Hide the Treat hands down, I think, is a favorite not only for my dogs, but for me as well. Playing Hide the Treat teaches dogs how to use their nose, promotes focus and impulse control, allows for mental and physical exercise, and creates a time to bond with the family.
When we play this game, I like to get my family involved. You can play this game indoors or outdoors.
HOW DO I TEACH?
If your dog has a strong stay command; place your dog in a “stay.” If your dog doesn’t have a strong stay command and there are two people living in your home; have your friend hold your dog on a leash. If you don’t have a friend, you can place your dog on a leash tethered to leg of furniture or something solid.
You will want small nickel to pea sized treats, so your dog can quickly swallow.
When you first start the hide the treat games, allow your dog to see you place the treats in different places. Make the first few times really easy to find so they begin to understand the game.
Get the children involved! Have them get creative with hiding places. I know for my boys I had to explain that the dogs aren’t able to get up high, so I had to show them appropriate hiding places.
Once you have finished hiding five or six treats, release your dog by saying, “Go find the treat!” At this point, you may have to point out the treats. Continue with this step until he is quickly finding the treats.
Once your dog understands the game you can start making the treat hiding more difficult, like putting the treats up higher and possibly even hiding under couch cushions eventually!
Share in the comments about your dog’s hide the treat skills!
Blog written by Michelle Huntting
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.™