Did you know that dogs have between 200 and 300 million olfactory receptors, compared to five million in humans? Thanks to this impressive ability, smell games are fundamental challenges to combat boredom and keep them mentally and physically balanced. We will tell you about it in today’s post.
Why is it so important that our dog uses his nose?
Sniffing games for dogs provide multiple benefits, both to them and to ourselves:
- We interact with them and therefore the bond between animal and person is reinforced.
- They are a great challenge to combat boredom and certain destructive behaviors of dogs.
- While they are fun , smell games are extremely relaxing.
- Dogs enjoy these games, since they are in their sauce, by using the part of their body with the greatest potential.
- While sniffing, they feel safe and engage in very interesting physical and mental activity.
He thinks that sniffing games for dogs are an essential part of their recreation and positive stimulation, along with long walks in the park or in the mountains.
There are many types of sniffing and tracking games and toys , from artisans, which we can easily make at home, with elements almost always within our reach, to the supply of toys from establishments specialized in animals .
Three easy-to-practice smell games for dogs
The home, the garden or the park, can become the scene of the first games of smell of the dogs.
There are simple and inexpensive proposals to activate and develop, from a very young age, the body and mind of dogs. You just need enthusiasm, imagination, a few rewards and an object that we usually have on hand.
The idea is that the dog follows the trail of something that we have hidden until it is found. Once found, he will be rewarded with pampering, caresses and some other prize, generally food; for them it is one of the best trophies.
- Shall we play hide and seek?
If you ask your dog this question, you will see how he begins to wag his tail, crazy with joy. It is a very, very suggestive invitation for such a fine nose, since, wherever you hide, he will always find you.
Furthermore, it is a game that can be started from the first months of the dogs’ lives , to get them used to interacting with their caretakers and their environment or to train the “Come Here” command.
Doggy smell, hearing and concentration are put into action during this fun game.
We all know how to play hide and seek, because it is a classic in the childhood stage, but there are as many modalities as there is imagination.
Let’s look at some examples:
Playing hide and seek with your dog, someone else and you
- While one of the participants hides, the other has to show the dog the guidelines to follow. These can be short phrases, such as: “Where is it? Let’s see if you can find it! Come look! ”.
- If you have children at home , they are sure to hide, it is something they love.
- If it is a puppy and it gets a bit confused, the hiding can give it a wire, calling it by its name and adding a few words: “Toby, where am I?”.
- In the event that your dog is older, this game will stimulate him to move and continue exercising that gift they have in their nose and which remains in good condition until old age.
- When the dog manages to find the hiding place, it should not lack a loving gesture on our part or its well-deserved reward, such as cookies , snacks or cookies . He has earned his award, for being an obedient and good explorer.
Playing hide objects …
- In this mode of hiding, a person and the dog participate; some toys or prizes will be needed.
- You can choose his favorite rubber bone , the stuffed animal that has been smashed from so much use or any object that you have on hand, that is not dangerous or toxic; let him smell it and then hide it in some corner of the house; while the search lasts, your dog will be active, interested and attentive.
- When he finds him, congratulate him and return the toy or object you hid.
Playing to spread an object with food and hide it …
- If you are in the park or at home, you can play with your dog to hide objects smeared in wet food or with bits inside; The objects can be diverse, from Kong-type toys where to insert a snack , cardboard containers, wooden boxes, a towel or a piece of old cloth.
- When the explorer discovers the hidden objects, reward him with your caresses.
- As your dog finds the objects, increase the difficulty of the test.
- Sniffing out new scents
- Get your dog used to smelling new smells while playing.
- Start by using fruits with a strong smell, such as pineapple or peach; then try apple or pear.
- Cut a piece of fruit, bring it to his snout so he can smell it and hide it.
- Repeat the game with pieces of vegetables, or greens, such as carrots, broccoli or peas; steamed and crisp.
- You can also add balls of their usual feed, pieces of sausage, turkey or chicken, and even some cubes of cheese.
- When you find the hidden, you know: caresses and a prize, which in this case will be your own discovery.
- In which hand is the prize hidden?
- Without your dog seeing you, take a small treat in one of your hands and clench your fists; put both hands on your back and call out to him.
- When you have him face to face, present your clenched fists to them and let him come to sniff them.
- So ask him where the prize is; he will surely be right, because they are smarter than hunger.
- In the event that he does not find the prize the first time, open the empty hand and do not reward him.
- Repeat the game until he can figure out which hand he is in.
- This really is a game at your fingertips, never better said; you can also enjoy it with your dog anywhere, cold, hot, rainy or snowy.