Teaching a dog to search for his toys

Hunt drive

Search and rescue dogs have a skill known as hunt drive. This is the desire to search for something they have not seen run away.

It’s different from Prey or pursuit drive which is chasing or searching something a dog has seen run away.

To teach our search dog the rewards of finding something, we hid his toys.  Then, played with him using the toy he had found.  All you need to do is find a toy your dog really loves to play with.

  •  Start out easy and let him watch you hide it the first time.
  • After that, shut him out of the room and hide it in the same place. Immediately let him back in to find it.
  • Repeat this, but hide the toy near the last hiding place. Let a piece of the toy stick out from the hiding place to make it easy.
  • Gradually make the game harder, moving the toy from ground or nose level up high or in containers.

Remember, always make the game fun.  Play with him once he makes the find and throw a big party.

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