The Downside to Nosegames….

I frequently write about how much I love playing nosegames and how invaluable they are at mentally working my dogs.

Well, I’m here to tell you how much I regret playing nosegames with Shayne!

Through all of the scent work practice, Shayne has become an AMAZING sniffer dog. She can locate food or toys even when hidden well out of sight (in drawers, cabinets, or boxes) and is amazing.

Well, today that amazing nose of her got her into BIG trouble. I had placed my nearly empty (just crumbs) rapid rewards treat pouch inside my training bag. I then hung my training bag up on the back of a door out of sight and out of mind…or so I thought.

I came home after a long day of work to find my favorite rapid rewards treat pouch in shreds on the floor. Shayne must’ve gone searching for some food to get into and was able to scent out my nearly empty treat pouch 5ft off the ground.

Now here is where it gets REALLY scary. How did she get the bag down?! The bag was 5ft off the ground hanging from a hook on my door. I really have absolutely no idea how she got the bag down in the first place…there are no chairs, tables, desks, beds, or anything like that for her to climb up on to get the bag. So besides her amazing nose hunting out this tiny bit of food 5ft off the ground, she some how managed to get the bag dow off the hook.

And this is what frustrates me… she’s clearly smart enough to effectively hunt out this tiny bit of food out of an entire house, she smart enough to figure out how to get the bag off the hook on the door…. yet she can’t figure out how to just OPEN the darn pouch and eat the treats! Instead she rips into it from the bottom! It’s not like it’s tied shut or clipped shut, the only thing holding it closed is a magnet which is easy to open.

If I had never had taught her nosegames, she never would be the amazing hunter that she is and I would have not just one but TWO treat pouches that she has killed. Last year for Christmas I tried to hide a few toys/treats that I bought for her but no… she found them (at least this time I saw her find them before she had a chance to get to them).

BEWARE the side effects of teaching dogs to use their noses! (though it’s totally worth it! We love nose games!)

  1. Our SAR style tracker once follow me from home to the bus stop, through traffic! An hour after I left my husband was out in the front yard doing some gardening and Cosmo was outside with him. He picked up my scent and gunned it down the street, oblivious to my husbands desperate commands to stop or come. He ran after him and finally “down” was enough of a default to snap him out of it that he laid down and kinda wondered where he was. Scent work is so intuitive and part of their hunting behaviour that they are so good at it but also hard to switch off! Lol.

  2. Funny story! It’s true, be careful what you teach them. 🙂 My pup was indifferent to toys when I got her. Wanting to teach a retrieve, I first taught her about Kongs.

    She caught on very quickly – so quickly, in fact, that there was just about nowhere in the house I could put the cat food that she wouldn’t get into it while I was away. No door, gate, barrier or enclosure could keep her in (or out.)

    I couldn’t be mad at her, though. She always looked so proud of herself when I came home and caught her on the wrong side of the baby gates. She had solved the giant, 3-D food puzzle…otherwise known as my apartment.

    And don’t even get me started on teaching her (a Sheltie mix) to ‘speak’. LOL. Still not sure what I was thinking on that one!

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