|© Carrie Boyko|
Scentwork: Great Fun for Fido!
It's almost the New Year and I'm ready to add something to my repertoire. One of my favorite ways to interact with dog owners is by sharing fun activities to keep Fido's mental and physical muscles working. My new feature will do just that.
Each Saturday you'll find another way to add some puppy punch to your weekend. Sometimes I'll show you how to work the brain indoors on a rainy day. Other posts will offer tips on variety for active play.
From walking on leash to games for wide open spaces, I'll have something fun for you to share with your dog each and every Saturday. Join me. You won't regret it. Your dog will love you for the time you spend with her. Bonding will happen for both of you.
We'll start at the beginning, with Fido's first sense--SMELL! Scentwork is so basic to a dog's nature that you'll hardly have to offer instruction or reward. The game will be its own incentive. Let's get started:
- Grab a rag and rub some peanut butter on it.
- Leave your dog behind and choose a contained location to hide the rag--a fenced back yard, gated area, or even an indoor location where you can hide the rag without staining any furniture.
- Allow your dog to smell the peanut butter jar, or sniff a dab from your finger, and then send him off to "Find".
- Offer plenty of praise and encouragement as Fido grows warmer. Throw a "party" when she locates the rag, offering treats and praise and plenty of warm hugs.
- Keep the game easy at first, gradually building the difficulty of the hiding locations.
- Stop the game before Fido tires of the challenge; it should always end on a high note. A few minutes of Find will go a long way to tiring your dog's mind and assuring a great night's sleep.
- Change up the smells--cheese, steak, chicken, broth, your own body oil, and many more will work. Also use different items to locate. Many dogs will enjoy a game of "find the toy." Be sure to allow your pup to smell the toy before hiding it.
- Most of all, remember to keep it fun.