Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hurley Genius Puppy: Go Find It

We decided to have a little fun in the shop today instead of doing B-O-R-I-N-G training work like increasing our down stays and looks (Hurley's emphasis on the boring, folks).  I've long said that Hurley has quite the nose on him so today we began "Go Find It". 

We started out easy-peasy.  Sit > Stay > (Putting a treat on the shelf right in front of him) > Look > Go Find It!  Since he already had 3 of these four steps down and considering his obsession with treats, it wasn't surprising that it took him exactly 5 seconds to grab the treat.  And it was only 5 seconds because he hesitated and gave me that "Are you sure this isn't a trick Leave It?" look.  And then I lengthened the treat to a shelf 10 feet away. 

A crazy-eyed sniff

And then on the other side of the display.  This time, I used a lower value biscuit, which I guess is not as smelly as the dehydrated bison 'cause Hurley sniffed right past it, around it, over it - all in what I assume was a search for the far superior bison. to get Hurley to know the scent I want him to find?

Sniff sucks.  Chomp Rules!

So I added Sniff in between the Sit and Stay so it goes Sit > Sniff > Stay > (hiding the treat) > Look > Go Find It.  I admit, folks.  I had my doubts that I could get Hurley to reliably sniff at a treat in my hand without some serious chomping action.  What was I thinking waving a tasty treat in front of his snout and expecting him not to chomp my fingers off?  To my incredulity, he got the sniff concept on the 3rd time and found the crappy biscuit immediately.  To me, this is more impressive than him finding any number of treats in any number of hiding places. 

What?  I can sniff & lick at the same time.

We continued with new hiding places. On the other side of an obstacle in between us.  Then on the other side of the store under a table.  Then completely 100% out of his line of sight on the other side of the counter.  Several times he took a bit of time sniffing around; once I had to walk him to the general area of the treat.  But each time he got it and most times, he got it FAST.
I know it's around here somewhere

Got It!

Got It Again!

Then he spent the next hour sniffing around the store in hopes of finding a treat.

This is by far Hurley's favorite trick.  Not only did he discover his ability to drool profusely but he also enthusiastically showed off for the next 3 customers who came in.  They were all suitably impressed. 

For those of you who follow us on Facebook, we take Hurley to the vet in about an hour's time so we don't have an answer on his eye thing yet.  You can kind of see in the pictures but his right eye looks bald & slightly swollen around the inner corner of the eye.  It could be anything from a scratch near or on his eye that he's pawed at creating the bald spot, a skin or eye infection, allergies, or nothing to worry about at all. Or any number of other things I haven't imagined yet.


  1. That is one of my guys' favorite games. We play with treats, toys, even us! It's the perfect winter- or rainy-weather game. Good job, Hurley! (Hope his eye is okay!)

  2. @Maggie

    I'm hoping Hurley can teach Maggie & Sadie this fun new game. We've tried it with them in the past but unless they see exactly where we put the treat, there is no finding to be had.

  3. this is fantastic. i would love to try it with desmond. he's also known for attempting to scarf down the hands of the people giving him a treat, so we taught him "do nice". now, if you say that before you give him the treat, he will take it very gently. it's definitely not automatic though. he gets VERY excited about food. :-)