Dogs love to play games with their owners, and keeping them busy also helps prevent destructive behaviors.
Some of the most popular and fun games to entertain and train your pup are listed below. Give a few a try and see what you think!
1. Hidden Treasure
Dogs have a nose that is thousands of times more sensitive than ours. They also have up to 50 times as many scent receptors in their noses as humans. So you can entertain your dog by playing games that use their great nose.
To play Hidden Treasure, all you need are several small containers or boxes. Put them upside down. Put a dog treat under one of the boxes and encourage the dog to start sniffing. When your pup figures out which box or container is hiding the treat, praise them and give them the reward.
You also can use a variety of dog toys that can be stuffed with treats to play Hidden Treasure. This is a fun way to use your dog’s nose, and he’ll have a blast!
2. Obstacle Course
This is an easy and fun game to play because you can use several household objects and make a simple or complex obstacle course.
For example, you can use chairs or broken-down boxes for them to crawl through, or make a stack of books for them to jump over. Or, if you really get into it, you can even buy small cones for your pup’s obstacle course.
3. Chase The Prey
This game lets you take advantage of your pup’s prey instinct. And you can teach him to drop on command, which can be a problem for some dogs.
Use a long stick with a feather or rope hanging from it. Drag it slowly across the floor and teach him to focus. Then, let him catch the item once in a while and give him a treat.
Many dogs love to run and retrieve, so take advantage of their instincts and play fetch with a ball or frisbee.
Some dogs are great at catching, and throwing a frisbee gets the dog to both run and concentrate on catching. You can mentally and physically stimulate the dog by throwing the frisbee high and low and long and short distances.
5. Name Game
This essential but straightforward game teaches the dog to focus his attention on you. But, unfortunately, many dogs have trouble understanding a generalized learned behavior.
So, if you teach the dog to sit and stay in the kitchen, he might have trouble repeating the commands in a different environment. That’s where the Name Game comes into play.
The Name Game is an excellent warm-up exercise, especially in an area with new sights and smells.
You just need to say the dog’s name, and each time he looks at you, give him a treat. Then, repeat his name at least five times. But you may need to do it until his attention is entirely on you.
Playing the Name Game increases your dog’s attention span and focus, and that makes it easier to train him.
You can bet your dog will eventually pick up something they shouldn’t. The Give Game will help you cement good behavior in the dog, and it also can be used for a variety of other games.
You play the Give Game by throwing his favorite toy on the floor. When he grabs it, call him to come to you. Then, put a hand on his toy and tell him to ‘give.’ Then show him a treat with the other hand. When he gives up the toy, pet and praise him.
If you do this with various objects, he’ll learn to give on command every time.
Try each of these dog games, and you and your pup will bond. And he’ll learn to listen better to you, and that’s always a good thing.