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I saw this on a thread I read recently. I apologize to who ever wrote the post but thank you very much. This worked perfectly.

I decided I needed to step up Sasha's mental exercise so I figured I'll play "find-it" with her. I started her by putting her in her crate (so she wouldn't just follow me) and putting a little piece of hot dog to her nose. She sniffed and licked at it and then I just basically made a little trail with the hot dog on the floor and hid it behind a box. I went back to her and put my hand on the floor (had some hot dog residue on it) right by where I started the trail and I told her "find it." She did just that. She followed my hot dog trail straight to the hot dog it self.

I kept doing this until the hot dog was gone and I gradually made the trail less solid. What I mean by that is the first time, it was one solid line to the hot dog. Then I would make dots and eventually make them go further and further apart. She found it every time.

My daughter got home and I was anxious to show her Sasha's new trick. So I figured I'd make this a bit more difficult and use a cheeto (harder in my mind since it doesn't leave "juice" to follow) So I made a few dots that lead to my daughters bag that was on the floor and put the cheeto there. And Sasha, was able to find the cheeto!

Just wanted to share that with everyone since I think its a neat little game to play. I really had/have no idea what I'm doing or why I wanted her to find something in this fashion other than I want her to feel like she has a Job to do or something to work for. She really enjoyed it though.

 

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She's really enjoying this game now. We only do about 3 of these searches a day. I've started hiding stuff behind closed doors and she finds the treats every time. She seems so driven when we play this game too. Playing games like this and stepping up the NILIF has defintely made a difference in her.
 

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This is fun stuff. A suggestion, take the treats away, let Sahsa sniff an old sock or something similar, and see if the dog can find it. My hunch is you be pleasantly surprised. Then reward Sasha with a treat.

If it works you can move on from there.
 

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i dont remember how i tought tyson to "find it" (i think it was just one of those things he picked up..??) but it is very fun to do when your stuck in the house.
 

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it is amazing how that nose of theirs works isn't it. we do the same thing with our steeda but we use his tennis ball he plays with. i hide it while he is not looking and dont leave him a trail (makes it more work for him) and somehow he always finds it.
 

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Is is fun, and when you are stuck in the house, during this winter in Wiscosin, the dog gets a bit of mental exercise.
 

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Aloha, You can ramp it up a bit as well by doing the following

1: shut off lights where you hide the object
2: when Sasha is in the stay position, go into multiple rooms (not letting her see which room you placed the object)
3: place object wrapped in something and then in a box
4: hide object in or close to smelly kibble
5: let Sasha smell the object then switch the object that you actually hide.
I do all the above, but Rasa knows I am trying to fool her and she works much harder to show she is smarter than me. But you should ease off if Sasha will not ramp up to the challenges. (Some of the above could be kinda mean)
Frank
 

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Aloha. More on Find it... I do a routine of about 1/2 -3/4+ hour in the morning and more in the evening.

1: Throw a ball into 3-4 foot high grass and Rasa has to sniff a lot to find the ball. (grass is sooo dense that a ball can be lost even if it is at your feet)
2: While Rasa is finding the ball, I hide DOWNWIND in some bushes and when she brings the ball back she has to find ME!. Hilarous to see her running around abandoned buildings at 50MPH looking looking.
3: Frequently Rasa will loose the ball in the tall grass and come back empty handed (pawed?). Then I start a find-it session of looking for the previously thrown ball. Rasa gets totally competitive trying to find the ball first. This can last for 10-15 minutes... all the time Rasa is snorting and wagging tail fiercely and doing her search pattern.
4: Sometimes I take off UPWIND while Rasa is looking for the ball and go about 1/4 mile weaving down this abandoned street or that street, and let her figure it out!! (changes every time). I Just be sure there are no cars.

Frank
 

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Originally Posted By: Nerrej
Just wanted to share that with everyone since I think its a neat little game to play. I really had/have no idea what I'm doing or why I wanted her to find something in this fashion other than I want her to feel like she has a Job to do or something to work for. She really enjoyed it though.
Excellent stuff. Definitely expand it.

I teach my dog find it, and bring it, and put it among many other things.

You can start teaching them names of all kinds of objects and have them find them and bring them (keys, wallet, checkbook, ball, frisbee, whatever you can teach the name of). I start with toys until they know them by name, then move to other things.

You can also teach places like bed, bedroom, bathroom, inside, outside, backyard, lap, table, closet etc. and have them go find something, and go put it somewhere.

I teach a lot of this just by repeating a word consistently. Every time I go out back I say "backyard", I go into the bedroom and say "bedroom" every time I go get her leash I say "leash", every time I play with the ball I say ball or whatever toy it is. I only use one toy a day though. They tend to get the association naturally after a while and once they start learning names of several things and places and using those names it starts going much faster.

I test it by hiding a ball or something, saying "find the ball" and then saying in the bedroom! (or wherever I hid it) if she goes straight to the bedroom it's working and much praise is lavished. If not sometimes I'll say "bedroom" as I go in the room and show her where I hid the ball and just keep on with it.

I also just repeat things like "drink your water" every time she drinks, "eat your food" every time she eats, and "do your business" every time she's going potty, "go lay down" when she goes into a corner to lay down in the evening etc. or for any routine activity I want to mark and eventually those become associated and become cues to do those things with almost no real training effort required.

It takes time but it sure is fun once they really start getting a big vocabulary. It gets pretty amazing after a few years of this kind of thing.

I've had my latest adult rescue dog only about 6-7 weeks and she's already picked up "get your ball" without much real effort, I just said ball a lot every time I did something with the ball and "get the ball" every time I tossed it for her, and just said it to her every now and then when not playing to see her response. The other day when I said it, she pops up, searches the house and comes trotting in with it.. To a very big petting and treat bonanza from me.

Tried it a few more times the next day and she's definitely got it. I'm only just getting started with her but it appears she's going to be pretty good student.
 
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