Looking for fun training games to switch up your dog’s usual routine? Stimulating your dog’s sense of smell can be a really fun process with great end results as well. Ever lose your car keys and wish your dog could find them? Maybe you left your slippers upstairs and would really love it if your furry friend could retrieve them for you. You can make this happen!
Related: Puppy training games
Here are 5 fun training games to play with your dog to stimulate his sense of smell.
Fun Training Games to Stimulate Your Dog’s Sense of Smell
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Pick a hand: This is the same game you may have played with kids. Put a homemade treat or small toy in one hand (something small enough to be able to close your hand around it) and as your dog ‘which one?’ He needs to either nudge the hand with his nose or touch it with his paw. The important piece to this game is that if he chooses the wrong hand he does not get the treat or toy. And be sure to give him lots of praise when he gets it right, they love to please you!
In the dark: This is played in a dark room (obviously). Hide a toy or crunchy treat in a dark room, maybe under something but within his reach. Follow him in so you know when he finds it, and again, put on a good show for him. Praise him a lot and he will know that when he does what you tell him to, it makes you happy. You can expand this game by playing in a park or your car. You can hide multiple toys or treats and only play when he finds them all. Just keep telling him to ‘find it’ (or whatever word you choose) and he will learn to trust you as well.
Hide and seek: A classic game and so fun to play with your dog! The kids do this with each other and the dogs give them away every time! Have someone hide, but before they do, have them play with the dog. Then once they are hidden, tell the dog to ‘find it’. Don’t make it too hard, hiding behind a closed door will hide the scent of the person and make it difficult. Start off by hiding behind a curtain or behind a partially closed door. Remember to give lots of praise once he finds her!
Drop it: That means you not him. Walk with your dog, with something in your hand or pocket (an item, not a treat or toy). Casually drop it and keep walking a few feet. Then stop and start to look for it, by checking your pockets and such and then tell your dog to ‘find it’. This one will come in handy if you lose your car keys, he can help you find them. Just keep in mind that metal objects do not hold a scent as well as fabric does. So to start with choose something with fabric, instead of your keys, unless you have a fabric keychain.
Fetch: Seems simple enough, but it’s a little more complicated than your typical throw and retrieve game of fetch. Play with an object, can even be a stick in the woods. After a few minutes, hold on to your dog, and toss the object far away. Count down ‘3-2-1’ or ‘1-2-3’ and tell him to go ‘find it’. Remember lots of praise when he finds it! Doing it this way, counting down and making him wait is also teaching him patience.
You can now be the envy of all your dog owning friends! Having your dog be able to fetch and find things for you is so fun. It’s really not hard to stimulate his sense of smell either as you can see by the training games above.
Have you played some training games with your dog to stimulate a sense of his? Share below what you have found to be helpful in making your dog the best he can be!