Are you thinking of fun activities for your dog? 🤔 Finding constructive ways to play with your dog is one of the best parts of being a dog owner, – I know that first hand. The best games for dogs not only provide physical exercise but also offer mental stimulation. Below are five fun games to keep your dog engaged, stimulated and most of all happy!
1. Chase the Prey
This game allows your dog use his natural prey instincts in a playful way. It also gives him the opportunity to practice impulse control by dropping the object on command. You may use a long pole or stick with a rope attached to it, then tie a toy or some other lure to the rope. Drag it slowly and stop occasionally rather than waving it around rapidly. The slow pursuit helps your dog learn to focus. Allow him catch the lure every now and then as a reward. If he never wins, he may get discouraged and lose interest.
2. Hide the Treat or Hide & Seek
Hide the Treat is a great brain game for dogs, as it allows them to use their problem-solving skills. The first step is to hide the treat or lure in a place that’s difficult to get to and leave a trail of scent by rubbing it on a few spots along the way. Use language like “hot” and “cold” as your dog gets closer or further away from the treat. Changing your tone from calm for “cold” to excited for “warm” and “hot” will build his listening skills too and get him all eager to find the treat.
Like Hide the Treat, Hide and Seek uses his scent-tracking abilities. Plus, it gives him the opportunity to practice commands like “stay” and “come.” Have your dog stay while you hide. Once you are in position, tell him to come and give him lots of praise when he finds you. If he doesn’t know “stay” yet, have someone distract him until you call for him.
Fetch is a great game for energetic dogs. It provides plenty of physical exercise while fulfilling their natural instinct to run and bring the object in pursuit. Frisbee is another more challenging alternative to the regular fetch, as it may be more difficult to catch than a ball. To keep your dog mentally and physically engaged and challenged, you should vary the height, distance and direction of your throws.
4. Tug of War
Tug of War is a good outdoor and indoor game for dogs. Not only is it fun and engaging, but the pulling and tugging also makes for good physical exercise. To keep it engaging and fun, let your dog win occasionally. Don’t forget to practice commands like “drop it,” though.
5. Agility Training
Agility training is great for the ultimate mental and physical stimulation. It may even be more tiring for your dog than long walks. What to do? Set up an obstacle course in your backyard with objects from around the house. You can place boxes for him to jump over and cones to weave between. Once your dog gets the concept, reward him with lots of praise and affection. Yes, that always works!
Avoid Over Stimulation
Outdoor and indoor games for dogs are great, but anything that is too aggressive or lasts too long can lead to over stimulation. You should end play time while you and your dog are both still having a blast. This will leave him enthused for his next play session rather than exhausted and deflated. By playing these games with your furry friend, you’ll keep him active and mentally stimulated.