‘Find It’ is a great game to teach your dog to check in with you and pay attention to you on walks. This turns attentiveness into a game, so your dog wants to focus on you.
Play while you’re taking your dog for a walk, on lead or off lead. Toss a small treat on the ground ahead of you, making sure your dog sees you do it. (Not too far as to be out of lead range if on lead of course).
Your dog will trot or run to get the treat and he/she may have to hunt for a while to find it. Once he/she eats the treat, keep walking. As soon as your dog looks at you again, toss another treat and let your dog find it.
Every time your dog looks at you, he/she gets to hunt for a treat. In other words, your dog gets not only the treat itself, but also the fun of searching.
Play regularly and you’ll see your dog start to keep an eye on you, hoping for another round. The more often you play, the longer you can stretch the average interval between treat tosses. Whereas the watched pot never boils, the watched human will toss a treat… eventually!
“Find It” is especially effective during the pre-breakfast morning walk or the just-got-home-from-work pre-dinner walk, when Fido is likely to feel a bit peckish!