Dogs have an amazing sense of smell, from birth they master how to identify smells and use their nose to guide them. You can teach your dog how you want them to use their sense of smell and a fun way of doing this is by playing games together. Dogs can detect scents in parts per trillion, their sense of smell is far more advanced than ours. 40% more of their brain is dedicated to smell than humans, that makes them pretty talented when it comes to sniffing things out.
Some dogs don't use this sense of smell as much as they used to, but you can awaken it. Some types of dogs such as scent hounds have an ever better sense of smell than others, because they have been specifically bred for this purpose. It doesn't matter what breed of dog you have you can still play fun scent games with them. Here are some scent games to try with your dog.
1. Find The Treat
Put your dog outside the room and hide some treats in different places in the room. Then let them in and watch as they sniff out each tasty treat.
2. Treats Under Cups
Get three plastic cups. Put a treat under one of them when your dog is not looking, then get them to find the one containing the treat by using their sense of smell. You can make this more complicated by adding more cups and using different treats.
3. Which Hand
Put a treat in one of your hands and get your dog to identify which hand has the treat inside it.
4. Find The Toy
Put your dog outside of the room and hide their favourite toy somewhere. Then let them back in and try and find it. Once they get the hang of this you can hide several toys and put them in places that are more difficult to find.
5. Find The Owner
Get someone to wait with your dog in a different room so they can't see you. Then go and hide somewhere in the house and get them to come and find you. You can also play this game outdoors too if your dog has good recall and won't run off.
6. Lights Out
This is similar to the hide the treat game but with a small difference, you turn all the lights out to make things even more difficult. Get your dog to try and search out treats in the dark.
7. Find Food In Boxes
Get some cardboard boxes and place them around your garden, you will need at least two or three. Put a treat in one of them and let your dog loose in the garden so that they can try and find the box with the treat.