Ep. 35: Let Them Sniff!

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What is scent enrichment? And why is it important? 

  • Providing opportunities for the dog to engage his super power, his nose, in a variety of ways.
  • Olfaction is the dog’s primary scent. Sometimes we forget that since that is not the case for us humans. 
  • Mental enrichment can be more tiring!
  • Great for dogs who are worried about the world.
  • Excellent for crappy weather.

What are some different types of scent enrichment:

  • Essential oils, perfumes, and spices on a towel. Use very little oil! 
  • Animal scents on a towel, tug toy, flirt pole, and/or buried item.
  • Scents inside PVC pipes (with drilled holes).
  • Tossing treats in the yard and letting your dog hunt for them.
  • Sniffing on walks.

What is Nose Work? 

How do you teach your dog to play Nose Work?

Variables to consider when increasing difficulty:

  • Location of the search
  • Search size
  • Inside the boxes vs. outside the boxes
  • Hide placement
  • Wind speed/direction
  • Temperature

Common mistakes we make:

  • Making it too hard too quickly.
  • Engaging with dog, open and close treat bags, talking to them.
  • Rewarding the dog for engaging w/ you.
  • Staring at the dog.
  • When they make a mistake, help them out and take a step near the odor.
  • Making it too scary and moving too quickly for fearful dogs.

Other Resources:

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