In today’s article we will talk about how to teach a dog to search for various substances by smell. This is easy to do, especially if your pet is already familiar with foraging or toy hunting games.
The content of the article
- Search by smell step by step
Search by smell step by step
For training, you will need an auxiliary item – durable plastic or cardboard tube… It should fit your dog’s size so that it doesn’t get too big or too small. For a medium-sized dog, a tube about 10 cm long and 3 cm in diameter is suitable. This tube is easy to make at home – take thick cardboard and roll it into a tube or use a roll-up kitchen towel base.
First of all, teach your dog to bring the pipe at the command “Aport”… During training, actively praise and encourage your pet to work with enthusiasm.
Next, decide on the substance that the dog will be looking for. Service dogs search for drugs, weapons and explosives, but you can teach your dog to look for coffee, for example.
To do this, take some coffee beans, pour them onto a handkerchief, tie the handkerchief in a knot and place it in a tube.
Now play a little coffee pipe with the dog. Throw her a short distance and command Aport. Encourage your dog every time he finds a pipe and brings it to you. Thanks to this exercise, the pet will form an associative connection between the smell of coffee and receiving praise. Repeat the exercise several times, and then enter a voice command, for example, “Wanted!”.
To teach your dog to search for objects by smell without mistakes, repeat the described exercise several times a week. If you see that the pet understands the essence of the trick, proceed to complication:
- Hide the coffee pipe in the room until the dog can see it. Start the dog and command “Wanted”. Praise actively when she succeeds in completing the task.
- Periodically use other items instead of a tubeso that the dog understands that coffee can be hidden in a variety of things. For example, place coffee in a cut rubber toy.
- Teach your dog to end the exercise not with an object tray, but with special warning signals. These signals include: barking, landing, scratching with a paw.
We have previously written about how to teach a dog to call the owner with his voice, so in this article we will focus on two other common signals: “Sit” and pointing with the paw.
Landing at the found item
To train your dog to sit down when an object is found, do the following: put a coffee pipe under a heavy book so that the dog cannot reach it without your help. Next, command “Wanted”, wait for the pet to find the item and say “Sit”. When the dog sits down, reward him.
Immediately after that, remove the tube and give it to the dog. She can play with it a little or give it to you right away. After picking up the pipe, give the dog the treat again.
Practice the exercise several times a week and gradually abandon the voice command “Sit” – the dog should sit by the object without additional instructions.
Pointing to a found item with a paw
To teach a dog to point or scratch with a paw when it detects an object, you first need to train it to simply touch a coffee pipe with a paw. To do this, pick up the phone, point at the dog and say “Give your paw!”. When the dog touches the pipe with a paw, praise him and give him a treat. Repeat the exercise several times, changing the position of the tube relative to the dog (hold the tube a little lower, then a little higher, then to the left, then to the right). Then, instead of “Gimme a paw”, enter a new command, for example, “Point”.
When the exercise is mastered, combine the learned commands. To do this, put the pipe so that the pet cannot reach it, and send him in search. When the dog finds the coffee pipe, command “Point out”. Reward your dog if he did everything right.
After the dog has completed “Point out”, remove the tube and give it to the pet. After a while, take the item in exchange for a treat.
Repeat the trick day after day, gradually decreasing the assistance and making sure that the dog does everything on its own.
Video report on the topic