‘Find It’ Game

Dog follows trainer off of a ramp during agilities course.

Looking for an easy, helpful, and resourceful training game to play with your pup? Look no further than ‘find it’! The ‘find it’ game is a low maintenance training activity for you and your dog. It help your pup focus their behavior, redirect their behavior, and use their natural sniffing abilities as an entertaining distraction. You’ll be surprised at how handy the cue ‘find it’ can be!

How do you start playing?

‘Find it’ is a very simple and easy game that should look pretty uneventful. What we mean by this is when out and about with your dog (or even at home), the cue ‘find it’ shouldn’t require you to stop what you’re doing or set anything up to prepare. The only thing you’ll need to have ahead of time are some tasty treats that your dog loves!

  1. Start by having your dog sit or stand in front of you. Make sure you have treats either in hand, in your pockets, or somewhere accessible.
  2. Take a treat and toss it on the ground in front of your dog. When you do, say ‘find it.’ It’s okay if your dog doesn’t know what this cue means yet.
  3. Naturally, your dog will sniff the ground and find the treat. More likely than not, they’ll come back to you for another round!
  4. Toss another treat, and another, and another all while saying “find it.” Make sure to switch up where you throw the treat, how far, and how often. This will keep your dog on their toes!
  5. As an added tip, practice throwing the treat directly behind you as well as your dog so they will have to completely change direction or move ahead. This can be useful in times where you need your dog to move away or towards something.

Why is the ‘Find It’ game useful?

It may seem like a simple game that has no real training qualities, but ‘find it’ can actually be quite useful! When out for a walk, for example, asking your dog to find a treat or toy that you toss can distract them long enough to avoid unwanted interactions. If there is a squirrel, human, or other dog ahead that you know your pup will react to, try tossing a treat away from the trigger and as they find it, turn around to walk away. Your dog will follow you for more!

The ‘find it’ game can also be used to reset a behavior that you want your dog to learn. For example, if your training your dog to sit and they have their butt on the ground, they may not want to stand again since they know sitting gets them a reward. If you throw a treat and ask them to ‘find it’, however, this will reset their brain and allow them to come back to sit again or practice a new behavior.

Have you ever played this game with your dog? How do you use this simple but effect tool during your training? We’d love to hear from you! Send a message to our training team and share your tips and tricks on ‘find it!’