Dogs just love to play and it is also important for their physical and mental health. Here are some fun games you can play with your dog.
Tug o war is very popular with most dogs. All you need for this is a thick piece of rope a stick or a tug o war toy in hard rubber (can be bought in most pet stores) then you pull the rope towards you and the dog will pull back. If you have a big and strong dog you will probably have struggle a fair bit to win this game but if you have a smaller dog then let it win sometimes.
This will make the game much more fun for the dog and you can be sure he/she would want to play again.
Some people think that dogs get aggressive or dominant when they play and win a Tug o war but this is simply not the case. Dogs may growl and bark when playing but it is all for fun and when the game ends so does the “aggression”.
A game of Frisbee could be great fun both for you and your dog. It can be played with most dogs but will particularly well with dogs who like to play fetch. The Frisbee will be more of the same as a Frisbee will travel longer distances and will make your dog run longer. A good way to do this is to start throwing the Frisbee shorter distances to make the dog get used to you throwing it. It might be a good idea to start out with a soft Frisbee. Traditional Frisbee s are hard and can discourage a dog if it hits it on the nose so start with a soft Frisbee and continue with hard one once the dog really gets into it. Playing Frisbee is a great way to tire out a high energy dog.
A Flirt pole is one fun but high impact activity that dogs really enjoy. A flirt pool is sort of like one of those games where you have a pole stuck in the ground and to it there is a rope attached and in the of the rope a ball. Then you hit the ball and try to wind up the line around the pole. A flirt pole for dogs would look like that but you might have some other type of lure instead of a ball, maybe a dog toy of some kind. The dog will jump and the chase lure around and it will soon get tired.
One word of caution here. This is a high impact game and if your dog is not all that active when you start then shorter sessions would best and then you gradually increase their length as the dog gets fitter. Also, this is a high impact game and not suitable for dogs who have problems with their joints, for them there are other low impact games that work better.
Build an agility course for your dog. Agility is a very popular dog sport and it is actually a sport which developed with the dog’s enjoyment as a priority. First of all it should be fun for the dog, secondly for the audience and finally for the owner. It could also be great fun at home, without any competition in mind.
With a little imagination you could build a great course in which you and your dog could have lots of fun and does not have to be expensive either. In this post you will find some tips on how to make an agility course, and there is also plenty of things to be bought online, just google Agility course for dogs and you will find plenty of options.
Play hide-and-seek with your dog. Lots of dogs love this game and they never get tired of it. You take a couple of treats, show them to your dog and then place them on the ground, you then encourage your dog to find them. You start out with something really easy like putting the treats on the ground close to your dog.
If needed you point them out to your dog. Praise the dog once he/she has found them. Once your dog understand what “find the treats” mean, try it again and make it a little more difficult this time. You can then gradually increase the difficulty. If you are worried that your dog gets too much to eat while playing this game, here are a couple of sites where you can find low calorie dog treats.
Chase bubbles with your dog. Bubbles can be great fun and are completely harmless. All you need to do is to blow a few bubbles in the air near your dog. You then catch a few of them to show your dog that they are harmless. Encourage your dog to chase and catch them. Once the dog gets the hang of it, it is going to have a lot fun and keep going and going.
Water games can be absolutely great in summer. Many dogs love splashing around in the water so a trip to the beach is appreciated by most dogs. This is a great way to keep cool and play a game of fetch, just remember to check if the dog toys you are using can float.
If your dog is not a great swimmer you could use a life vest for dogs or go to a small pond where the water is shallow. A simple kids swimming pool in your garden could work as well. Some dogs love playing with the water hose and can have a lot fun running in and out of a sprinkler.
Keep Away is another fun and simple game to play. It is sort of like playing fetch but instead of throwing something as far away as you can, you through the object near the dog. Throw it under, over or at the side of the dog and let him/her catch it. It is great for its reflexes and since there is no long distance covered you can keep going for longer and it also suits less active/older dogs.
So, these are a few ideas of games you can play with your dog. There are of course many more and also games that would be great to play inside of your house. What games do you play with your dog? Please share them with us by posting a comment below.
All the best,