Hennigh’s dog training tip for scent is to take something like a sweater and sleep with it overnight to get your scent on it. Then, hide it in a closet. Walk your dog over to the closet, letting him use his nose to get to it. Once he finds it, praise and reward him, and let him play tug-of-war with the sweater (if you can part with it!).
“Playing tug-of-war and shredding the item to pieces initiates their prey, retrieving, and hunting drives,” Hennigh says.
He also suggests having one person stand on one side of a room with the dog, and the second person on the other side with a toy. Get the dog excited by the toy, and then hide it, letting him use his nose to find it.
And don’t forget to praise him as if he’s done the best thing you’ve ever seen.
Dog training tip #4: independence
Avalanche dogs have to work independently in many ways, and it’s actually part of their training to go on out-of-sight drills so they learn to not rely on cues from their human.
To work on your dog’s independence, Hennigh says it’s important to have good energy. “Your energy travels down the leash,” he says. “You have to be really positive, and make it about having a good time with your dog.”
Hennigh’s dog training tip is to play a simple game of hide-and-seek in your home. Once you’ve hidden, call for your dog to come find you to initiate the game.
“This activity helps with trust,” Hennigh says. “But when it comes back to being the boss again, you can trust that your dog will play well and listen. It’s sort of a give-and-take.”