How you can engage your pup during quarantine

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Be it a cold day, a rainy day, a shelter- at-home order, or a day when you just want to have some enjoyable quality time with your pup, there are plenty of indoor games you can play at home with your dog.

A simple, classic indoor game is hide and seek. Since dogs lead first with their nose, then their ears and lastly, their eyes, you want to design your hide and seek game appropriately.

A dog’s sense of smell is estimated to be anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times better than ours and they can have as many as 300 million factory receptors in their noses, compared with just 6 million in ours. Dogs can smell things that are submerged underwater, buried underground and from incredibly far away.

Your dog knows you and your family member’s personal scents intimately, so use that to start your game of hide and seek. Begin with one family member holding your pup while another hides. Make the first couple of hides simple and easy for your dog so he develops confidence and understanding. When your dog finds the hider, praise enthusiastically to encourage him to seek again. If the game is confusing, help your pup a bit by leading him at first.

Ramp the game up by, walking around a bit, leaving your scent in various rooms so your dog will follow it. For instance, start in the kitchen, head to the dining room and pass through the living room as you end the “trail” in a bedroom closet.

Next, you can play and seek with a simple object like your dog’s favorite toy and hide it. Start by showing your dog the toy and letting him sniff it for a few seconds. Then hide it under the couch so it’s partially visible – an easy find. Gradually make hiding places more difficult as your dog becomes better at finding the toy.

Always remember to genuinely praise your pup each time/he finds the person or the object and smile as you say, “Good dog!” Give a verbal reminder too, of the name of the game by saying, “Good hide and seek,” so in the future, your dog will know to get ready for the next exciting round.



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