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I have 3 month lab x GSD. I want to play with him other than fetch, catch me, or tug. I read one thread about activities and came across with "search/find". How should I play this with my pup? I've never had a dog before, so both of us are beginner. i want to keep him active. Thanks!
 

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What is it that you want him to find? You? A toy? Food?

I guess my recommendation would be to start with food. Hide small pieces of food in a room and then release him to go find them. Once he gets good at it, make the hides harder or smaller. Then you can start making the food inaccessible by putting it in a small jar or tin with holes in the top. My dog will now search for birch scent, because I have associated this odor with food.
 

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We just started this one in class... the trainer we use clicker trains, and the routine is throw a treat (nearby) say "Find it!" when the dog eats it and looks back at you, click, toss another one, say "find it!" repeat.
 

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i teach a 3 tier nose work/ intro to tracking class. in the first classes we learn to search for food. drop the treat close and give the cue to find it, then mark it when they eat the treat (click or marker word) and keep repeating. begin to throw it further and further away. after they are good here, begin to hide it very easy for them. make it obvious. the easier it is the better they will be at it and succeed, this is what we want, success. keep going along with it beginning to make it harder to find, things like that. i use boxes a lot. i will see if i can post a video from one of my nose work kids searching through boxes at the end of the first set of classes (6 weeks)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all!
@GreatDaneMom: that's awesome! thank you for the video, this gives me an idea for the play-time.
 

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Thank you all!
@GreatDaneMom: that's awesome! thank you for the video, this gives me an idea for the play-time.
Hi

The only problem with some of the games recommended so far is if you intend to get into activities like obedience or tracking. Some of the game behaviors would then have to be "untaught"- or at least significantly modified. Not impossible - but it would be an added difficulty. If you don't intend to get onto things like that, go for it.
 

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It took me a while - but I taught Bella to "stay" in the kitchen while I hide her treats around the house. If your lab/GSD mix is as food motivated as mine, then anything is possible! She will *stay* for quite a while if she knows there's a goodie-hunt!
 

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I've always just done this with my dogs favorite toy, for Hope it's a tennis ball..

I start very small, in one room, hiding it where it's not really hidden but she didn't see how it left my hand, might be just under a sofa cushion beside me.. I just show my empty hands and she starts looking, I just start real small and then throw a party when she finds it.

Then working up distance and visibility going from in sight to hidden under/behind/in something and from floor to higher places, leaving less and less of a scent trail (rubbing it around where I hide it or dragging a trail to it from many to just a a few feet away) and I up the stakes until eventually, like in Hope's case, she'll stay in one place until I hide it somewhere in the house, (I have to go to every room, leave a few false trails, a few scent spots, and leave it in some spot while I got to every single room) then I release her and she'll search for a half hour or more to find it.. and there's nowhere I can hide it now that she can get to that she won't find it. She loves the game and would play it all day.. I have also noticed it has made her much better at tracking things outside like squirrels and such too.

I have done it with food bits too for dogs like Kaya who isn't very toy motivated and even did a little of that with Hope. The trick is not making it harder too fast so that they give up and decide it's not worth looking, the more they succeed the more they will enjoy a little more challenge and eventually you can make it very difficult.
 

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I'm sorry, I don't really get what you mean by this.
Very few people will be doing formal obedience, and even fewer will be doing tracking. So if you are part of that vast majority, don't worry about retraining issues.

No big mystery.
 
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