Do you remember the famous scene from I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel are working in the chocolate factory?
Lucy and Ethel Game
This is a great motivation game! Place out six open boxes in a straight line. Place odor in each of the boxes. This game gets your dog excited about BOXES! Take your dog down the line and every time he stops at a box, jackpot with cookies! It’s fine to actually toss the cookies into the box one by one while he’s eating. The point is that he’s not lifting his head and he’s having food rapidly delivered to him (kind of like Lucy shoveling chocolate in her mouth!). After you are done rewarding, make sure you verbally release your dog to the next box. You could try “Ok, Find Another, Search More ” or anything you like. (Eventually you will want to be able to verbally send your dog to find a second hide, but that isn’t the focus of this course).
Go up the line twice.
Then remove 5 of the boxes and replace them with clean Cold Boxes (remember that once a box is hot it’s ALWAYS hot). We won’t want to just remove the tin in this case because the lingering odor might be confusing for your dog.
Now rerun your dog. There will only be one hot box. Keep your pace up! Your dog will want to inspect each of the boxes and that is OK, but keep moving! This time when your dog DOES find odor, have a party! Jackpot and praise! Make a HUGE fuss over your dog.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THIS GAME! This game is fine for an every so often motivation game. You don’t want to play this more than about once a month because at this point in the game, your dog does not know how to find odor for multiple hides and we want to continue to reinforce stay at source behavior.