At our Enrichment Center we set up a treasure hunt for the dogs whenever we can because they LOVE it! When the weather is cool we can be outside and we have several places to hide the high valued morsels and when it is crazy hot, we set up a hunt indoors. We use more props since we have a much smaller inside area but it is still a fantastic opportunity for the dogs to build confidence, utilize problem solving, creative thinking, and impulse control skills, along with engaging their nose to seek as they search the area.
Yampa, a young Golden Retriever, has some excellent skills that she uses to snatch up several of the hidden treats. She will go high and she will go low to get to the tasty morsels. "I could do this all day....well maybe not ALL day, but most of it! My Mom and Dad let me practice these skills at home by hiding toys and treats all around the house and I love this game when I play it at home too."
Treats can be placed almost anywhere and the number of treats can range from 1 to any number you choose. Cooper, a miniaussie, shows that there is a way to unfold a mat with a treat and he does not waste any time getting to the treasure. "Hey, where is that treat? Is there only one? Come on, there has to be more than just 1! I know that I am not as fast at finding the hidden treasures as some of my classmates, but I can run fast and sometimes I can snatch up a morsel right from under the nose of another dog, so there!"
We decided to throw a curve ball to the dogs by hiding a toy instead of any treats. We were so surprised how well they did. Like I stated earlier, we let the dogs practice their scenting skills as often as possible.
Yampa was back at it when we hid a toy from her. She was right on it and found the toy every time we hid it, in record time. "I really wish that these guys would let me take this fuzzy toy and play with it, by myself, for just a little while. I wonder if I just casually keep it in my mouth and walk to a spot, if they would notice that I even had it??"
Bandit and Lucy, our Havanese housemates, found themselves searching for the hidden toy in our Noodle Wall. Any prop that we have handy is fair game to use as a hidey spot for a treasure hunt, especially when we are hiding inside where we have limited hiding places. "I wonder what we are looking for
Lucy? I think that I am picking up something but not sure what the smell is! Why don't you stick your head in here and help me find something, come on you can do it! I don't think that I care enough to stick my head in those noodles, Bandit. If there is a treat in there, it better be really swell and you have to be extra nice to me at home! You got it, now stick your head in here.....wait a minute....got it! No deal, but you know I love you, Lucy."
Thanks for stopping by to read about what we are doing to enrich the lives of dogs with fun and challenging activities because "It Is What Dogs Want".