Enrich your Dogs life, let them Sniff

Enrich your Dogs life, let them Sniff

Most of us know that dogs have a great sense of smell, but do you know just how good? With dogs trained to follow human scent for search and rescue, human remains, explosives and medical conditions, we can’t deny how smart dogs are.

In the past week alone I have had many conversations in regards to the mental stimulation of our dogs versus the physical exercise. Whilst our dogs need and have the right to physical exercise, why do so many of us forget about a dog’s mental stimulation

One of the great ways you can enrich your dogs life is by scattering its food in some grass or across an area of your backyard, creating a treasure hunt for your dog, opposed to simply putting it in a bowl for them to scoff down in a matter of seconds.

This will encourage your dog to use it’s sense of smell in a highly rewarding manner.

So how does a dog smell?

I found this great little video that explains what goes on inside your dogs nose and how it all works.

So now that you have a better idea of how a dogs nose works, lets watch an active working dog, use it’s natural ability mixed with training to find an odour under more than 6 meters of water.

By allowing our pets to use one of their strongest instincts, we are naturally providing them with enrichment, after all who doesn’t enjoy a good treasure hunt.

If you have children, you can create a “Hansel & Gretel” trail. Simply pop your pooch inside whilst your kids lay the food trail for your dog to follow. When the trail has been laid, let your pooch out and sit back and watch your dog learn to use it’s nose and follow the track. As with any skill, the more it is practiced, the greater confidence one feels which is fabulous for timid dogs or those that have just been re-homed. This is also a great way to provide environmental enrichment if you have to go work and leave your dog at home for a period of time, keeping your dog busy with their treasure hunt. What a great way to enrich your dogs life.

When your dog is accustomed to using it’s nose, then you can harness this skill and train it to find particular items such as car keys or your mobile phone.

dog smell

I trained Zooka to use his sense of smell to find mobile phones. Together we have lots of fun hiding my phone and having him find it, when he does he gets his reward by playing ball. In these 2 photos, we have had friends hide the phone somewhere on the front of our property. It didn’t take long for Zooka to find it hidden well up and under the tyre.

It’s great fun & rewarding game for everyone to play, so get out there and enrich your dogs life now.

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