When the weather gets so bad outside that it’s difficult to get your dog the regular exercise they need, it’s important to find a way to keep them physically and mentally challenged. This is a great indoor (or outdoor) game I call “Go Find.”
Basically we are teaching our dog to find an object, such as a toy. To begin this training, your dog will need to have a reliable “Wait,” meaning for them to wait in another room while you hide the toy, then you will release them to the room with the hidden toy to “Go Find” it. If your dog does not have a reliable Wait command, you can have another person hold the dog in the other room until you hide the toy. When first starting this game, be sure to “hide” the toy in a place that the dog will easily find it. When they do locate the toy, praise lavishly. Encourage the dog to bring you the toy and then engage in play with your dog and the toy. This is a reward for your dog for finding the toy. Be sure to keep it fun for your dog.
As your dog improves, hide the toy in more and more difficult places to find. If your dog starts to get confused or lose interest, be sure to take it back a step and make it easier. If your dog is doing exceptionally well, you may even try and hide the toy in a place the dog will not be able to retrieve it from. Doing this will encourage the dog to start using their nose to seek out the toy when they can not find it visually. Once the dog finds the toy that is out of reach, praise, then ask the dog to sit and reward the dog with praise and by giving them the toy they found. Remember to play some tug of war with the toy as a reward for finding it.