“Some days are simply meant for playing”. -Mary Anne Radmacher
From the long day of work, people find themselves stressed with commitments. People also forget to play and have fun. Work and school is definitely tiring but going home to your dog and playing with them can absolutely take away your weariness.
To jump-start your road on achieving fun and joy, we give you the top 10 most Fun Dog Games from Puppy leaks and Mom.me.
1. Tug of War
Tug of war is one of the most classic dog games. It’s fun, it’s engaging, it’s great physical exercise and it’s a good way for dogs to practice good manners.
When playing tug just remember to follow this basic rule – the game stops if your dog’s teeth touch your skin. Some dogs may struggle with this more than others since tug gets some dogs pretty riled up. If you stop when their mouth touches your hand they’ll catch on that ‘the fun game stops when I mouth my person.’
And contrary to popular belief playing tug with your dog will not make him aggressive, nor will letting him win make him dominant. Letting your dog win makes the game more engaging, and it shows your dog that you’re a lot of fun to be around.
Frisbee is a dog game referred to as an advanced game of fetch because it promotes your dog to chase over long distances. A game of Frisbee is a great exercise, and it’s a lot of fun for dogs that have a natural drive to chase.
If your dog doesn’t know how to catch a Frisbee, start out by using a soft disc. Traditional plastic Frisbees are pretty hard, so if they hit your dog in the face they can discourage them from trying to catch it. Practice by getting your dog excited about the Frisbee by tossing it short distances or rolling it on the ground. Encourage them when they start to follow it around and chase. Once your dog is excited to chase it you can increase the distance and start tossing it.
A game of Frisbee can be far more exciting than the average game of fetch.
3. Water Games
Going to the local beach can be a lot of fun for dogs, especially those that already love swimming. You can bring along some dog toys and play a game of fetch in the water. Just remember to check if they float first.
If your dog isn’t a great swimmer, or if you don’t have any beaches nearby you can play some water games in your own backyard. Get a plastic kiddie pool and fill it with water. Many dogs love splashing around and having a nice little pool of their own to keep cool in. Toss in some toys and turn it into a ‘bobbing for apples‘game.
A game of fetch in the water is a lot of fun; just remember to check if the toy floats before tossing it in.
4. Find the Treats
Dogs will definitely love this dog game. Find the treats, like all nose work games, are mentally stimulating and a fun way to let our dogs hone in on their natural sniffing abilities.
To play find the treats you’ll want to start by putting some treats on the ground while your dog is in the stay position. Give your dog their release command and encourage them to ‘find the treats.’ Point to them and help them along if they’re struggling. Encourage them along the way by praising them each time they find one.
Once your dog understands what ‘find the treats’ means you can slowly start to increase the difficulty of where you’re hiding them. And once you’ve practiced enough in one room you can move onto hiding treats throughout the house.
5. Hide & Seek
Hide and seek lets your dog use some of their natural scent tracking abilities in a fun and stimulating way.
To play hide and seek, let your dog stay while you go find a hiding spot. Once situated call your dog and praise them when they find you. If your dog doesn’t have a good ‘stay’ you can enlist the help of someone else to distract your dog as you hide.
6. BLANKET HURDLES
While buying an outdoor agility course for your pooch would be ideal, not all of us have the money or space for it. Be creative and make a simple obstacle course inside your home with the help of a few everyday objects, like a couple of old. Clear out enough space in the living room so your dog can run freely without hurting himself or your valuables. Place one or two rolled-up blankets on the ground. Walk your dog through the course and have him hop over the blanket a couple of times. Once he's got the hang of it, ask him to stay at one end of the room and then call him from the other.
He'll use the rolled-up blankets as a fun and safe hurdle. If you find that your dog is an expert at this game, mix it up and use a few more rolled-up blankets throughout his "course."
You might want to try this new dog game!
7. THE NAME GAME
You may not think your dog can actually understand you, but he totally can. The key to word recognition is practice, practice, practice. Start off simple using two of your dog's favorite toys. Give them each a name. Make sure there are no other toys in the room to distract him. Now, call out the name of each toy. Try to keep the names basic, like "bear" or "cat." Say the name of one of the toys and throw it so he can fetch it. Repeat this a few times. Next, do the same with the other toy. Once you think your dog knows the name of both the toys, put them both on the ground and ask him to fetch one of them. Reward him with treats and praise every time he gets it right. Repeat this until you are certain your dog knows the names. If you have an extremely intelligent dog who easily gets both of the toys' names, try introducing a few more to his vocabulary.
8. ROUND ROBIN
This fun dog game is perfect for a family with children. Every member sits around the room (at least 20 feet from one another) with a handful of treats. Then, every person will take turns calling out their dog's name. Every time the dog comes, he should be rewarded with treats and praise. When he has accomplished the game indoors, try taking it outside and spread out even further from one another!
9. DOGGIE BASKETBALL
Dogs definitely love basketball. In this dog game, ready your dog’s favorite ball.
Grab an empty laundry basket and your dog's favorite ball. Demonstrate what you would like your dog to do. Drop the ball into the basket while saying "drop." Make sure your dog is paying attention to this command and the motion. Once you think you've done it enough times, pass the ball to your puppy player. Every time he drops the ball into the basket when you say "drop," reward him enthusiastically. It might take some time for him to learn that the goal is to put the ball into the basket, so coax him with treats. Make sure you emphasize the command "drop!"
10. RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT
This game is perfect for children and family dogs who know how to "stay" and "come." All participants, both humans and dog, spread out in an open yard. One person is the game moderator. Instead of saying "red light" and "green light," the keywords will be "stay" and "come." The moderator will then call out the commands, which both humans and dog will have to abide by. Be sure to treat your dog after each command.
The whole family will definitely love this dog game! Have a try!
“They motivate us to play, be affectionate, seek adventure and be loyal”. –Tom Hayden
Playing with dogs will never be a waste of time. What’s great with playing is that no matter how young or old you are, you will always have a good time playing with them. As adults, playing games with dogs makes us feel younger! We should never forget to give time to our dogs. So, grab your buddies and try one on the list. Let’s have fun and enjoy life!