Sunday Family Fun Day: Hide the Treat

  

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!

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Blog written by Michelle Huntting

BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.

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6 Ways to Enhance Your Dog’s Life


Your dog is your everything. I know because my dog is my everything. There  is nothing like coming home to the wagging tail and big loving eyes that look up at you with so much joy and admiration. Dogs give us so much.

It’s time for us to give back. We get up, go to work, and leave our four legged bestie in a box of a house, day after day. I have been home for a while day after day and I start to lose my mind. So let’s talk environmental enrichment. Big words for such a simple idea.

Environmental enrichment enhances the animal’s environment with the goal to improve their social, cognitive, and psychological well-being. 

This is something that a zoo keeper has to constantly keep in mind for the animals that have brought into an enclosed environment from the wild, but something as pet owners we rarely take a second look at. Today is the day. You can improve your dog’s life and also his behavior by offering him simple things in his everyday life.

  1. House Design. The way that your house is designed for your dog can enhance his life. If he is left outdoors (or if you have a patio) one of the things I like to do for dogs is provide a kid sandbox with hidden dog toys so he can have fun digging them out. There are many other options with enacting the environment, but really the sky is the limit.

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2. Training. Training is always a huge key in every dog’s life. Dogs enjoy this because they get to learn new things and also it improves their behavior. My website (as well as blog) has loads of free training advice.

3. The good ol’ Ol Factory. Scent Games. Yes! Many dogs, surprisingly don’t even know how to use their nose. Scent games can help with focus, behavior, and are also are fun. There are many scent game books available, clubs, and much more. One game I like to play with my dogs is Hide the Treat. Check out the details here. 

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4. Food Related. There are many food related games for dogs like puzzle feeders and DIY games that you can easily and cheaply put together for your pet.

Here is a list of a few:
Nina Ottoson 
Kong Company
Buster Cube

5. Auditory. We can always utilize music. My highest recommendation is Through A Dog’s Ear. This is a CD that promotes relaxation. I know that there are dog related programs on TV as well. Again, the sky is the limit for the tools in your dog training tool box.

6. Novel Objects. This would include chew toys (raw hide, bone, bully stick), new things in the environment like a hammock, for example, or for my dog Boy his favorite is a stuffed raccoon. Toys for dogs are tools to enhance his environment.

When adding things to your dog’s environment you are being mindful of your dog’s needs and creating a better life for your beloved pet. Do you have anything that you like to use with your dog? Please share with us!

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Blog written by Michelle Huntting
Building the bridge of communication between dog and pet guardian 

 

 

Check out Abby Chesnut and Michelle Huntting’s Blab on Environmental Enrichment 

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