Tips From the Dog House

An Easter Egg Hunt & Nosework Game for Dogs

0 Comments 07 April 2012

Those tiny humans have all the fun. 

 
Apparently, some giant mutant rabbit is headed our way His only purpose? To hide candy for the little people? Um…sweet gig. How’d the kids stumble into that one? Are they paying this bunny fellow off? Do they have some sort of juicy gossip on him?

Can us dogs maybe get a holiday like this?  

A Mid-Spring Mouse that brings cheese snacks? An Early-Summer Shetland Pony that brings chewies? Who do we petition to make this happen?

Of course an easier suggestion might be for your people to hide some eggs for you themselves.

The Mama was a little reluctant to post this one. She can just hear the non-dog people echoing in her head…”You did an Easter Egg Hunt…for your dog?” and then the snickering starts. Then she realized what a great training tool something like this can be and how much mental stimulation it would give us and she forged ahead.

After all, at it’s heart, an Easter Egg hunt is really just a nose work game.

 
Smelling for treats.
Mama and I have been working on playing nosework games for the last few months, ever since Pam & Honey at Something Wagging introduced us to the idea. I’m getting good. We’ve already had to start using more difficult smells for me to search for and the Mama has started changing up the type of container she hides the treats in. Today, she hid them in plastic Easter eggs and I had a ball hunting them all down!

Here are our tips for creating an egg hunt for your dog:

  • If your dog is a Power Chewer, skip the plastic eggs. Gentle mouthed dogs will just pop the egg open and eat the treats inside, but power chewers could crack the plastic egg. Instead, just hide treats.
  • If you’re going to use Eggs, choose ones that have “air holes” in them or create your own holes. The holes allow the tasty scent of treats to escape. Your dogs can follow their nose to find them!
  • If your dog is new to nosework games, fill them with strong-smelling, stinky treats. We used Salmon Paws fish treats which smell like tasty salmon. Make sure what ever you use drives your dog wild! Make sure you save one or two to give your dog just before the hunt.
  • Let your dog watch you fill up the eggs with tastiness, so they know what’s in them.
  • Block them from the room or the yard while you hide them and make sure you know where you hid them all! If your dog is not experienced with scent games, hide them at snout level in a small, open area, where they can be seen. (Felix is not very treat or scent oriented, so we just piled his eggs in a heap, right in the center of the room. For him, the whole game was getting the eggs open. BOL!)
Boba Fett is guarding an egg.
  • Give your dog one of the treats and an egg with the treat in them. It took Kol about 4 seconds to snarf the loose treat, another 12 seconds to pop open the plastic egg and eat that treat, then he was off to find the other eggs he could smell.
  • Supervise your dog as they find the treats. Make sure thy find them all or that you pick up any unfound eggs. You should always supervise your dog with plastic eggs, so that you can ensure they don’t try to chew them. Take any broken eggs away immediately.
Felix cracked open his first egg!
We had SO MUCH FUN!
 
Now that the hunt is over, I’m going to have a nap while the Mama makes us some special snacks. She’s baking up some bunny food – carrot bones! Uh, Yummy! Hopefully they turn out great and I can make her share the recipe!
 

What do you think? Will you plan an egg hunt for your dogs? What kind of tasty treats will you hide?

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