• Search for some data

Best Games to Play with your Dog

Best Games to play with your Dog

Exercise, work, and games are not only important for us, human beings to remain active, athletic and healthy, but they are highly crucial for our dogs as well. Every dog, whether big or small, lazy or energetic, needs some kind of movement on a regular basis so as to remain fully fit and happy. Dogs do receive some kind of movement when you are training them but it is also very important to just have some fun with your furry friends. Training is a fairly serious activity that has a particular goal and that is to teach a canine something new, but while you are playing games with your dog, there is no such goal in your mind and you will definitely have more fun with your pooch. Also, your dog will also feel the difference and he will also appreciate and enjoy it more when you are just playing games with him and are not trying to teach him a particular thing.

The type of game that you play with your dog also varies from breed to breed. Some dogs are highly athletic and playful in nature (labradors and German Shepherds come to mind) while others can be pretty lazy and inactive (such as English Bulldogs and Pugs), so you need to choose the right game for your dog depending on its activity level. Also, some dog games are good for only maintaining the physical health of a dog but there are other fun games also that are not only for the enjoyment of a dog but are good for their mental health as well.

Given below are some of the best games and fun activities that you can do with your pooch so that he keeps on being happy and contented.

  1. Fetch

This is an extremely popular game that most dog owners play with their furry friends and it's because this game is so effective and useful to both train a dog and to keep him moving and also it is very easy to play. And, unlike many other games, there are no restrictions with this game. You can play this game with your dog in your home (if the breed is small-sized), in the backyard, garden or a park (if the breed is medium to large), and you can use a lot of different types of toys to play this game as well. From soft toys to squishy balls to frisbees, anything can be used which you have to throw for your dog. Not only this fun activity will keep him fit and active, but it will also keep him sharp and alert as in this game, he'll be learning to fetch something whenever something is thrown and its followed by the word "FETCH." 

Tips: Don't use sticks or stones to play this game, they might be the cheapest form of toys for your dog but they can severely hurt a canine's mouth. Use something clean, soft and light-weight to play this game.

  1. Hide-and-Seek

This is also a very common game that many people are known to enjoy playing with their pets. And it might take a little bit of time to teach this game to your pet dog, but once he starts understanding the gist of this game, then it can be a very fun activity to do. But before teaching this game, it is important that you've taught your dog all the basic commands such as Sit, Stay, Stop, Come et cetera.

To train a dog to play hide-and-seek, you can start by using his favorite toy or treat. Tell your dog to wait for you at a given position (you can use the Stay or Wait command for that) while you are hiding with his toy (preferably a squeaky one) or treat, once you are hidden at the desired place, you should call your dog using the Come command. First let him try to find you at his own, if you are using a treat for this, your dog will be using his sense of smell to find you and if you are hidden with his favorite toy, try to shake or press it, so that your pooch uses his sense of hearing and direction to find you. Once he is able to successfully find you, treat him with love or some kibble so that he feels rewarded. This is a great game as not only it strengthens the bond between a dog and his owner but it also enhances a dog's crucial senses. Also, you can modify this game a little bit by only hiding your dog's toy or treat in any random place in your house and then you can let your dog search for it. This game can be called Hide the Treat.

Tips: Don't play this game in very open or dangerous areas where your dog might get lost or get hurt while he is finding you. Closed locations that are safe such as Home, small Parks et cetera are ideal for this game.

  1. Chase the Prey

Some dogs possess very high instincts to chase a small animal or rodent (such as Saluki, Greyhound etc.) and it is because, in the past, these canines were primarily used for hunting purposes. Thus, this game not only keeps the hunting and chasing instincts of a canine in check but it also allows them to have some fun. For this, you can use a long pole or stick and at the end of it, you can tie your dog's favorite toy or anything he likes. After that, drag the stick slowly and let your dog chase the toy from some distance. Don't allow your pooch to very easily catch the toy but also don't make it so hard that he becomes disinterested in the game. Let him catch the toy every now and then and in this way, he will be able to use his chasing and hunting instincts in a more calm and non-destructive manner. 

Tips: Don't use this game to enhance your dogs' prey drive, it is supposed to control this instinct of a canine. Do not antagonize your pooch by waving the stick rapidly and never allowing him to catch the toy.

  1. Tug of War

A friendly game of Tug of War is always a fun idea and a great activity that you can do with your doggy. It allows your dog to show his strength (especially his jaw power) and it can also act as a mean for you to test how much basic obedience training has your dog remembered since you last teach him. For this, you can use a high-quality training rope or a toy and once your dog starts pulling the rope towards his side and you are pulling it towards yours, ask your dog to "release" or "drop" the rope. If he easily releases the rope, then you were successful in teaching him the obedience command but he struggles to do so, then you some more work left on your plate regarding your dog training. Its a really nice balance of strength and alertness which a dog displays while he is playing this game. 

Tips: Teach your dog "release" or "drop" command prior to playing this game as without it you'll not be able to test whether your dog has become obedient and whether he is listening to you or not.

  1. Miscellaneous Games that are based on the activity level of a dog.

For lazy dogs:

If your dog is not highly energetic and active in nature, you can still play a lot of games with him and keep him busy. Games like Pop the Bubbles {which lets your dog pop a bubble (duh!) one by one}, find the treat (which sends your dog on a treat hunting spree) and Rat-a-Tat (in which a dog tries to catch his owner or loved one in a fun and joyful manner) are all really good options for a not-so-athletic canine to have some fun and be happy. 

Tips: Do not feed your dog unhealthy or very large number of treat while playing “find the treat”.

For active dogs:

Dogs that love to go on long running sessions with their owners mostly prefer those games that are played in open and wide spaces. These dogs really get excited when they realize that they are being taken to a park or an open field for some fun and amusing time. There are various games that you can play with an athletic dog such as frisbee catching, chase the bike (in this game, the owner is on a bicycle and his dog has to chase him or be on his side all the time), and fetch (throw the thing that you want your dog to fetch as far as possible in an open area). All these high-energy games will keep an enthusiastic canine contented and happy. Apart from these games, if you feel your dog is still not getting the right amount of exercise and movement, you can also involve your pooch in various canine sports (such as agility training) so that his high-energy demands can be properly fulfilled.

Tips: While playing “chase the bike”, always first see that the route you are taking is safe for both you and your dog.

Now, from this list, you can choose any of these games and start having a fun and exciting time with your cute and furry companion.