Playing games with your dog might be one of the most rewarding aspects of being a dog owner. Taking your dog out for a walk or jog is an excellent way to keep them active and healthy. In addition, it strengthens your bond with them.
This post will provide you with a variety of interesting game concepts to try out with your dog. It’s much easier to teach these games if you use food as a reward, but they can also be very enjoyable on their own. Dogs absolutely adore the company of their owners and are always looking for new and exciting things to play with.
While these games can be played indoors on a rainy Saturday with your four-legged pal, you can also enjoy them in your backyard on a sunny day.
Why You Should Play With Your Dog?
Playing games with your dog has many advantages.
Playing with your dog is a great way to develop a close relationship with them. When you play with your dog, it teaches both of you to work together and communicate more effectively, which is a wonderful approach to enhance your bond with one another. Even individual activities like tug need more teamwork than you may think.
Your dog will learn to control his or her biting instincts if you play with them. It’s common in many games for dogs to be taught how to keep their mouths closed near toys and your hands, even when they are excited. Dogs that have the ability to control their bite and are mindful of the pressure with which they bite, are considerably safer to be around.
Petting and playing with your dog helps them learn to control their impulses. There are a lot of dogs that can benefit from work on their impulse control, especially if they bark, jump, lunge, or grab at things enthusiastically. There are several games that are ideal for teaching your dog manners, especially when they are overly enthused about the ball they’re playing with.
Your dog will learn new tricks and training techniques by engaging in fun activities with you. If there is a particular game that your dog really enjoys playing, you can use it as a reward to help your dog become more well-mannered or teach him/her a new skill. There are a lot of games, especially competitive sports, that require you to teach your dog new skills in order for them to be successful.
A game of fetch is a widely popular game, so it’s no surprise that almost all dogs enjoy participating in it. To have a good time with your dog, all you need is a yard, park, or field, a tennis ball or frisbee, and a dog that is full of excitement.
The game of fetch is fantastic for dogs that have a lot of energy. It provides a considerable amount of physical exercise while also allowing them to satisfy their natural drive to run. You can also keep your dog’s mind active and stimulated by giving him a variety of objects to chase after.
This will keep him from getting bored. For instance, catching a frisbee could be a little bit more difficult, but snatching it out of the air would be a lot more fun. To maintain your dog’s interest in the throws you make, experiment with varying the height, distance, and direction of your throws.
Remember to give your dog a treat and some appreciation every time they bring their toy back to you so that they can play with it one more time.
Tug Of War
One of the most popular games for canines is tug. It’s fun, entertaining, an excellent physical exercise, and a great method for dogs to learn good manners. Always keep this simple rule in mind when you and your dog are playing tug: the game is over as soon as your dog’s teeth make contact with your skin.
Because playing tug can get some dogs (especially pups) extremely worked up, it’s likely that some dogs will have more trouble than others with this. Contrary to what many people believe, playing tug-of-war with your dog will not make him more dominating, nor will it make him more aggressive if you let him win.
The game will be more interesting for both of you if you let your dog win, and it will convey to your dog that you are a lot of fun to be around.
When you were a child, you most likely enjoyed playing this game, so why not play it with your dog now? Your dog must be able to follow simple commands like sit, stay, and come in order for this game to be a success. They should be led to a room where they should be asked to wait before you leave the room and hide somewhere else.
When you have chosen the right spot to hide yourself, you should yell out the name of your dog to entice them to approach and look for you. Appreciate your dog and reward them with treats, when they finally figure out where you were hiding.
If you want to spice up the traditional game of hide and seek, you and your dog will have a lot of fun playing a scavenger hunt together. Your dog’s smell senses and problem-solving abilities will be stimulated when he plays this game.
You will need to do a little bit of preparation for this one by distributing the things that are your dog’s favorite either throughout your yard or house. Try to choose locations that your dog does not usually visit.
Don’t hide all the objects in difficult places, certain objects should be so obvious that they are almost in plain sight. As soon as the groundwork has been laid, give your dog a signal — something like, “Fido, let’s FIND!” Then, direct your dog to the first object that is only partially hidden from the view.
You may have to show your pet a few items before they get the idea, but they will eventually understand what you are trying to teach them. Then, you can enjoy the fun of seeing your dog’s natural instincts take over as it eagerly searches for the toys and treats you’ve concealed for them.
Teach Your Dog To Clean Up Toys
When your dog understands how to put its own stuff away, clean-up time can be a lot more fun and a lot more productive. Teaching your dog the “drop” command is the beginning of this trick’s process.
You should first have your dog pick up a toy, and then, after a few seconds, you should say “drop” and position a treat in front of its nose in order to encourage it to drop the item. When doing this, it is advisable to use a toy that you are aware has a lower value than the reward.
Your dog should be able to drop the toy on demand without the incentive of a treat after numerous repetitions of the exercise. After some time, introduce a toy box to your dog. Place it behind your dog’s head in such a way that when you say “drop,” the toy will fall straight into the container.
As soon as your dog gets familiar with that action, you may begin to distribute the toys and start saying “put it away” or “clean up” as your dog picks up its toys and carries them to the box.
As your pet grows better at it, you can make it more challenging for them by moving the toys further across the room, spreading them out across various rooms, or even hiding them.
The gradual process of teaching your dog to execute sophisticated or unfamiliar behaviors on demand, such as giving high-fives, utilizing a doggy door, or even retrieving a beverage from the refrigerator, is referred to as free shaping.
Within the context of free shaping, “shaping” a target behavior refers to the process of gradually marking and rewarding actions as they move closer to the desired results. In a nutshell, the process goes as follows: Wait for your dog to display the appropriate behavior, and then reward them with a high value tasty snack to encourage the behavior.
The shaping process can be mentally tiring for both you and your dog. Therefore, keep a pleasant attitude, move slowly, and be sure you take rests. You should put an end to the activity at the precise moment before it ceases to be enjoyable or fascinating for your dog.
This will ensure that he is constantly looking forward to the next session. Depending on the dog, sessions may only last a few minutes. But that’s nothing to worry about, as long as you leave the session on a positive one.
This toy-based game, also known as a flirt pole, promotes self-control and obedience in your pal. As a bonus, this game can be used to help calm your dog down if he becomes a little over-excited when he’s outside or on a walk.
You may find this kind of toy at any store that sells supplies for pets, or you can construct your own version of it. You will require a strong stick, a length of rope, and a dog toy for this activity. Use the rope to firmly attach the toy to your pole, and you’ve got yourself a chasing stick.
Give your dog the command to lie down, and maintain eye contact the entire time. Attempt to persuade your dog into remaining in the prone posture while you tempt them with the treat that is placed on the end of the pole. You’ll see that your dog is fighting against their natural inclination to seize the toy.
When you’ve gone through a few rotations of dangling the toy in front of your dog, it’s time to let them go with a cue word like “Get!” You should wait a few moments before telling your dog to “Drop!” before allowing them to play with the toy and tug and chew on it. Instruct your dog to resume its previous position (lay back down), and then begin the process once more.
Although it could take a few tries, most dogs end up enjoying the process of being teased, released, and then teased once more. It doesn’t take a lot of effort on your part, but this is an excellent game to play if you want to improve your pal’s ability to control their impulses.
Running up and down the stairs might be a fun way to burn off some of the extra energy. Start at the bottom of the steps to maximize your dog’s workout while minimizing damage to his joints.
Put your dog in a sit-stay position, then toss the toy all the way up to the second step. Keeping your dog in a stay will develop more momentum, after which you should release him with a “ready, set, go” command while perhaps showing an example for him to follow.
Allow your dog to come down the stairs at its own pace when it’s time to go. It is important to take it gently when returning because the downhill steps poses the greatest risk of harm. By the time you’ve completed about ten rounds of this game, your dog will be yearning for a rest.
It is important to note that only dogs older than one year should participate in this activity. If you play this game with puppies or young dogs, you run the risk of causing them long-term damage because their joints aren’t fully grown enough to withstand the impact.
Create Your Own Agility Course
Making your own agility course for your dog is another enjoyable pastime. You and your dog will have a lot of fun learning some new tricks together, and your dog will benefit greatly from the cerebral stimulation it provides.
Your dog can benefit from mental and physical fitness by engaging in an agility course. It is more exhausting to walk your dog through the short miniature course than it is to walk for two miles. It is the additional focus that comes with trying to accomplish one thing after another that makes multitasking more exhausting.
Even while you can get plenty of stuff for obstacle courses at stores that sell supplies for pets, constructing your own is more fun. Hula hoops are great for jumping through, and blankets may be used to leap over. You can also use small cones for weaving.
Not Every Game Is For Every Dog
When deciding what kinds of games to play going forward with your dog, it is important to take into consideration both their physical and mental traits. It’s possible that your dog gets anxious easily and that the game of tug-of-war bothers him.
It’s possible that your dog isn’t all that interested in playing fetch for some reason. Or maybe they have a bad knee injury and they really shouldn’t be running around the agility ring. Find a game that you can play with your dog that is both entertaining and risk-free for the two of you.
There is a wide variety of fun games that may be played both indoors and outside with dogs. Playing with your dog should be enjoyable for both of you, but you should steer clear of games that are excessively rough or that cause your dog to become overstimulated.
Keep in mind that the best moment to conclude play sessions is when you and your friends are having fun. Your dog will be eager to play again rather than worn out and discouraged by the end of the session.