How to Help Your Dog Improve His Sense of Smell

Dogs’ olfactory capabilities are extraordinary. In fact, their sense of smell is up to 10,000 times more acute than ours!

Dogs have as many as 300 million smelling receptors, whereas humans only have six million. With his acute olfactory capabilities, your dog can sniff out buried truffles, track down lost hikers, and even detect bodies in the ocean. You should be making use of your dogs’ incredible potential in some way and keep scent training for dogs at home.

Many modern house pets have forgotten how to properly use their noses. However, with some forethought and persistence, you can include exciting scent games to encourage your furry buddy to make more use of his or her innate sense of smell.

Dogs have an innate ability to detect and track prey, rivals, and other predators. Use this to your advantage by introducing a new animal’s scent into your dog’s yard and observing his reaction.

To begin, have your friend massage an old towel or rag all over his pet. Then, while your furry companion isn’t there, hide the fabric somewhere in the yard, such under a shrub or a rock.

Let your dog outside and see if he can track down the source of the scent. Keep your furry friend on their toes by trying this with the aroma of various creatures.

Let your dog find the treat

This is a straightforward strategy for improving your dog’s sense of smell. All you have to do is scatter treats about the house in different rooms and your pet will learn to find them by smell. As soon as he smells one, he will immediately realize that his sense of smell may be used to locate others.

Start by leaving a few of snacks out in plain sight while he’s out of the room. The practice can be repeated with the goodies hidden in less obvious locations, such as the edge of a room, under a couch or coffee table, or even partially hidden under a dog pillow.

Soon, you’ll notice that instead of seeking for them, he’s smelling for them. Change where and how much you put.


Dogs’ keen sense of smell isn’t limited to edible items. Essential oils and other unusual scents can inspire and thrill a dog’s tracking senses. Get a favorite object (a ball works good) and put several drops of oil on it.

Indoor fetch is a fun activity that may be played quickly and rewarded

Try to do that multiple times a day. Then you may play a game of hide-and-seek with your furry pet by hiding the ball in different locations. Don’t give up, and be sure to reward the dog for his obedient scent tracking. Reward him when he succeeds in locating the ball.

If you’ve got it down pat inside, try taking it to the backyard. Then you can start over with a new toy and fragrance. Chicken fat, peanut butter, or cream cheese might all be good options, but you can use anything your dog enjoys.

Here is a straightforward method for stimulating your dog’s olfactory system. Get some bite-sized goodies with a powerful scent, such turkey meat or cheese. Make a loose, palm-down fist and hold it in your hand. Then hold out your hand and let your dog sniff it.

Ask him to look for the reward

After he’s finished sniffing the right hand, you can give him the reward. The process should be repeated multiple times. Repeat with the other hand placing the treat each time.

You should hold off on opening up until you notice his nose become very alert on the treat hand. It’s for training purposes, to show him that treats can be hidden in different places and can only be located through sniffing.

Canines typically have a routine where they know they can always find food. But suppose one day you called him to supper and put his bowl somewhere else.

Using his keen sense of smell, your dog will zero in on his dish in a matter of seconds. Hide the bowl the next day and invite him over for dinner.

He’ll have to look a little longer, but he’ll eventually discover it. Once you and your dog have established this game, you can switch up the location of his bowl once or twice a week.

Now, you’re the bait in this one. Find a place to hide, like under a sofa or in a cabinet, where your dog won’t be able to see you while he is busy elsewhere in the house.


So, we’ll just have to wait. He will start looking for you soon. Affirm and reward his discovery of you. Sniffing at a closed door is a canine tradition that will alert you to his presence if you hear him doing it from inside a closet. This game is perfect for playing with your dog in the great outdoors.

How do you know if your dog is losing their sense of smell?

There are a few symptoms that could implies a dog is losing their sense of smell, such as:

  • Loss of interest in treats or food
  • A challenge locating buried toys or treats
  • Finding it difficult to find familiar places or people
  • Loss of interest in odors or scents that are familiar
  • Reduced capacity for scent tracking while searching or hunting

A veterinarian should be consulted if you believe your dog may be losing their sense of smell in order to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be the source of the issue.

How to Help Your Dog Improve His Sense of Smell More

We can harness our dog’s natural ability to sniff out things and use it to help them in a variety of ways. Here are some tips for helping your dog use their sense of smell more:

1. Engage their nose during walks. Instead of just letting your dog lead the way on walks, take some time to engage their nose.

Stop and let them sniff around, follow their nose and see where they want to go. This will not only give them a chance to stretch their legs and explore, but it will also help them exercise their sense of smell.

2. Play hide-and-seek with their favorite toy or treat. This is a great game to play indoors on a rainy day or when you don’t have time for a long walk.

Simply hide your dog’s favorite toy or treat in a room or area, and then let them find it! They’ll love using their nose to track down the prize, and you’ll get a good laugh watching them search high and low.

3. Set up an obstacle course with different smells. This is another great indoor activity that will challenge your dog both physically and mentally.

Set up an obstacle course with different objects or materials that have strong smells (e.g., citrus fruits, coffee grounds, vinegar). Then, let your dog



Helping your dog use their sense of smell more is an enjoyable activity that can be beneficial to both you and your pup. By using scent games and training exercises, you can increase the bond between you and your pet while also stimulating your pup’s senses.

With a few simple tips, you should have no problem helping your pooch explore the environment with their nose. So what are you waiting for? Get those noses sniffing today!

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