This video discusses one of the basic nose works that your dog can easily learn. Professional pet trainer Kristin Crestejo trains her dog how to go hide an object using targeting.
Nose work and scent tricks are beneficial to your dog. They stimulate the mental and physical skills of your dog. They are also confidence builder and are an easy way to bond with your dog when at home.
Dogs love having a job to do. Teaching them how to go hide gives them a feeling of purpose as well as keeps them happy and entertained. To get started, you need a piece of paper, a clicker, and some treats to do this activity.
First, put the paper in front of your dog’s nose then click and reward as soon as he touches it with his nose. The paper serves as your dog’s target or the object that he will hide during the activity.
You need a pillow and the edge of a couch to form a space where your dog will hide the paper. Once your dog is reliably targeting the piece of paper no matter where you put it, you’re going to put the target on where you want the dog to go hide it. If your dog wanders away from the activity’s purpose and just play with the paper, you can click before he touches the target.
Once your dog has mastered targeting the piece of paper in front of the hole, you can raise the activity’s criteria by putting the target a little bit in the cubbyhole. Your dog needs to get used to inserting the paper into a space where it is kind of dark.
This trick should be done little by little or by moving the target inch-by-inch. But if your dog refuses to do the trick, you need to step back. Do not force your dog to hide the object farther if he loses interest in doing the trick.
The last part of the instructional video is about teaching your dog how to hide an invisible target. You need to pretend that you are putting a target and then ask your dog to go hide.
Repetition is important in this activity to create a muscle memory in your dog. Muscle memory plays an important role in training your dog. It consolidates specific motor skill into his memory that enables your dog to perform a certain task without conscious effort.