10 Fun Games for your Dog
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
By Emily Schultze
There are many ways to take time to hang out and bond with your pet, however it never hurts to learn of a few more. Today, we’ll go over some games and exercises that are great for both their physical and mental health!
This tried-and-true exercise is always effective at helping your pup get out their extra energy. Taking your dog for a nice brisk walk is a good way to make sure they are warmed up before doing any other activities. However, if you want to add a twist to your usual routine, you can try out different routes each time. Checking out new environments can make walking more exciting for both you and your dog!
Tug is also another great game to play that is also good for your dog’s physical health. Not only is it fun for your dog, but it also gives them a whole-body warm-up. Throw your dog’s favorite tug toy in your bag, and you can play this game anywhere.
3. Stand on Hind Legs:
For this game, you can use your dog’s food-motivated instincts to your advantage. Using a treat, lead your dog to put their front feet on a stool or to the standing position. Practicing this exercise will help to stretch out their hips.
4. Obstacle Course:
Building an obstacle course is a great way to give your dog physical and mental exercise! You can grab objects from around the house, like dining room chairs or a broom, and have your dog weave around or jump over them. With an obstacle course, you can sneak training exercises to a game, since your dog will be following your direction to complete the course.
You can teach your dog to “bow” by leading them from a standing position to bowing. Another method is to reinforce when your dog naturally bows when they are playing. You can give your dog a treat and attach a word or signal of your choosing to this action. Bowing is a great position to teach your dog, as it gives a stretch to their spine, hips and shoulders.
6. “Hot and Cold”:
With this game, you can play with your dog through verbal communication and tone! Find a place to hide a treat, then lead your dog to it with your voice. You can use a calmer tone when your dog is getting “colder”, or moving away from the treat. Then use a more excited tone when they are closer to it (or getting when their getting “hotter”). This game can be a great bonding experience for you and your dog!
7. Cookie Stretches:
With these stretches, lead your dog to reach around their body without moving their legs. Give them a chance to warm up with a couple of repetitions of this and you can give them rewards when they reach back towards their back. Cookie stretches work really well as spinal stretches!
8. Puppy Gymnastics:
Create a routine for your dog! Combine a couple of different training exercises, such as “sit”,”down”, etc., and ask your dog to perform these tasks in a particular order. This game gives you a chance to bond and have fun with your dog while also giving them a bit of exercise!
9. Circle Left/Right:
With this game, you teach your dog to turn around to the left or right on a cue that you pick. Direct your dog to turn in a tight circle to either direction and then give your reward. This can improve flexibility and is a good addition to other games such as the puppy gymnastics or an obstacle course.
10. Puzzle Toys:
Lastly, puzzle toys are a great way to stimulate your dog. These interactive toys can help to improve your dog’s memory and focus.
With these games, you can have fun with your dog and work to improve their health!