Looking for some new ways to play with your canine? Look no further!
My family has three dogs: A Chocolate Labrador Retriever, a Yellow Labrador Retriever/Airdale Terrier mix and a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. Growing up with these three animals has taught me two things: One, not all dogs play the same. While one may prefer fetch, the other prefers to simply let loose and run. Second, exercise and playtime are essential for a pooch’s overall happiness and health. And, it’s also good for the owner!
Stuck in a Rut? Find Some New Games to Play with Your Dog
Below are some great games to play with your dog to keep him active and entertained. Plus, these can be fun for humans, too!
Fetch: It's the classic game most people pay with their dogs, but it's one that dogs love.
- Blow Bubbles: Some dogs absolutely love chasing and “catching” bubbles. You can find bubble guns or wands at your local craft store, discount store or even a local pet store.
- Hide and Seek: This game can be fun, and tasty! Instruct your animal to stay in one spot. Grab a couple of treats and then go hide with them. Once you are safely hidden, call out to your pet. When he finds you, reward him with praises and a yummy snack. Then start all over with another round.
- Treat Hunt: This is similar to hide and seek, except you are just hiding the food! Grab a few small bites and hide them throughout your animal’s living area, or outside. Then, let your furry companion find them all. My friend and her Greyhound, Flurry, enjoy this quite a lot. My friend also changes it up sometimes by having Flurry sit while she (the human) throws treats into the air for Flurry to catch.
- Red Light, Green Light: Also known as “stay” and “come.” This is a great way to play with both children and pets. One person is the moderator and replaces the common “red light, green light” phrases with “come” and “stay.” Need a reminder of how to play? Everyone starts in a line and the moderator says “green light” (or “come”) and players take as many steps as they can toward the finish line…until the moderator says “red light”—or “stay.” Repeat as often as needed. First person, or animal, to the finish line wins! Be sure to reward your canine and your kids after each successful command.
- Tug of War: Use a robe or old towel and let your puppy grab it. Puppies like to roughhouse much more than older dogs do, but be sure to not pull too hard! Their teeth are still very fragile and growing in. For older dogs, be mindful of their joints and avoiding areas where they could slip and fall.
How Will I Know Which Activity My Pet Will Enjoy?
This depends on the animal’s personality, along with his breed and age. Try out different games, and see how he does!
What is your favorite game to play with your pooch? Tell us in the comment section below! And come back next week for game ideas to play with your kitty.