Humans primarily use sight to navigate the world…dogs use smell. Engaging this sense organ will utilize both mental and physical energy, help improve focus and confidence, reduce anxiety, stimulate problem solving ability, and give you and your dog a fun and low impact exercise that can be done at any age, physical ability, or weather condition.
We start the dog off using a snuffle mat and some happy howie turkey treats (these are very small treats so we can use many without impacting meal time – kibble or your own high value treats can be substituted) This is easy and a quick way for your dog to learn the game of hide and seek. Once he understands the game, we make it a little harder.
We will wad up a towel and hide the treats in the folds. He will have to paw around and move the towel to get at the treats.
Once he knows he needs to work a little harder for the reward, we will continue to increase the level of difficulty at his own pace. The goal is to challenge but not frustrate him. We have all kinds of boxes, tins, plastic containers, etc to hide things in. If the dog is crazy about a toy, we can hide that for him as well. The pace is the dog’s own…we will go as slow or as fast as he can.