Snuffelmat voor honden, de juiste uitdaging voor de hond!

Snuffle mat, the right challenge for the dog!

Do you just want to offer your dog a super fun challenge or do you struggle... like many other dog owners... (yes really, you are not the only one) with a dog that has "the crazy 5 minutes" or even tantrums too often?

Something has been designed that could help you, namely... a sniffing mat!

Curious and curious about what exactly a sniffing mat is? We take you through this handy blog in which every detail about a sniffing mat for dogs is described.

What is a sniffing mat?
Asniffing mat is actually a large dog puzzle , designed to hide dry kibble or tasty snacks for your dog and at the same time challenge your dog mentally by offering brain work. Once the chunks or snacks are hidden, the search begins to find all the goodies. Because the dog has to search for the food hidden in the sniffing mat, there are various challenges and the dog is prevented from gobbling up its food. During this search for food, the dog's natural hunting skills are also tested.

Material and properties of a sniffing mat
Most sniffing mats are made of fabric, but can also be made with plastic or rubber. A sniffer mat is usually tied together when made with fabric, mimicking the appearance of grass or twigs, for example, to provide a natural environment for dogs. These intelligence games in the form of a sniffing mat come in different shapes and sizes, so you can choose the one that perfectly suits your dog's needs.

Most good sniffing mats have nice and useful properties. This type of brain work is often washable and has a non-slip bottom so that the sniffing mat stays in place during your dog's activities.

Dog sniffing mat from Dogzoo.nl

Why does my dog ​​need a sniffing mat?
You can purchase a sniffing mat for various reasons and multiple purposes. We have drawn up a list of various reasons why purchasing a sniffing mat is not an unnecessary luxury and can have a very beneficial effect on your dog.

The dog can burn off energy and combat boredom
Dogs are known to be curious and like to try new things. Most dogs get bored quickly, which leads to unwanted and destructive behavior. Fortunately, food is one of the most effective ways to encourage your dog to participate in mental activities.

A sniffing mat provides mental stimulation because your dog has to take more time and effort to find food or snacks hidden in the sniffing mat instead of, for example, a bowl of food.

10 minutes of sniffing is very intensive and, according to experts, is equivalent to 60 minutes of walking.

There are situations in which the dog is not allowed to walk for a long time due to an injury, for example, or is still not tired after a long walk. A sniffing session is of course a great solution!

Train your dog's behavior
Sniffing mats are a very good tool to positively support your dog's behavior during training. Dogs are known for learning behavior well through repetition, so if your dog is repeatedly provided with a challenge in combination with food in a positive way, this will be positively picked up by the dog during other training sessions.

Prevents gobbling / eating too quickly
Eating too quickly is not good for humans, this certainly also applies to dogs. When dogs eat too quickly, there is a chance that this will create a vacuum for the stomach muscles to swallow the food.

In addition to being a challenge, sniffing mats are also often used to get a dog to eat slowly. The dog does not have the ability to swallow 10 chunks or snacks in one go. The dog first has to look for the next chunk or snack.
Dog birthday snuffle mat at Dogzoo.nl

No stress, just relaxation and fun for the dog
One of the reasons why dogs become nervous and bored is a lack of mental and physical challenges and exercise. A sniffing mat provides a super fun challenge where the dog is in motion to complete its task with its nose and mouth. Using the sense of smell helps reduce tension and anxiety.

The dog's sense of smell is stimulated
The sense of smell is your dog's most vital sense, how wonderful is it that this can be fully utilized during a sniffing session with the sniffing mat.

Where can I buy a sniffing mat?
Dogzoo has several sniffing mats for sale, of very good quality and various price ranges. Click here to take a look at our collection.

Step-by-step plan, how do I teach the dog (and myself) how a sniffing mat works
First of all, the dog must master a basic command, namely... wait!

Can't the dog wait yet? Not bad, it's a great moment to start learning this together.

Step 1:
At the place where you want to place the sniffing mat, let the dog lie down or sit on command and reward the dog in a positive way.

Step 2:
Place the sniffing mat in place, make sure the dog remains lying down or sitting and reward the dog for good behavior. If the dog does not listen, repeat this exercise from step 2 until the dog understands that he should stay down or sit. As soon as the dog continues to lie down or sit? Good behavior, reward immediately!

Step 3:
Grab some kibble or snacks, place some on the sniffing mat and also place one near the dog's front legs if the dog has waited nicely. If your dog has already gotten up, remove the treat and give the dog the command again to lie down or sit. Then you try again until you succeed.

Step 4:
Did the above steps work? Great, you're on your way!
Place some more treats on the sniffing mat and always give your dog something tasty for the good behavior he or she shows.

Step 5:
Once you have placed several treats clearly visible on the sniffing mat, give your desired command to start the game, such as “search”, “sniff” or “start” to your dog and point to the sniffing mat.

Let your dog sniff quietly without distraction. Let your dog sniff for as long as he or she thinks necessary, this is relaxing and of course it is not a race. You can repeat this step 2 or 3 times.

Step 6:
Fill the sniffing mat in the same way and continue to reward the dog for good behavior, such as waiting patiently until you have filled the sniffing mat. In this step we are going to make it a little more difficult for the dog, now also place some treats under a fleece strip, for example. Don't forget to place the treats very clearly, it should remain fun for the dog and not rocket science. 😉

Have all the treats been eaten, including the snack that was hidden? Great, your dog is already starting to understand how this game works. If the snack under the fleece strip, for example, has not been eaten, show the dog what the intention is and lift the fleece strip briefly to show where the treat is.

Repeat this a few times and see if your dog starts to understand it better each time.

Step 7:
The dog has now realized how to look for a fleece strip under, for example, time to make it a bit more difficult by hiding more chunks or snacks in a more difficult place or deeper in the sniffing mat.

Step 8:
Use all possible hiding places and make it increasingly difficult for the dog, continue to reward the dog for good behavior if they wait politely.

Remember, it doesn't have to be rocket science! If the dog doesn't understand something, you explain.

Done browsing? Always end on a positive note!
Make sure you always end the sniffing session on a positive note. You can do this, for example, by throwing a few snacks on the floor and then taking the sniffing mat and putting it away.

You always store the sniffing mat away, it should not become a toy or cuddly toy. This way it remains special and the dog understands what is expected as soon as you start working with the sniffing mat.

This article was written by Dogzoo.nl, for people who have purchased a water blower or want to know what a water blower can be used for. Reproduction of this article is only permitted after written permission, please send us an email via info@dogzoo.nl.

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