Dogs enjoy having a purpose...a job to do and a reason for doing it as well. Find is a fun game puppies and their people will all enjoy! Basically it’s “Hide N’ Go Seek” for dogs. Here’s how to play:
Choose someone to hide. Make sure they take a yummy treat with them. (Start out easy such as behind a chair in the same room. As your puppy learns the game, move onto harder hiding places. You won’t always need treats as this game is naturally rewarding to your pup, but it’s useful to start out with them.)
Ask your puppy to stay, or hold onto their collar as the person finds a spot to hide.
When the person hiding is ready, release your pup if in a stay, then say, “Find (person's name)!” in an exciting tone of voice. At first, you may need to stand next to where the person is or help guide your puppy to the hiding spot. You may also have the person hiding squeak a toy or make a noise to help teach your puppy what to do.
As soon as your puppy finds the person, mark, “YES!” and have the person give your puppy a treat.
Repeat the game. Choose a new hiding spot each time.
I like to play this game often in different locations. If we are at a park, I like to have my kids hide on the playground or behind trees. With my service dogs, we play this game in stores around clothing racks etc. Don't have an extra person to play? Grab some plastic eggs during Easter Clearance Sales. Then add a treat in 2 or 3 eggs and hide them for your dog. Leave the eggs part way open so they can get the treat. Then work up to finding the eggs and bringing it back to you to have you open it. Use the command Find it, Bring it, Drop it. And your dog will be learning new commands along the way!
Many breeds LOVE to seek so put them to work and have fun in the process! Incorporating your dog into everyday life and including them in on your daily activities improves their overall behavior. I’d say it’s worth it then, right!? Enjoy!