Friday, August 8, 2014

Sniff training

I'm always searching for more ways to keep my little one out of trouble.  She has a super short attention span for games like fetch or simple training exercises but still has loads of energy to burn off.  I wish we could spend all day in the park, but alas...not possible!  If there was only an "off" button to these little zoomies!

So other than long walks outside, I've been looking for things to get her tired inside.  We've trained lots of commands but can only do about 5 mins at a time.  A couple weeks ago I looked up sniff training online and decided to try.  With a smelly treat (lamb lung), I first let her sniff the snack, then used a hand towel and hid it under the edge of the towel while encouraging her to "find it".  She started sniffing!   Yey!  I had to help her locate it the first couple times and at the end she could find it herself.

In the beginning you're just supposed to encourage any sniffing and help them to the treat after a couple seconds while slowly increasing the time and difficulty.  I'm not sure how much more tired she is, but it can't hurt!  Over the past week she's been able to "search" for longer periods of time before wandering away and giving up.  Sometimes she just loses concentration and I have to tell her to "find it" again.  Overall though she loves the game and will "work" (sit, lie down) to even play.

When they become an expert, you can start hiding treats in a variety of easy-to reach places and then switch to hiding toys too.  I like smelly treats to start with, or large toys.  Right now I also let her watch me hide it so she knows in which area to search for.  Sometimes instead of fetch, we play the "go find it" with the toy game.  It keeps her energy levels lower and her brain working.
at first just hide it on the edge of the towel

over time, bring it closer to the middle and see if they can lift the towel

learning how to get "into" the towel to find the treat

more treats please!


  1. Hey there! This is Amber the Downhill Dog's owner, James. Saw your post on my video and just wanted to say thanks so much for watching and glad you decided on a Vizsla. They're just gorgeous aren't they, like no other dog. Whiskey is beautiful!! Enjoy every moment, as you obviously do, they grow up so fast! :) All the best!!! James & Amber!

    1. So exciting to hear from you :) We really want to get Whiskey chasing a bike in the future. We're thinking to get her started soon (just walking next to a bike for a bit). Vizslas are beautiful but I didn't think I'd fall in love so fast or so far! Cheers!