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The *hunt* is on for my top dog!

March 22, 2008

I love Easter… Why? Because I get to play “dog mom” to my little one Poncho. I know I know, even though I am a positive reinforcement dog trainer here in Ventura at The Inquisitive Canine. I do know I’m an over-the-top dog mom too. Every Easter I like to set up a “kibble hunt” for Poncho in our back yard. This is actually something I often do for him as an “enrichment” activity. But it’s special for me today because 1) it takes me back to my own childhood… 2) makes me feel part of the crowd with the rest of my friends that have *hunts* with their human kids… 

This time I allowed him to watch me set up the hunt…a little different from years past. Why? Not sure…just felt like it. Anyway, I started out by leashing him to the bench in the yard – then walked around dropping and placing pieces of his kibble (and a few extra yummy treats) in various places in the entire backyard. Under plants, between rocks, behind furniture… He was going wild! Very excited throughout… Kept offering a sit and down stay for me (check out the picture). He has learned that these two behaviors get rewarded – a lot, so why not keep offering them… I love that he has figured out how to make the right choices… (something I teach in my dog training classes) Anyway, once I let him go Poncho was all over it! Kept him busy for quite awhile – tapping into that predatory drive, fulfilling those desires to hunt…plus kept him out of my hair long enough to have my own breakfast. He has to eat anyway, right? I just like to use his meals to my advantage while making it more fun for him… 
This is an activity I recommend for my clients – you too can learn more about enrichment, and preventing the “boredom blues” in the classes I teach at my rockin’ indoor dog training studio – The Inquisitive Canine…

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