Cache Step 1
Today’s activity is an important one as it lays the foundations for any scent games you play with your dog.
Sniffing, searching and finding is naturally highly rewarding for dogs. Nervous dogs increase in confidence, and anxious or overly excited dogs become calm and focused. Dogs who are normally highly distracted by the environment learn to search with no loss of attention. Plus – it’s just plain fun and dogs love it!
Set up a range of items e.g. boxes, pots, containers, buckets, etc in your search area, stashing the cache.
1. With your dog in front of you watching, place a tasty, smelly treat or favourite toy (we call these the ‘hides’ just out of sight. Use a search cue (e.g. ‘Find t!’) to release them.
2. Once your dog is easily finding it, place the hide down in one position but pretend to put it somewhere else. This is called a ‘dummy drop’ and gets our dogs using their noses instead of their eyes. Release with your search cue. Try to only say it once.
3. Now start to set up your hides with your dog out of the room. Make it easy at first as we want them to succeed. Open the door and release them with your search cue.
4. Instead of placing the hides in easily accessible places, begin to hide them behind table legs, under cushions, on top of chairs, inside boxes.
Tag your videos #SevenDaysOfScentventure!