3 Scent Games Your Dog Will Love | Dogalize
1) Find the Food
This is a simple way to improve your dog’s scenting ability. It requires you to do nothing but place treats randomly around the home in the hopes that he will locate them by scent. Start by placing one or two treats down in full view, while he is out of the room. Then call him in. He will eat them happily and look for more. Repeat this process, but begin placing the treats in less obvious places; in a corner, just beneath a sofa or coffee table, or even partially beneath a doggie cushion. Place them while he is outside, or in another part of the home. Then simply let him find them on his own.
2) Pick the Hand
Here’s a simple way to rev up your dog’s nose. First, get some small tasty treats that will fit into your hand. A bit of turkey meat or cheese will work better than kibble because of the former’s stronger aroma. Next, take one into your palm and make a loose, palm-down fist. Then, with your dog sitting in front of you, offer him that fist, and let him sniff. While doing so, say “Find it!” Once he has sniffed it, open your hand and offer the treat, saying, “Good find it!” Repeat this a few times. Then, add your other empty fist. Don’t let him see which hand you place the treat into. Next, move your closed hands back and forth, then offer up both to him, saying “Find it!” When he sniffs at the treat hand, say, “Good find it!” and open your hand to give him the treat. Repeat this, alternating the hand in which you place the treat. The idea is to teach him that the location of treat varies and can be found only by scenting it out.
3) New Animal Scent
Dogs are born trackers of prey, other predators, and competitors. Take advantage of this by placing the scent of a new animal into your dog’s yard and see if he picks up on it. Try this outdoors only as dogs will often urinate over another animal’s scent as a way of reclaiming territory.
To begin, give an old towel or rag to a friend and have him or her rub it all over his or her dog or cat. If possible, have him or her get a drop of urine on the cloth as it contains strong scents. If not, rubbing it will do. Then, without your dog present, place the cloth out of sight somewhere in the yard, beneath a bush or behind a tree. Then let your dog out and see what happens! You can try this randomly with the scent of different animals to keep your dog guessing. After trying dog and cat scents, try hamster, parrot, ferret—whatever you can locate.