Teach Your Dog Hide-and-Seek
Dogs aren’t born knowing how to play Hide-and-Seek, but they do have all the basic instincts for it! Show your dog the rules and you both can have a fun romp, indoors or out playing this beneficial game.
If your dog is not great at the “Stay” command, you’ll need a partner to hold the dog until you are hidden and ready. However, you can use this game as the perfect opportunity to teach him this very useful command. If you dog knows how to “Sit/Stay”, tell him to “Stay” while you hide.
When you are first showing your dog Hide-and-Seek, pick hiding spots where it is easy for your dog to discover you. If it is too hard to find you in the beginning, your dog might give up!
At first, you might hide just out of your dog’s sight, maybe around the corner in the next room. As soon as the dog turns the corner, there you are – immediate success and encouragement to keep playing! Keep hiding in simple places, behind furniture or around corners. If your dog is still not getting the hang of it, make sure some part of you can be seen. As he does get better at it, make the game more challenging with more obscure hiding places. Check out are some ideas to get you started.
Seeking and Finding
If you’ve had your dog “Sit/Stay” while you hide, once you are settled, call your dog’s name – only once.
You can call your dog if you have a helper holding the dog, but a more challenging version is to have the helper release the dog after a set number of minutes. Now, your dog has no audible clue as to your location and must rely on scent. The helper can egg your dog on with “Where’s Mommy” or something like that.
Now wait quietly. As soon as your dog finds you, cheer him on and give him lots of encouragement and praise.
If your dog gets distracted while looking for your, the payoff may not be big enough for her to keep looking for you. Make the finding you easy for your dog, then when she does finds you, throw a party! Rub her up, wrestle, give lots of praise. Treats are appropriate here, something really yummy, like cheese or a bit of chicken, or even these homemade treats. When your dog knows that it pays off to play, she’ll love playing.