Scent Seek and Eat!

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Editor's note: Updated from original version published on 2-07-2012.

Laura Monaco Torelli and her dog Santino playing
"Scent Seek and Eat!"

Looking for fun enrichment games to play with your puppy or dog while staying home? 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.

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.

Have FUN!!!!

About the author
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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. 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.