Activities For Dogs Who Like To Smell

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Introduction

There are a lot of smells in this world - some good, some not so great but all of them are interesting, especially for a dog! A dog can smell about 40 times better than a human which makes every little scent even more pronounced and intriguing. So, when you take your dog for a walk and they keep their head down, sniffing the whole way, it is because everything just smells so remarkable! Here are a few great activities to help your dog get some use out of that sniffer!

Find the Food

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Easy
10 min
Items needed
Bowl
Dog Food
Activity description

Dogs who like to smell are most likely huge fans of sniffing around for food. Your dog probably can smell a chicken scrap from a mile away and can detect when you have new treats in your grocery bags. So, why not make a game out of this! You don't just give your dog a treat for now reason - you probably make them work for it! Just as you have your dog sit, lie down or do a trick before giving them a treat, you should make your pup work for their dinner. How can you do this? Simple - by making it hard to find!

Step
1
Dinner's ready
Get your dog's bowl and fill it up with their favorite food (your dog is probably already by your side, waiting for their dinner!). Have your dog sit and stay, then leave the room. By this point, your pup is most likely very confused - "Hey, where is my dinner going?!".
Step
2
Where's dinner?
Hide your dog's food and hide it well. Don't just place it next to the couch and think that this is good enough - your dog has an amazing nose and they love to smell, they will find that food in a second! Try hiding it under the bed, under a box or behind a piece of furniture. Make your dog have to search!
Step
3
Tracking dinner
Go back to your dog and tell them to find the food! Watch as your dog's nose immediately hits the ground as they begin to track where the dog bowl may have gone. Once your pup does find the food (as they most certainly will), praise them and then let them eat in peace while you plot where to hide the food tomorrow!.
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Tracking Club

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Club Membership
Leash
Collar
Activity description

Did you know that there are clubs across the country that are designed specifically for dogs who love to smell? That's right! Dog tracking clubs are everywhere and most are organized by the American Kennel Club so they are nationally recognized. With tracking events, tracking certifications and tracking courses, your dog will never get bored if they participate in a tracking club. Another plus of these clubs is that you, the owner, will also get to socialize with other owners who have dogs who love to sniff - a perfect conversation starter! This is an ideal activity for your dog who loves to smell.

Step
1
Find a club
Find a dog tracking club in your area. Start by looking on the American Kennel club website where tracking events are listed. This website will also have a wide range of information about the tracking even and what it entails. There are some age requirements and other prerequisites that you must meet to participate in the official club.
Step
2
Are they ready?
Make sure your dog is ready for an event or a day out with a tracking club. Is your dog trained to respond to your commands? Are they super interested in seeking out certain scents? If so, then these events and outings will be perfect for you and your dog.
Step
3
Make a club
If you can't find a dog tracking club near you, then create your own! All you need is a group of dogs, something that smells strongly (dog-safe essential oils work well) to leave a scent trail and a prize for the winning dog! Your dog won't care if the club is "official" and will still try to smell everything just the same!
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Foraging

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Cheap
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Truffles
Collar
Activity description

If your dog is truly a gifted sniffer, then maybe you should put their prize winning nose to good use and train them to sniff out mushrooms. Dogs have been used to forage for truffles (a very highly sought after mushroom) for hundreds of years. A dog who has been trained to sniff out the location of this delicacy can be invaluable - truffles are not only delicious but extremely profitable! Truffles sell for a few thousand dollars a pound thanks to their rarity and unique flavor. So, if your dog can learn to find truffles, you may have your household's next moneymaker on the leash! 

Step
1
Find a class
Check to see if there are foraging classes in your area. While truffles are only native to certain parts of the country, you may be able to find a club that will forage for other things. After all, isn't foraging just like "hide and seek" or "find the toy" but in the forest instead of at home?
Step
2
Smell it
Introduce your dog to the item they will be searching for. If truffles are what you seek, then let your dog sniff a real truffle. Make sure your dog does not eat the truffle as they can be poisonous to your dog - safe to sniff, bad to eat. However, make sure they do get that really deep smell and as they are doing so, talk to them excitedly to pump your dog up for finding truffles. You want your dog to view a truffle as the ultimate prize so get them excited!
Step
3
Hide your own
Hide the truffle you brought under some leaves and have your dog dig it out with their nose; praise your pooch when they uncover the truffle. Now that they have that excited feeling associated with the smell of truffles, they are ready to head into the woods to sniff and hopefully find a great big truffle for you!
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More Fun Ideas...

Hidden Treat Cups Colors

Get three or four different colored plastic cups and hide a treat under one. Say the color of the cup and have your dog flip that color cup over for the treat. Do this process a few times and your dog will know their colors!

Find Me

One of the favorite games for a dog who loves to smell is hide and seek. Have your dog stay in one room while you hide. Let them use their sniffer to find you!

Conclusion

A dog's nose is an amazing thing. It is incredible how much they can smell and how a dog really can use this sense to find objects, to play games and to guide you toward treasure! You should never view your dog's love of smells as a bad thing (just watch them around the garbage pail!) but instead you should celebrate it and encourage them to sniff some more! You probably smell hundreds of things a day so just imagine what your dog smells… the good, the bad and the things you don't even want to imagine sniffing yourself!