While you get ready setting this game up, the puppy should be in his crate, in another room, or you can have someone else holding him.
In order to have control and to help keep him focused, keep the puppy on a leash for the first few times that you play the game. Start to teach this game by hiding the puppy’s kibble in very obvious places around the room.
Hide anywhere from 5 to 10 pieces.
Once you have the kibble in place, go and fetch the puppy.
In an excited tone of voice entice the puppy to find it. Repeat this phrase as your pup begins to scent the treats. Over a relatively short period of time these words will turn into a signal for the dog to search for things.
Tap your finger on the ground next to the treat and tell the puppy to find it.
As he gobbles his treats, tell him what a good critter he is, continue to use your voice to get him excited about the game and the prospects of the hunt. “What a good puppy!” “Do you wanna find it?” “Where is it?” “Hunt it up!”
Once he has found all of the treats, the game is over.
After you have played the game a few times, the puppy will have gotten the hang of it and you should not have to use the leash or do too much guiding in respect to where the treats are hidden.
You should start to hide the treats in more difficult places so that the game becomes more challenging and exciting for the dog.
- The biggest benefit of this game is that it is an outlet for the puppy to do what comes naturally, search and hunt, for his food or something he likes.
- This game strengthens the bond between you and your dog. It is also an activity that forces your dog to focus his attention.
- This is a suitable game to play in the house, the yard, or the park. It is very transportable and can be played anywhere.
- Children can be safely and effectively involved when supervised.
Once the puppy is a pro with treats, begin to alternate by using a toy instead of the treats.
A toy hidden and found can be followed with a game of retrieve. Hide the puppy’s favorite toy and when he finds it, toss it for him to chase a few times.
Once the puppy is a keen participant in the game of Hide and Go Seek (which should not take very long) you can vary the game; where you play it, what level of distractions are present and the things that you have the puppy search for.
The success of your dog games truly depends on how far you will let your imagination go!