Challenge Your Dog With These Scent Games for Pups

Dog noses are amazing. Your pet can smell things that you can only imagine, and with over 300 million smell receptors in his nose, it’s easy to see why a dog’s sense of smell is so important. If you want to engage in some educational play with your pooch, why not try one of these fun scent games with your dog? You’ll be amazed by your pet’s abilities, and your pet will have lots of fun finding delicious treats.

Hidden treats

This is a fun game to play indoors or outdoors, though you may want to let your pet master the indoor version before heading outside. To play, you simply take your dog out of the room, then hide small, smelly treats around the room for your pup to find. Bring your dog back into the room and tell him to find the treats. At first, your pup will probably find them accidentally, but after the first few treats your pet should be able to find them by scent only.

Follow the trail

A more complicated version of ‘hide the treat’ involves removing your dog from the house, then placing tiny bits of treat in a trail that meanders throughout your home, culminating in a larger treat at the end. Lead your dog to the beginning of the trail and encourage him to follow it to the end, eating the treats as he goes.

Once your dog gets the hang of this, eliminate the tiny crumb clues and instead rub a piece of the treat on your floor to create a scent trail for your dog to follow. You can leave small gaps in the trail to provide more of a challenge for your super sniffer.

One in the hand

This is a game that your pet will love because it involves both treats and your affection. Start by showing your pet a treat in your palm, then closing your fingers into a loose fist. Ask your dog to find the hidden treat, then reward him with it when he does. Move on to simply hiding the treat (without your dog seeing it) in your fist and asking him to find it.

Once your pet gets the hang of this, complicate things by offering both hands--one with a treat, one without--and see if your pet can find the treat.

Tags Dog safety

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