As a dog owner, you need to ensure that you are providing enough mental and physical stimulation to your pet that would keep them in good physical shape and enhance their overall health. Fun games and adventures are not only suitable for pups, but they can be enjoyed the same way when your dog enters into adulthood. In this article, you would learn about 50 games to play with your dog, which would not only provide a cardio session to your pooch but also strengthen the bond between you two.
Hide And Seek
We have used the typical sentence “Ready or not, here I come!” during our childhood to seek out our friend during the hide and seek game. Luckily, now you can bring back those memories by trying it out with your furry friend. He would have the edge of using his keen sense of smell to navigate towards you, and you would have to ensure to find a good hiding spot.
Hot & Cold
It is a highly interactive game that is mainly based on verbal communication, as you have to build up special codes to deliver message to your canine. Initially you have to secretly place your dog’s favorite treat somewhere inside the house when they are not around. You have to incorporate a colder tone of voice when they are moving away from the desired spot, while you have to use a more encouraging warm tone when they are maneuvering in the right direction.
Regardless of the breed you own, all dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell, and they highly rely on their sniffing ability to identify objects and other animals. You have to select an item that emanates strong odor, and then you have to hide it somewhere unknown to your pet. Now you can call out “Find it, Fido!” to commence the treasure hunt.
The Cup Game
You have to select a couple of opaque plastic cups from your kitchen through which the inside contents are not visible. This game slowly builds up to an advance level, as you first have to make your dog familiar to the pattern of sniffing a hidden object and then finally uncovering it from the cup. Whenever he successfully knocks over the cup that contains the treat, you have to praise your canine profusely, so that they strive to perform better as the game’s level starts increasing.
Red Light Green Light
This game is perfect for dogs that are too hyperactive and are unable to stand still when you teach them commands. When you say “come”, then this means that you are giving them the “green light” to mobilize in a specific direction. Similarly, when you say “stay”, then this is delivering the message of a “red light”.
Tug of War
Many first-time pet owners are afraid to try out this game because they fear that it would provoke aggression and dominance in their dog. As long as you are able to maintain strict discipline, this can be a lot of fun time for you dog.
This is a game of patience and discipline, and it teaches your dog to give you priority no matter what the circumstances are. You first have to spread toys and treats in a parallel manner in front of you, and then ask your dog to come to you. He would gradually learn to resist the temptation of picking up his favorite item from the floor.
The Name Game
Depending upon the current age of your pup, it is more than likely that he has already memorized a few words to which he would respond immediately, like “food time” and “ball”. Keep on teaching him new words, so that you can increase his vocabulary.
The Which Hand Game
This is a fun starter game for you puppy that would teach him to enhance his sniffing abilities. Place both yours behind your back, and place a stinky treat in one of the hands. Hold out both the fists in front of your dog to detect the hand in which he can get the treat. If your canine gets it wrong, then you can teach him to improve by placing treat in the same hand again.
Put Dog Treats in a Plastic Bottle
Put the favorite treats of your dog in empty beverage bottles, and set them up in sequence in front of him. Watch him manipulate the bottles in different positions to get hold of the treats.
Put Your Toys Away
This can be a highly rewarding game, as you can teach nice manners to your dog of cleaning up the room after he is done with the game. Teach him to place the toys in the cupboard and closet each time.
Before tossing Frisbee directly in the air, you should start it off slowly by rolling it towards your dog on the ground surface. Once he is able to pick up the pass, you can teach then to catch it.
You can create a free-of-cost obstacle course inside your residential property by randomly placing blankets or towels on the floor. You can teach your dog to hop over these items to reach other corner of the room.
It is a game that is based on the dealer’s choice. Rather than giving a specific command to your loyal canine, this time you can try out by saying “new trick!” Every time he is successful at pulling off a new trick, he becomes the rightful receiver of a delicious treat.
Free Shaping Game
It is an interactive game that is not dependent on any physical corrections, but it is about giving your four-legged friend to follow his instincts of doing the things that offers him highest rewards.
Plush Puzzle Toys
Buying some furry plush puzzle games can provide an invigorating experience to your dog, as he would take all measures that would finally get him to demand treats from you.
Teaching The Names of Toys
The IQ level of an adult dog is the same like that of a 2 years old human child. This means, that they have the ability of memorizing dozens of words, and you can make them familiar to the name of their favorite toys.
Buying toys that have built-in treat pouches can be great to build up patience and calmness. No matter how hyper your pet is, he would have to figure out a way to get the treat in his mouth.
This is best training device as it helps your canine develop better self-control, and focus better towards your commands. It consists of long stainless steel pole that is connected to a rope. Towards the free end of the rope, a tug toy is attached to get the attention of a pet.
DIY Agility Course
You can set up a challenging agility course by utilizing the common objects in your house, such as dining chairs and similar furniture items. Once you give related hints to your dog, he would follow the directions.
Under The Bridge
This would train the obedience skills of your dog, and you have to ensure to provide them with tasty treats once they accomplish it. Sit with an upright posture on the floor with your knees bent. Tell your dog to cross the bridge made out of your knees without making you move.
Frozen Kong Recipes
Kong is highly popular in the dog enthusiasts’ community, as it is very exciting for you dog, and it can also be stuffed with yummy treats. You can entice your pup to solve the puzzle by putting peanut butter or other snacks in the sack. As long as your dog doesn’t suffer from any food allergy, you can keep changing new flavors.
Muffin Tin Game
Take out an old muffin tin from the attic or basement to setup an interesting game for your pooch. Place some mouth-watering treats in few of the holes randomly, and then cover it up with small obstacles. Your dog would have to figure out on his own to remove the obstacles.
If your four-legged companion is an avid chewer, then he would have great time playing roughly with these balls, as they are designed to withstand dog bite force. Unlike a tennis ball, which can be punctured after a vigorous biting session, these balls would retain their dimensions without getting deflated.
In order to keep your pooch on his toes, you can play this traditional game. Make sure to keep on changing the sequence of the commands to evaluate his response rate. As soon as you say “sit” and “stand up”, he should be able to follow the instructions in a quick manner.
These are indispensable items to keep in your house if you own an energetic dog. You can place your pet’s go-to treats in these containers and teach them how to take them out without your help. If your pup has been making mischief when you are away from home, then you can prevent the chances of any further destruction by installing this dispenser.
By throwing a ball or stick with a moderate speed, you can teach your dog to fetch it back to you. Most of the breeds intrinsically understand the dynamics of this game, and they would have the instinct to retrieve the object back to their human in order to please them and get more affection in return. You can gradually start throwing the stick over a larger radius area, so that your dog has a better chance of burning calories.
Interactive Dog Toys
You can make use several DIY dog puzzles to enhance their cognitive abilities and keep them stimulated. By incorporating tennis balls and fallen tree branches in the yard, you can setup interesting game sessions.
From turning knobs at a specific angle to opening drawers in a smooth manner, you can introduce various puzzle games to your intelligent canine to maintain their mental health and keep them active.
To commence this game, you have to ask about three to six people to stand in a way to form a wide circle. Tell each person to hold different treats and snacks in their hands, and then one person has to call the dog at once. When he listens to the commands in this game, you should reward your dog’s generosity by giving him yummy snacks.
Dog Twister Puzzle
Have you noticed that your pup has insatiable curiosity? Well, you can enhance his problem-solving skills by purchasing a twister toy. In order to dispense his preferred treats, he would have to solve the puzzle every time.
If you have stairs in your single-family house, then you can try out this game that would provide a great cardio session to your pet. Start from the base of the stairs, and signal your dog to fetch the ball placed at the other end of the stairs as fast as he can.
For the initiation of this game, you need an empty laundry basket and a large-sized ball – which is similar in size that of a standard basketball but is not that hard and rigid in terms of its structure.
The Keep Away Game
You need to use high-value treats for this game, as it can be fairly complicated when you first introduce it to your pup. You have to teach them to perform a number of actions as soon as you say the command “Come!” to them. You can teach them to come near you, stand in an upright position, and maintain eye contact with you upon hearing the command.
It would take some time for your dog to master this move, but once he gets the hand of it, he would enjoy it. Being a master, you have to stay patient when you are training him to jump over the rope every time it moves towards his paws.
We have all played this classic game during our childhood, and you can teach the rules of this game to your dog by performing repetitive moves. After tagging your dog, say “you’re it!” and then run away from him in a way that he is enticed to chase you.
As long as your furry companion enjoys his bath time, you can incorporate some water games into the routine. You can open your garden hose, so that your dog can follow the long stream of water gushing out of the pipe.
Also known as dog parkour, you can introduce this energy-burner game to your dog, which would enhance his athleticism and body coordination. You can setup the obstacles in your backyard or lawn.
You would be surprised to see the dribbling skills of your dog once you teach him how to properly balance the ball without letting it fall down. You can teach them to propel the ball in desired direction by utilizing their mouth and paws.
You can setup broomsticks and other spare items in your household to offer a challenging jumping circuit to your dog, which would easily drain his energy. In order to improve his maneuverability, you should keep on setting new levels of difficulty from time to time.
You can explore the predatory nature of your canines by introducing them to this game. You basically have to attach a long spring to a tree or pole in your yard, and towards the free end of the spring you can attach a toy. This way, you would be able to go to work and expect your pooch to have a great fun time while he is alone at home.
This game can test the hand-eye coordination of your pet, as he has to successful place a large ring over a peg without letting it drift away. During the learning phase, he might get agitated when he is unable to stack a single ring for many hours, but after some attempts he would develop the coordination and balance.
You can place various tunnels and barriers in your backyard to provide a fun outdoor adventure to your pup. This would allow him to burn his pent-up energy at the end of the day, and it would help him be calmer and disciplined for the remaining part of the day.
Whiplash Head Turn
Unlike the name of this game, it is not cruel or harsh at all. This is a game of discipline, as your dog has to resist the urge of placing his eyes on something highly appealing, and re-orient his body towards his owner. He would learn that he would receive more treats, if he listens to your permission of stopping as soon as you give the command to do so.
Balance The Treat
You can make your dog more obedient towards you by trying out this game. You have to teach them to balance a treat on their nose, and resist from gulping it down their throat until they receive the order from their owner. If the snack smells delicious, your pup might show signs of temptation, but you have to bring their focus and attention back to your command.
Find The Treat
Take out some empty cardboard boxes from your store room, and hire some tasty food items in them. Your dog would have to rely entirely on catching the scent of his favorite treats to stay oriented towards them. Once they successfully navigate towards the hidden spot, you can finally allow them to devour it.
Find It in The Park
This is an outdoor variation of hiding the treats game, and it allows you to change the surrounding and environment to keep things interesting. You don’t want your pup to get bored of being confined in the cramped up living space in your house, and you need to give him some space to be more relaxed and self-reliant. The next time you head out with your pooch to the local dog park, you can hide treats in areas that are covered with long bushes and grass. This overgrowth of plantation would give you the leverage of hiding snacks around natural soil, and you dog would have to level up his sniffing game.
Follow The Scent Trail
You are already familiar with the exceptional sense of smell of your canine companion, and you can test its limit by distributing a scent trail in an outdoor or indoor environment. This would provide your dog with physical exercise and keep them mentally enriched as they would be able to incorporate their sniffing instincts to discover meals. Harnessing your pet’s sniffing behavior would allow them to be more relaxed at the end of the day.
Where is Dinner?
These scent-driven creatures would not hold it back when it comes to exploring new treats by relying on their noses. Rather than feeding your pup in the same location everyday, you can setup the meal bowl on different places and let your pooch find it out on his own. Canines are used in drug-sniffing operations for reason; they can pick scents from several kilometers regardless of the surrounding terrain settings or weather conditions.
If you are frustrated about the excessive digging instincts of your dog, which has left your garden in worn out condition, you can assign a dedicated digging box to them. Place appropriate amount of soil or sand in a box, and bury some of the favorite toys of your dog below the sand. This way they would not have to feel guilty about using their paws to dig out new interesting items from the soil.