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Reduce problem behaviours with this great game!

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

The Find-It Game

First a little something about nose work games.

Is it any wonder your dog loves to sniff? With noses 10000x stronger than ours their olfactory experience is nothing like ours. Sniffing is a natural behaviour in our dogs and one I don’t think we as humans give enough thought to.

This game is especially important for scent hound breeds such as beagles, dachshunds, Dalmatians etc, however, all dogs can gain benefits from being taught this fun game!

By giving your dog regular outlets for this natural and important behaviour you will end up with a more satisfied and fulfilled dog. And if you’re a real dog nerd like me you’ll get joy out of seeing them using their best asset.

When first introducing this game it’s important to keep it really easy to ensure the dog is successful and therefore stays motivated to play.

Step 1. Ask your dog to remain in a sit and stay. While your dog is watching you place treats on the floor out of reach but still within view for your dog.

Step 2. Return back to your dog while they maintain their sit and stay. Once you have returned to them get their attention on you and cue them to “go find it” also using a gesture towards the treats you have placed. Just as your dog gets to the treats mark “yes”.

Step 3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 varying where you place treats. Sometimes place the treats in places out of view but still very easy for your dog to access.

Step 4. Once your dog has become very good at finding the treats, you can start to hide the treats in harder to find places. Remember to mark “yes” just before your dog gets to the treats. Always ensure your dog is having fun and successfully finding the treats after a couple minutes.


  • If your dog gives up searching or gets distracted, gently remind them that the game is still on by repeating the cue “go find it” and gesturing towards where the treats are hidden. Try not to give your dog too much help unless they are really struggling.

  • If they struggle on a rep, go back to hiding the treats in an easier spot and think about ending the game after a few easy reps to keep it positive.

  • Watch for the difference between your dog searching with their eyes vs. their nose. We want to hide the treats in such a way that they learn to use their nose more than their eyes as this will tire them out more in the long run.

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