DOG TRICK – FIND IT!
The idea is to have the dog use his nose to find a hidden object. First start with a simple exercise. Show the dog a treat (strong smelling ones work best). Let the dog see you place it under the edge of a towel about 6 feet away. Let the dog smell the scent of the treat on your hand. Send the dog and say “find it”. Reward with praise when the dog finds the treat. The reward is the treat. Start to move farther back from the hiding place and move the location of the treat – put it further under the towel so it is harder to get out. Then leaving the towel in the same place, put the treat a few feet away from the towel and send the dog. The dog will have to sniff out the location. Eventually, you will place the dog with his back to the location making sure he can’t see where you put the treat. This is a good way to practice your down/stay or sit/stay exercises, too. When that level has been achieved, move the dog to another room, hide the treat, let the dog sniff your hand and send him to “find it”. Give lots of praise. You can eventually move from food to solid obstacles such as balls, toys, etc. This makes the exercise into a retrieval.