DIY Snuffle Mat

Severus and Whizbee love to snuffle! Snuffle mats offer a more active approach to feeding your dog. Searching through the strips of fleece prevents my chow hound *ahem, Severus* from inhaling his food. Whizbee often gets a snuffle mat laced with treats when I leave her in our bedroom with the door closed for confinement practice. Snuffle mats are also fairly portable and I bring one to agility class to manage Severus’s barking. Whizbee has been borrowing Severus’s snuffle mat for a couple weeks, but Sev wants it back now so Whizbee needs her own.

Materials:

  • one square of antifatigue rubber floor mat (washed with soap and dried)
  • about 1.75 yards of fleece
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • a nosy shiba who feels entitled to pretty much everything
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Helpful shibe.

Cut your fleece into strips of 10″x3″. Don’t waste time being too obsessive about this step. Crooked cuts and slightly non-uniform strips are not a big deal.

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Thread the strips of fabric through the holes of the mat. Tie each strip in a single knot. If you are using two different colors of fleece, decide if you want to make a pattern or not.

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Keep going… forever. Get distracted. Play with your cute dogs. Come back. Keep going. You will get there! If you have human puppies (aka children) who are old enough to do crafty things without supervision, consider hiring them as cheap labor to finish off the job for you.

Swear to yourself that this is the last snuffle mat you’ll ever make.

Tada!! Hide kibble or treats deep in the fleece and have your dog search for his food. To clean: machine wash in cold water and air dry.

Get creative with clever ways to incorporate the snuffle mat in training! Here are some ideas:

  • a target in agility
  • a “zen bowl” in obedience training
  • an intentional distraction for proofing recall
  • add movement to canine conditioning balance work

Let me know what other ways you like to use your snuffle mat!

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