The Find it game is much like Hide and Seek except using an object instead of a game of finding people. Its more than just fun for your dog, and you, but it can actually be quite useful. Dogs are intelligent and can be taught the name of individual items. So you can teach your dog to find your keys, or find todays newspaper.
All it will require is a bit of training on your part and your dog can be a lifesaver when you are looking for something essential, like keys, before you go out. Besides that though dogs enjoy this game, especially if what you are hiding is a treat, or one of their favorite toys.
How to Teach Find It
To start with you want to show them what the command “find it” means. Then you can move on to teaching them to find specific items, and hiding them in more and more difficult places.
1. To help them learn the command find it, start by showing your dog a treat and then throwing it not to far in front of them, saying “Find It” or alternatively, “Find your Treat”. Just remember to be consistent in your words and your tone, like always calling a treat a treat and always saying the commands using a calm tone.
2. You can throw it further and further away, till eventually you ask them to “Stay” while you hide it in another room. If your pup doesn’t know stay, use our tutorial. You could try locking them in a room but sometimes they get too excited and won’t even follow you into the room since they know you will lock them in. Alternatively you could ask a family member or friend to restrain your dog while you hide the item you want them to find.
3. In order to teach them to find specific items, you’ll want to get this game down pat with using treats as the reward. Then you can begin the steps all over again by asking them to “find my keys” and toss the keys close to them. Due to previous training with a treat, they may move towards your keys. Reward this with a treat, and repeat the process. They should easily pick up on the fact that you want them to find that specific item, and you can make it more and more difficult
You don’t have to train your dog to find specific items. Training them to look for a treat will be the best game ever for them since they can eat the treat when they find it. It also keeps a otherwise bored dog busy, and is a great way to have that human and dog interaction. Our dogs crave it so much and for some breeds it seems to be all they want. It is also fun for us humans to hide a treat in the most random places and see how quickly our littler sniffers can find it. Of course like any game, some dogs are more apt to this one than others. Retrievers especially love to play this game.