A Treasure Mat is a fun way to work on your mind and nose skills. We give it 8 paws up! The idea is to hide treats in the many layers and let us go to town sniffing out and devouring the yummy treats! 10 to 15 minutes of mental stimulation is worth an hour of physical exercise, so don’t be surprised if we’re ready for a nap, once we’ve tracked down all the treats!
We live in Phoenix, Arizona, which is a desert climate. In the summer, it can get quite hot...making outdoor activities a bit challenging. We have been known to get a little restless, and Mommy says we turn into troublemakers when we have idle time on our hands. Our Barn Hunt & Nose Work teacher gave us this great idea for working our minds. Best part, it can be done indoors in the A/C!
You’ll need to start with a rubber door mat with holes and some fleece.
Cut your fleece blankets into strips, about 2” x 10”.
Now, you start threading. Start in one direction, threading the fleece strip in one hole and up the adjacent hole and then tie a knot.
Continue until you’ve completed an entire row, and then do a second row. You can continue doing all rows in this direction, or you can switch to the other direction like I did. (I was unsure as to how much fleece I had, so I chose to just go one section at a time.)
Now, start threading the opposite direction. The same method, in one hole and up the adjacent hole, followed by a knot.
As you finish each row, it will start to look fun and full!
Just keep threading, hole after hole, row after row.
You’ll eventually run out of fleece! If you have a bigger dog, you might want to get twice as much fleece as I did and fill up the entire rug. If you have small pups, like us, this will be big enough.
With a trusty knife or shears, carefully trim the mat where the fleece ended.
Just like that, you have the coolest looking mat!
This is what the back will look like.
Just as neat as the front, but not as fluffy!
Now it’s time for the best part! Grab some treats!
Hide the treats in your treasure mat. If your pup is new to find it games, start with the treats on top and not truly buried. As your pup becomes more confident, you can bury the treats further into the mat.
This is a non-physical, low impact activity, so any age (16 years old!) can conquer it!
Even with limited senses (blind and deaf), it’s still the perfect activity!
Nothing like watching that sniffer work!
For the “find it” obsessed…it’s good to hide the treats really deep into the mat!
Don’t be surprised if you get the evil eye when the mat is empty and there’s no more treats left!