We can't leave his toys out for him to play with because he either destroys them within 5 minutes, or he torments us with them (this mostly applies to balls). So, we hide some of his toys for him to find.
We used to play hide and seek and have him find the people in the house. To teach him this, we would throw one of his toys and then run and hide. He would bring the toy back for more throwing. But first he would have to find us.
One day, I decided to hide the toy instead. I was feeling a little lazy. Cheerio's favorite game EVER was born. This ball insane dog will actually ignore a ball to play hide and seek!
At first, I hid one toy in easy to find places. After about 10 minutes of easy finding, he was ready for harder hiding locations. Cheerio is super smart, so I was challenged to find difficult places to hide his toy. I noticed he was relying on his vision to find things. He was looking instead of sniffing.
I started hiding the toy under things and behind things. I tried confusing him by rubbing the toy all around. He was not fooled. After a while, it became so easy for him to find the toy that the game wasn't as much fun for me.
On a whim, I decided to hide multiple toys. Usually I will hide 2 or 3, but sometimes I will hide as many as 6. This has just taken the game to a new level for him. First, I will show him, and let him smell the toys I am hiding. Then I hide them in as difficult places as I can think up. I make him look at me and listen before releasing him.
Sometimes I take toys out into the backyard and hide them. That is truly the ultimate good time for Cheerio.
I have found that using squeaky toys are best. I can hide toys, release Cheerio, and not have to follow him. I can hear when he finds a toy.
He will play this game for hours upon hours. It's a great game for him because one; it tires him out - he's running the whole time, two; it tires him out - his brain is engaged the whole time he is looking, - even when he is in a down and stay, three; it tires him out and gives me some peace to do things without him finding things to get into (look at some previous blog posts about that).
A tired dog is a GOOD dog.