One of the most difficult challenges in nosework involves finding the time to train. People are busy, tired, and distracted. Training sessions must be compact or they don't fit into most lives.
Here is a super short drill that will deliver great benefits and take up very little time.
This drill requires very little set up. All you need to do is fill a tin or a straw or any vented container with a few scented q-tips, add a little weight to the tin, and throw the tin into your yard. You don't even need to see where it lands. Allow the tin to sit out there for a while and then send your dog after it. Once your dog finds it, throw it again and play another round.
This simple game allows your dog to learn how to search for non-object hides, how to work the air, helps with independence, and is just plain fun.
If this game is too hard for your dog, play it in a smaller area with a more visible tin until your dog catches on. If the game is too easy for your dog, play it in larger areas or in taller grass or attach a straw with a q tip in it to a rock or a stick to decrease any visibility. Throw out multiple hides to increase difficulty and extend play time once this is easy for your dog.
Here are a few videos of my dogs playing this game in the yard.
This is meant to be fun. Don't over-think this! Just let your dog chase odor and earn cookies.