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November 2021

How To Encourage Your Dog To Use Their Nose

A scent game activity example…

Find an activity I created for Poppy here. I wanted to encourage Poppy to use her nose, by adding a scent game to her routine for enrichment.

I hid treats under some cones and Poppy had to use her nose to sniff out which ones the treats were under.

You can use lots of household items to create a similar game.

A muffin tin with treats in some holes, and all holes covered with tennis balls is a great alternative. But, remember to change the location of the treats each time.

Dogs are great at using their nose! Did you know that dogs have up to 300 million smell receptors in their nose, compared to only around 6 million in our noses? So, it’s a very important sense to them! 

Benefits of getting your dog to use their nose…

Dog nose work is great mental stimulation, so it will tire them out.

Gentle physical activity is incorporated.

When walks are not possible for example, if there is hot weather, or if your dog is recovering from an injury or surgery, then it is a great alternative activity.

ANY dog can have a go no matter what breed or age, so it is a great all-round activity.

Reactive dogs benefit because it is a calming activity which encourages a relaxed state of mind and body.

It can work well to encourage active, high-energy dogs to slow down and think.

It can help build confidence in anxious dogs, as it doesn’t involve putting them under any pressure.

Sniffing is a normal canine behaviour, so it’s important to encourage if you want a happy dog!

It can be a great way to help reduce stress levels, which can be experienced when dogs move to a new home.

It’s so simple, yet so effective!

A dog’s sense of smell is powerful and it’s easy to encourage them to use their nose with games and play at home!

You could also let your dog take the lead with their nose on walks. It might not be exciting to us, but their nose will be taking in lots of important information for their brain to process. This will help encourage a content dog!

Find out more about why offering your pet enrichment opportunities is so important!

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