How to Train Your Dog to Find Money

Medium
1-6 Months
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Introduction

Wouldn't it be nice if your dog could find money for you?  Good news! You can train a dog to sniff out pretty much anything as long as you have the patience needed to do so. Like many other things including drugs, people, and other creatures, money has its own distinct smell. Since most dogs have a fantastic sense of smell, they can be taught to use this sense to help them find hidden items, in many cases even when that item has been carefully hidden.

In fact, most branches of law enforcement have dogs that have been trained to sniff out a variety of items including drugs, ammunition, explosives, cadavers, live bodies, and yes, even money. Sniffer dogs trained to sniff out money are also used by Customs and TSA officials in the airports and shipping ports. These dogs are so good that they have found hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden in secret compartments over the course of the last few decades. You, on the other hand, could train your dog to find money every time you go out for a walk.

Defining Tasks

The task is pretty simple: your goal is first to teach your dog to recognize the smell of paper money (it's the ink that has the distinctive smell). Then you must teach your dog to use his newfound "love" of the way money smells to help you find money no matter where it is hidden. You never know how much money your dog might find for you every time you go for a walk. While you can train your dog to find money at almost any age, you should plan to start training him for this as soon as he has mastered the basic commands.

Not only will you be training your dog to recognize the smell of money, but to find it, and to alert you to the fact he has done so. One thing to keep firmly in your mind is that it will take time for your dog to learn to recognize the smell of money and then to use his sense of smell to find it.

Getting Started

Like most forms of training, teaching your pup to sniff out money is going to take some time and a few necessities, including:

  • Money: You need to have several pieces of paper money to train your pup to recognize the smell.
  • Treats:  No good training program is complete without a lot of treats to reward your pup for getting it right.
  • A toy:  To use during training sessions, a tennis ball works best.
  • A plastic zipper bag:  To place the ball and money inside to ensure the ball smells like money.
  • A quiet place:  If you plan to train your dog to perform any type of trick, a quiet place free of distractions is the best place to do so.
  • Patience:  It will take time to teach your dog this trick, so you will need to be very patient while he learns.

The Play Ball Method

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Step
1
Fetch
Start by teaching your dog to play fetch with the tennis ball.
Step
2
Scent the ball
Place the ball in a plastic bag with the money in it and store it there when not being used.
Step
3
Add signal
Have your dog smell the ball and once he starts to show interest in it, have him sit. This will be his way of alerting you to the fact he has found cash. Be sure to reward him with a treat and praise.
Step
4
Find it
Teach your pup to fetch the ball using a ‘find it’ command when you hide it. Reward him when he finds it and alerts you to its presence.
Step
5
Ditch the decoy
Finally, replace the ball with a small wad of cash and hide it. Give your dog the ‘find it’ command. When he finds and bring the cash to you, be sure to reward him and give him lots of praise.
Step
6
Take the show on the road
Repeat this until your dog finds the training cash and then move out to the real world. Using your ‘find it’ command, let your pup start finding cash for you no matter where you happen to be.
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The Treat Method

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Step
1
Get familiar
Take a small wad of paper money and hold it in front of your dog's nose.
Step
2
Encourage
If he sniffs at it and moves towards it, let him know he is a good boy and give him a treat.
Step
3
Find it
Place the money on the floor a few feet away and give your pup your ‘find it’ command. If he moves to the money, reward him with a treat.
Step
4
Make it tougher
Next, hide the money in the same room and encourage your dog to find it.
Step
5
Tougher still
Once he has mastered finding the money in the same room, move on to other rooms in the house.
Step
6
Take it outside
Move outside next and start hiding the money in easy to find spots at first before moving further away, rewarding your pup each time he finds you the cash.
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The Multiple Drops Method

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Step
1
Sniffing
Use a small wad of cash to get your pup used to the smell of money by holding it in front of his nose and rewarding him when he touches it.
Step
2
Hiding
Starting with one wad of cash, hide it in your home and give your pup the ‘find it’ command. When he does, be sure to give him a treat.
Step
3
Multiple targets
Once he has mastered finding a single wad of cash, try placing several bills around your home and encourage him to find each of them. Be sure to give him plenty of praise and treats when he does so.
Step
4
Take it outside
Move outside and repeat the same basic process by hiding one or two bills in several spots around your yard.
Step
5
Broader range
Time to go out into the wide world by planting a few bills around your neighborhood and having your pup find them. Try to do this when there is no one else around as other people might distract your pup or worse yet, steal your money. Each time your pup is successful, be sure to give him lots of praise and of course, his favorite treats to let him know he has done a great job!
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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