Daily Dog Training Games Part I

Daily Training Games

Daily Dog Training Games Part I

daily training games

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Hey everyone out there. I really hope that you are doing ok, that your friends and family are doing ok and that you will continue to be well and healthy. The world right now is slowing down, with more and more institutions and facilities closing and events being canceled. I personally canceled all my local classes and privates yesterday, in an attempt to keep everyone safe.

Other trainers in our city have done the same and the in-person dog training has pretty much come to a stand-still for now.

dog trainer playing with dog

Anyway, let’s get back to dog training. While you might be unable to attend your regular local classes or go to trials, I will be posting dog training games here every day for you to have something to do with your dog, and make the most out of the time spent isolated.

Let’s Do Some Nosework

nosework for dogs
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Alright – let’s move onto our games!

Today I want to share a nosework challenge with you. I already posted the first part on Facebook last week, but there it is again, as well as the next step.

I really like nosework – it can greatly increase a dog’s attention span and build his willingness to work for longer periods of time without always expecting and needing instant rewards. If you think about it, finding something with their nose (even a short search of 20 or 30 seconds) means 20 or 30 seconds in uninterrupted, constant attention and focus for their task.

nosework dogs

It can be quite tricky to develop this in other areas of training, for example heeling – it’s actually not all that easy to get a dog to heel for an equal amount of time without intermittent rewards, and perfect attention.

This is by no means any kind of “official” nosework – we don’t work with birch or similar scents, we don’t use or require the boxes commonly used – this is just some fun, spur-of-the-moment, at-home nosework.

I call it Find Cinnamon.

All you will need is a plastic bag in which you place some cinnamon, and poke a couple holes in. Then grab some treats, and you’re ready for part I:

Find Cinnamon – Part I

Some dogs catch onto this really quickly, others take a while. As always, go at your dog’s speed and praise and reward him for every effort he makes, especially in the beginning stages.

After this video your dog should be able to:

  • Target his nose to the bag of cinnamon
  • Target the bag of cinnamon in both your left and right hand
  • Target the bag at different heights, and especially close to the ground

Find Cinnamon – Part II

Once your dog is good at targeting the cinnamon bag with his nose on your hand, let’s move onto part II. In this section we will explain to our dog that he can always target the bag of cinnamon with his nose, not only when it is on our hand, but also on the ground.

After this video your dog should be able to:

  • Target the bag while after your place it on the ground
  • Target the bag when coming back from a thrown treat without a lot of gestures from you

Please note: Every dog will have his own individual level of targeting. You can see that my dog Fusion gets pretty amped up by the whole idea 😉 Whereas my little dog Party who you see in the background is very careful at targeting. If your dog approaches the bag very closely with his nose but does not make actual contact, you should still reward him for that effort. Especially if you always reward directly on the bag, he will over time be more and more likely to actually touch it.

Keep on practicing and you will be ready for part III soon!

Have fun with this, and I hope you check back in tomorrow for your next game. We will have some multi-part games like this one as well as some quick-and-easy games your dog will master in one go.

Let’s play together during these times and feel free to share and pass on the word.

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