8 Games to Play With Your Dog Today
Training is great for you and your dog, but sometimes you just need to have a bit of fun. Spending good playtime with your dog helps you mentally and physically and of course is great for your dog as well. This playtime also helps build and strengthen your bond. You get some exercise and reduce your stress. Most breeds (but not all unfortunately) innately want to please their masters; they want to be part of your pack. By letting them into the play zone, you allow their unconditional love to help you and your family be healthier.
Spending time with your dog in unstructured play and relaxation has also been proven to significantly reduce human stress and anxiety levels. It even is a powerful mood lightener and reduces depression. So take some time, relax with your dog and have some fun, it’s good for us all.
Here are some 8 fun ideas of games to play with your dog:
Tug of War
Played correctly tug is a great way for our dogs to get in a lot of meaningful play and exercise. Before you start make sure your dog has a good "drop it" or "leave it" command. If your dog gets extra rowdy or starts mouthing you it's time to stop the game. And contrary to popular belief you can let your dog win, there's no evidence that it promotes dominance -- in fact studies have shown that letting your dog win just shows that you're really fun to be around and makes them want to play even more.
Hide and Seek
Does your dog know how to stay? If so it'll make this game much easier, if he doesn't get a human helper to keep him sit still while you hide. This is my dogs favorite indoor game by far, and there's something so awesome about how simple it is.
Name Your Toys
According to studies our dogs have roughly the same intelligence as a 2 year old child, with the capability of learning over 200 words. We can put some of those brains to good use by teaching them the names of their toys. Start with one specific toy and start using a name for it; dogs tend to put a 'value' on their toys, and by repeating the name while playing with it they'll start to pick up on the name you're using. After practicing with a few different toys you can then set them out and have your dog go get their red ball.
Find Hidden Treats
You can use bits of kibble or your dogs favorite treats for this game. Have him stay while you hide treats around the home. If your dog hasn't played this game before, start out simple by placing them in plain sight to get them used to the idea. It takes a while for dogs to stop relying so heavily on visual cues and to hone in their excellent sniffing ability. Once your dog has gone a few rounds, you can make it more challenging by hiding treats in some tougher spots.
Choose a Hand
This is a great starter game for dogs who haven't practiced nose work before. Simply take a piece of kibble or a dog treat and place it in one of your hands. Hold both of your hands out towards your dog in a fist and have them pick which hand it's in. If your dog doesn't play nicely and mouths you or claws at your hands you can practice some basic impulse control first.
Clean Up Game
One of my favorite "games" ever, and surprisingly my dog loves it, though that might have to do with all the awesome praise she gets once they're are cleaned up. Start by having your dog pick up a toy near where they're normally stored. Have your dog "drop it" while standing over the toy box. This might take awhile for your dog to get, I know it certainly did with mine. But with patience and a lot of praise you'll end up with a dog that can clean up after themselves.
One of the easiest ways to keep a dog entertained is with a treat dispenser or frozen Kong. There's a wide variety of treat dispensing toys out there, just make sure to supervise your dog when giving him a new toy. Not many toys are truly indestructible, especially with dogs that love to chew. If your dog is already familiar with treat dispensers you can make it a more of a challenge by freezing the treats inside of the toy first.
3 Cup Game
Another great nose work starter game. Get out 3 cups and line them up in a row in front of your dog. To start put a treat under one of the cups while your dog is watching, give him the OK to show you which one is the right cup. When he chooses correctly praise him & let him have the treat. Once your dog seems to get the hang of it you can make it more challenging by mixing the cups around after you place the treat.
We hope you have enjoyed the list of fun ideas of games to play with you pup, but more importantly we hope you find the time to try a few of these with your furry friend.
- Jul 01, 2021
- in Pet Blog