“Find it!” for Reactive Dogs: First Training Steps

reactive dogs Nov 24, 2020
dog sniffing sidewalk

“Find it!” for reactive dogs is one of our favorite skills to teach. It’s easy for most dogs to learn, and easy for dog parents to train. “Find it!” just means, “Put your nose down and sniff.” 


What dog doesn’t love to sniff?  For at least some dogs, “Find it!” could be reinforced in at least two ways: 1) finding the food; and 2) sniffing scents on the ground.  It’s also possible that looking away from a “trigger” could be a relief (negatively reinforcing) for some dogs. All around, it has the potential to be a very useful, and fun, behavior! 

This fall we discussed our video training series on “Find it!” for reactive dogs in our Facebook group. During our Facebook live discussions, we can get into the details of implementing new skills, and talk more about troubleshooting training.

To teach your dog a strong “Find it!”, we recommend starting indoors with few distractions. Our favorite way to start building the “Find it!” for reactive dogs is actually in our online Scent Work classes, but in this video we show you a quicker trainer method. 

We’d love to hear from you! Have you used “Find it!” with your reactive dog? What is your favorite, most useful behavior you’ve trained your reactive dog to do?

Are you stuck with your “Find it!” training?  We’re here to help! Join our Fearful and Reactive Dog Support Community on Facebook. Reach out to us by email at [email protected].


If you're looking for a structured plan for training your reactive dog, check out our self-paced online class, the Reactive Dog Survival Guide.