Your pup's nose is thousands of times more sensitive than yours and can detect the slightest scent from hundreds of yards and sometimes even miles away, depending on how the wind is blowing. While in nature dogs use their noses to find food, detect enemies, keep an eye on their pack and much more, most find themselves subjected to little challenge now they are domesticated. However, the good news is that you can put this natural talent to good use, teaching your pup to find things using nothing more than his nose.
The rest of the good news is that your dog will thoroughly enjoy playing this game once he learns it. In fact, you may find he starts bringing you things to hide just so he can go find them. Not only is this great fun for him, it is a good way to get a little extra exercise.
The task at hand is to train your pup to use that great big nose on the front of his face to find things you have hidden around the house or out in the yard. This type of training typically involves allowing your pup to sniff and/or see the item to be hidden so that he knows what he is "looking" for.
You can start training your pup this trick once he has mastered the four basic commands, 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. You may also want to have trained your pup to fetch first, this way he will bring what he finds back to you.
You can, of course, also teach this trick to an older dog. It may take longer, but most dogs can learn this trick as long as you are patient and willing to work with them.
For this trick, you will need a few items along with plenty of time and a place to practice that can provide you with plenty of spots to hide the items being used for training. In most cases, working inside your home is a good place to start, but if you have a dog who you feel is too big to bounce around the house, you can take the training outside. You don't need much in the way of supplies, but you will need:
The most important thing to remember is that you are teaching your dog to play a game. This means you need to make every aspect of the training as much fun as possible for both of you. You can teach virtually any dog to find treats, but the younger you start, the faster your pup is likely to learn.