Friday, March 29, 2013

DIY Kibble Egg Hunt

As if yesterday's enrichment game wasn't enough excitement for one week, today we bring you yet another DIY activity.  This one's for all the sniffers out there!  It also happens to be quite fitting for the upcoming holiday.  Introducing the Kibble Egg Hunt!


I loooooovvvveeee celebrating holidays which means that I looooooovvvvveeeee when the holiday aisles get updated at the stores.  This week I popped into Target and couldn't help but meander through the Easter section.  While I was there, I picked up two packages of large plastic eggs at $1 per pack of six for a special game to play with Athena.


Of course, I couldn't wait to play it with her until Easter, so we've already played a few "practice" rounds this week in preparation for the big hunt on Sunday.  The game is simply an egg hunt for dogs, but instead of finding chocolate (please don't poison your dog...) or money, they find FOOD!


To play this nosework game, fill up some plastic eggs with kibble, treats, or both and hide them around your yard or house.  I filled up our eggs in front of Athena so that she knew that food was inside of them.  I then put her in a down-stay and she watched me hide the eggs around the yard.  We often play a "Find It" game in the house, so Athena is released to find the kibble with the "find it" command.


The first time Athena played the game she wasn't quite sure what to do when she found an egg.  She started by nudging an egg with her nose and rolling it through the grass.  When that didn't work, she would bat the egg with her paws.  Finally, Athena gently put an egg in her mouth and popped it open.  From then on she's used this "gentle pop" technique to open all of the eggs.


Because we are able to portion how much kibble goes into the eggs, we can either use the game to feed Athena an entire meal, or simply use it as an "afternoon snack."  This game really gets Athena's nose sniffin' which means that her brain gets quite the workout.


To make the game even more challenging, I suggest having your dog wait inside the house while you hide the eggs in the yard (or if playing indoors, have your dog wait in a separate room while you hide the eggs around the house).  This will really get those sniffers workin'!


Athena gets super excited when she sees me bring out the plastic eggs for a hunt.  I plan to pick up a few more backup packages of eggs once the Easter section goes on clearance so that we can continue to play the game all year round.

**IMPORTANT: If you plan to play this game with your dog, please keep a careful eye on them during any human egg hunts.  Once they know that plastic eggs equal food for dogs, they will probably assume that ALL plastic eggs are filled with dog food.  We don't want any dogs getting ahold of the kid's stash of candy!**

Do you play "find it" games with your dogs?

10 comments:

  1. This sounds awesome! We'll probably try with their regular food toys, because I doubt Badger would be as gentle with the eggs as Athena was.

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  2. Yet another great idea! I was already thinking I should pick up some bunny ears for a little photo shoot and now I am going to have to get plastic eggs as well! Thanks again for a great idea!

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  3. Those eggs would be crunched with one chomp from Ray, but we do play find it games, though he isn't as adept as Athena.

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  4. We LOVE playing find it at our house. We'll usually play fetch for a few minutes and then switch over to "find it" (with "it" being the ball). Our pup can get really exciting playing fetch so it is a great way to calm things down while still exercising. She has gotten so good though that we need to find more challenging spots. Currently anything above ground level is a little harder. I can't recommend this game enough to people who haven't tried it yet!

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  5. Great game! BTW, I also love checking out the Target holiday sections as they update them, there is always awesome stuff there!

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  6. We don't celebrate Easter but I don't think the dogs would appreciate a matzah hunt. SO we're definitely heading to the store to buy some discounted eggs. :-)

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