Does your dog like to “search and find”? Mine do!
Dogs by nature like to forage and work for their food. A Snuffle Mat is a great way for them to search and find their food. It exercise their senses and they have fun.
Snuffle Mats use a kitchen sink mat as the base and have fleece strips tied on to it. When completed it looks like a big fluffy mop head with lots of places to hide yummy treats for your dog.
Hide your dog’s complete meal in the snuffle mat or just part of their kibble for the day as a brain game. Exercising your dog’s brain is as important as exercising their bodies. Using the Snuffle Mat is a supervised activity. It is lots of fun for you and your dog as you watch them sniff and scratch to get that last piece of kibble from down deep in the fleece. If you have a puppy, it help burn off some extra energy. It also provides an opportunity to practice simple obedience skills. Have them “wait” when you put the snuffle mat on the floor, “find it” when you cue to begin hunting and a “sit/stay” when they are finished and you pick up the mat.
Keep their Snuffle Mat for that rainy day or when they need some mental playtime. Charlee, my yellow lab likes to carry her “stuffy toys” around the house. We took the opportunity to practice “drop it” when she picked up her snuffle mat and wanted to head out the doggie door. Of course, when she dropped it she got a yummy treat, so it was a good trade!
I love watching them forage so intently and work for their supper. You will learn about your dog’s foraging techniques and have fun cheering them on!
The video below shows Charlee having fun with her Snuffle Mat that I made for her.