I recently read a post on BAD RAP's blog and in The Bark about nose work. Basically with nose work, you hide a treat and have your dog find it. You start off easy (like hiding it in the same room or in a box in front of them) and build up to a real challenge (like hiding it in a box in another room).
Alice was still pretty hyper today after we came home from the park, so I pulled out her little Zuke's Minis (which really are the perfect training treat) and decided to try out nose work with her to see how she liked it. I wasn't sure how well she'd perform-- she's super nosy in the sense that she likes to dig through things and has the instincts to track things down like a beagle, but she regularly glosses over good smelly things that fall on the floor.
And she performed like a champ! I made her sit and walked into another room, hid the treat next to or on top of something, then called her in. She sniffed around the room and found her treat within 30 seconds each time. And it was so much fun to watch! She made a funny little sniffy sound and her ears flopped forward like Snoopy's as she circled around and around until she found the treat. Once she'd found it, she'd come running over with a big goofy grin on her face, ready to try again. She enjoyed it so much that we're going to start making this a daily game.
The best part of it is that she's been fixated on me ever since we played earlier this afternoon. I even gave her a bath today, and she's still following me around and flopping on me. I think this will work out out well for both of us.