KPA Tip of the Week: Scent Seek and Eat!

Filed in

Looking for fun enrichment games to play with your brilliant puppy or dog? Do your dogs enjoy playing with feeder toys? Well, here is a fun activity that is also budget-friendly. All you need are clean towels, delicious food and treats for dogs, and a canine buddy that enjoys finding healthy food items. (watch the video to see a fun variation of this game)!

Seek safely

Choose towels that are clean and that do not have any residual chemicals. The towels should not have holes/frays in fabric, buttons, or zippers.

Place food items inside the towels only under your supervision. This will help keep the novelty of the game high, and will prevent your pup from tearing apart the towels or ingesting portions of the towel.

Place the towels in various locations that are safe for your pup to search and find. Some ideas include: at ground level, elevated on stairs that are easy and safe to navigate, inside the crate, in your backyard, inside your car when you load up the dog for a car ride. There are so many more possibilities!

Separate and safely manage a multi-dog household when playing this game. Let each dog play without social pressure from another. If food resource-guarding toward people (or toward other dogs) is a concern, seek the guidance of a qualified professional before playing this game with your dog.

Scent seek can be a rewarding enrichment activity for older dogs or a dog that has limited mobility due to an injury. Dogs get additional mental stimulation and low-impact exercise, too! Be sure to check with your veterinarian and get approval for a dog needing post-operative activities. Always monitor your dog closely during healing.

If your dogs love this seek game, consider locating a Certified Canine Nosework Instructor in your area to pursue this interest! Click here to learn more!

Have FUN!!!!

Cloud Star Chewy Tricky Trainers
Cloud Star Chewy Tricky Trainers
Aïkiou Dog Bowl and Game
Aïkiou Dog Bowl
and Game
Fun Nosework for Dogs
Fun Nosework
for Dogs
About the author
User picture

Laura Monaco Torelli, Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) and a member of the KPA and ClickerExpo faculties, is the Director of Training for Animal Behavior Training Concepts in Chicago. She works in collaboration with veterinary behaviorist Dr. John Ciribassi at Animal Behavior Partners, and is staff with Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants. Since 1991, Laura has worked with and trained beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins (at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago), primates, large cats, birds of prey, reticulated giraffes, Arctic foxes, horses, parrots, macaws, tree kangaroos, and red pandas (at the San Diego Zoo and Brookfield Zoo), and, of course, dogs (just about everywhere). Laura has spoken at many professional conferences and has appeared on various broadcast media.