This is a very fun game for dogs, and if you're like my family, you'll surely be an entertained spectator! We treat our dogs just as any other family member and that means full participation in holidays. Our dogs have always enjoyed a good game of hide-and-seek with us, as they age, I've purchased all sorts of "brain games" to keep them active, mentally and physically, an Easter Egg Hunt seemed like something they'd enjoy. Six years later, it's now tradition!
You can have your Doggy Egg Hunt inside or outside, make it as easy, or difficult, as your pooch can manage. I definitely recommend starting easy and making it harder in stages. As in, start with the eggs in the open in a small area, as your dog learns there is something yummy inside them, they'll learn to seek them out. Then you can start hiding them in less obvious places, over a wider area.
This is most definitely a supervised game! While they now make plastic eggs in all types of sizes, you will want to watch your dog only eats the treat inside, not the eggs! Them having knowledge of the "leave it" command can help if they get a bit overzealous with the eggs. And, if your dog destroys everything in sight within seconds, this might not be the game for them.
Our dogs personalities really show when finding the eggs, Car-Li (brown and white) has grab-and-run instincts, while Bay-Li (black and white) wants to be the best (and wants our attention), so she'll run like a maniac trying to find the most. We make sure it's a fair game, and usually have so much fun we play several rounds.
If there aren't little ones with two feet running around your house, or yard, searching for eggs, this doggy Easter Egg Hunt is fun for all! Happy Easter!
Step 1: Fill and Hide the Eggs
Buy the plastic eggs in size appropriate for your dogs (the standard size was fine for my Shih Tzus, I wanted something I knew they couldn't swallow). The ones I bought have mini holes in the bottom I think are great for helping pooches sniff them out. Wash them well and let them dry.
Fill with treats of your choice; this can be "people" food, dog treats, or dog kibble, whatever your dog loves. When we do this on Easter, we most often give them bites of the ham we're eating.
When we hide the eggs we usually put the dogs outside so they aren't snooping around. Bay-Li is so intuitive she can usually figure out what's going on within seconds. Vice versa, if having the hunt outside, I'd keep the dogs inside.
As I said in the intro, hide them appropriate to your pooch's intelligence, and size, if they've never played a game like this, make it a little easier by keeping the eggs out in the open, once they get the hang of things, let them search a little. I advise keeping the eggs where you can see them too.
You can see by the pictures I prop the eggs open a bit. I didn't want to teach my dogs to bite down on the plastic, and it's very easy to tuck one end into the other and leave an opening for them to nudge open.
Step 2: Play Time!
Let the fun hunt begin!
Call your dogs into the hunt area and start by showing them the eggs, let them discover there's a tasty treat inside and you'll probably be surprised by how quickly they, and their noses, catch on and start running to find more eggs themselves! HoneyBaked Ham is a pretty high motivator in our house!
You can always lend a helping hand, but give them time to figure the game out themselves, this kind of "brain game" treat/reward activity is great for them! Just make certain you know how many eggs you've hidden, and recover all of them when playtime is over.
If you don't celebrate Easter, they make plastic eggs in all varieties, so buy some and save for your favorite holiday, or just have a random Egg Hunt on a sunny (or rainy, depending on where you hide the eggs) day spent with your dogs. It's fun surprising your dogs once they understand how the hunts work!
I'd love to see pics and video of your Doggy Easter Egg Hunts! Happy Easter!