Been a while - but there's something new worth writing about :)
I've come across Nosework. I read about it on a forum I frequent and thought "hey, this might be the thing to make those Find It games a challenge again!"
So I read this thread and started to get into the basics of it.
I got some boxes from the local crafts store and poked holes in a small one for the scent to get out. That small one would go inside the slightly bigger ones - big enough for him to stick his head in.
He'd then have to find the small box (it has treats or other smelly food in it that he loves) and when he does, he gets rewarded from me.
I'm learning it's important to reward on the source of the scent as well as to do so quickly. The goal is to get the dog to linger at the source - that's how he'll tell me he found it. At least for now.
Initially, Wally just wanted to molest the boxes (if not destroy them) to see if there's food inside, but then he started to get it. #1 - the boxes are not the "it" I want found, and #2, stay on the scent once you find it.
Of course, both are still a work in progress considering we've been at this all of two days. It's challenging him mentally, but he LOVES it. He's just almost obsessed about it. He gets so into trying to get the little box out of the big one that he "sticks" to the source (GOOD), but it's also harder to reward him because he's just into that little box!
He's all worn out and sleeping hard after, but it's so funny to watch him not want to stop while he's in the moment and mindset for the searching.
This is definitely something we're going to keep working on for sure! He loves it. I love watching him go at it, and it's a nice new twist on something we already do.