals that can follow pointing, so point to where you have hidden a treat, or lead it over towards it. Give your pup a helping hand if necessary while it learns how to play scent games such as this one.
When all the treats have been found, we say ‘ALL GONE!’ to mark the end of the game. After a few times of playing this game and saying ‘all gone’ at the end, your dog will learn that ‘all gone’ means the game has finished.
Calming Games, Exciting Games
You can also make this game less calming and more high energy by ramping up the excitement – instead of calmly inviting your dog to ‘go find’, say it in in a faster, more excited voice. Move around and encourage your dog to find the treats more quickly. Adjust the excitement level to suit how you want the game to be.
Dog Treat Recipes
You can use bought dog treats, of course, but we have lots of dog treat recipes that you can try at home – check them out here. If your dog isn’t food oriented but has a favourite toy, play the game with the toy instead – it works just as well!
A happy dog having fun searching for treats!
See our other mentally stimulating games for dogs here.