10 Fun Games to Play With Your Dog

Playing games with your dog isn’t just a great excuse to spend some quality time together. Play is very beneficial for your dog in many ways, whether it’s contributing to his physical health, meeting his social needs or reducing the incidence of problematic behaviors. The game has also been found to help build emotional bonds between dogs and their owners.

Already feeling inspired to play with your pooch? Before you do, why not shake things up? Here are 10 fun games to play with your dog that you can try today!

1. Find the toy or treat

Dog playing Find the Treat game finds the treat his owner was hiding

Photo courtesy: Public domain from Pixabay

This game is as simple as it gets! As the name suggests, it’s all about hiding your dog’s favorite toy or treat somewhere for him to find. Start by showing them where you hide the toy or treat. Use a phrase like “where’s your treat?” to let them know it’s time to go get it. Once they understand the game, increase the difficulty by hiding the toy or treat without showing them where you are hiding it.

2. Shell Game

The Shell Game is a fun yet challenging game that your dog is sure to love. Start by placing two opaque cups or yogurt containers upside down on the floor. Place a small treat (training treats are ideal!) under one of the cups, making sure your dog sees you doing this. Then invite your dog to come get the treat. Repeat this several times until they understand how to play. Once they do, you can switch the treat to the other cup and then start to alternate between the two. If your dog gets really good at this game, you can add more cups and even move them around before your dog tries to choose the cup that hides the treat.

3. Obstacle course

Dog and owner jumping over a beam as they traverse an obstacle course

Photo courtesy: Public domain from Pixabay

An obstacle course is a fantastic way for your dog to get exercise. You can either purchase an obstacle course set or craft one using items such as cones, hoops, pool noodles, poles, and tunnels. How you choose to install it is up to you – the possibilities are endless! The advantage of obstacle courses is that with a few pieces of equipment, you can experiment with various setups to entertain your dog.

4. Thinking Games

Puzzle games are a type of interactive toy designed to encourage mental stimulation. Although each game may be slightly different, puzzle toys usually have different compartments where you can place your dog’s favorite treats. Once you close the compartments, your dog will have to rely on his wits to figure out how to access the treats.

5. Tug of war

Dog with a rope toy in his mouth playing tug of war

Photo courtesy: Public domain from Pixabay

Do you remember how much fun you had playing this game when you were a kid? Your dog will benefit too, especially if he has energy balls. It is best to play tug of war with a knotted rope or a ring designed for this purpose. Just be sure to stick to one particular toy when playing… otherwise, you might find that your dog starts wanting to play tug of war with anything in sight! One caveat though. Tug of war may not be the best game for dogs who become upset or aggressive when others take their toys. Teach your dog to “drop it” before tug of war becomes part of your playtime.

6. Hide and seek

Hide and seek is a game that many dogs never get tired of. It’s easier to play in pairs, so you can hide while the other person stops your dog from following you right away. This game is very similar to the “Find the toy or treat” game above… except that in addition to hiding a toy or treat, you’ll also be hiding! If you want to make the game more difficult, experiment with multiple people hiding.

7. Swimming Games

Dog in the pool fetching a ball

Photo courtesy: Public domain from Pixabay

If you have a swimming pool and your dog is a good swimmer, why not try swimming games? For example, you can play fetch (with objects that float and sink) or teach them to jump through a hoop in the pool. If you’re ready to participate, a game of “catch me if you can” is also great fun.

8. Round Robin

You’ll need two or more people to play this game. Give each person a few treats and have them stand in a circle (or stand about six feet apart if you’re playing with just two people). Each person should then take turns calling your dog’s name. Every time your dog approaches the person calling their name, they should give them a treat. Once your dog is in the bath, separate yourself further from each other.

9. Fetch with a ball launcher

Dog with ball in mouth playing fetch game

Photo courtesy: Public domain from Pixabay

No list of games to play with your dog would be complete without including a game of fetch. But why not make things even more fun by modifying this classic game? Try playing with a ball launcher! A ball launcher makes it easier to throw the ball longer distances (plus it will save your arm from hurting you!). If your dog has already mastered fetching but doesn’t always bring the toy back to you, the next step is to teach him how to fetch and fetch. You can train them to retrieve by rewarding them with praise and treats when they bring the toy you’re playing with back to you and drop it at your feet.

10. Loving Fun

A flirt stick, sometimes called a flirt stick, is a simple toy that can provide countless hours of mental and physical stimulation for your dog. It is basically a pole with a rope attached to its end. Some flirting sticks have attractive objects attached to the end of the string, such as a soft toy or strips of fabric. All you have to do to get started is hang it in front of your dog so he can chase it and play with it. You can either buy a flirt pole or, if you’re feeling smart, make your own.

Bonus: 11. Tricks and Treats

Dog giving owner a high five as part of trick training

Photo courtesy: Public domain from Pixabay

Think it’s too late to teach your dog a few tricks? The good news is that contrary to the saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks. While it’s usually easier to teach tricks to puppies, it’s still relatively simple to teach them to dogs of any age, just keep in mind their fitness level and any health issues they might have in the future. mind. All you need is patience and a few treats to make it happen.

Here are some ideas for fun tricks you can teach your dog:

  • Session
  • bark on command
  • Standing on their hind legs
  • Elongate
  • Rolling over
  • shake hands
  • Punch
  • come when called
  • Dancing

Most dogs will take a while to learn a new trick, so don’t be discouraged if they don’t pick it up instantly. Just keep trying, and with all the tricks and games, make sure you always end on a high note so your dog continues to look forward to your next play session.

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