Playing games with your dog is an easy way to train them! Dogs love to repeat behaviors they are rewarded for, so teaching them skills through games is interactive and fun. Our 5 exciting dog games you can play with your dog to keep you both entertained! These games are great enrichment activities that help prevent boredom. Your dog will enjoy learning and bonding with you!
1. The In & Out
This is a fun one to do with your dog by yourself or with a friend! Stand with your feet hip width apart. Lure your dog from behind your by taking a treat between your knees so he/she walks between your legs. Then take the treat around your right leg with your dog still following before bringing it between your knees again. Repeat around the left leg. Once your dog has completed the entire figure 8 mark with “NICE” and reward with the treat! When your dog is comfortable walking through, start using a marker such as “weave” or “through.” Do not forget to reward your dog for every try in the 5 exciting dog games!
2. The Big Jump
For this game you need a pole or old broomstick that is light weight. Place the pole on the floor. Lure your dog with a treat over the pole so he/she gets comfortable walking over something. As soon as he/she crosses the pole reward with a treat and praise! Once that happens, you can slowly start raising the pole. You can place books or something as supports, about an inch tall to lay the pole across at first. Add the marker word “jump” or “over” and reward with a treat. Slowly raise the height of the pole on the supports and soon your dog will be doing a big jump!
3. The Limbo, one of 5 Exciting Dog Games
Another great game you can play with the Big Jump equipment is the Limbo! Instead of going over the pole, this time you will teach your dog to go under the pole. Hold the pole high in your hand and lure he or she under with a treat. Reward with “NICE!” the first few times before adding the marker word, “UNDER.” Keep repeating the game while slowly lowering the pole to rest on the supports. If your dog goes over, do not reward, try the marker “UNDER” again and only reward for the correct movement. To add difficulty, add streamers or strips of fabric to the pole so your dog walks through the curtain under the pole.
4. Digging For Treasure
Do you have a digger? Redirect that energy to an activity that isn’t devastating to your yard, build your pet a sand pit! A deep wooden box or a child’s plastic pool filled with sand make a great sandpit for your dog. Encourage your dog to approach the sand pit. Use a treat at first by rewarding stepping into the pit. Once your dog is confident stepping in the sand, lightly bury a rubber or plastic toy that can get dirty. Encourage your dog to “dig dig!” and when he or she does, praise! The reward will be finding the toy, especially if it’s a rubber toy filled with a treat!
5. Bungee Bounce
When enriching a dog’s environment, it’s important to have interactive toys your dog can learn and develop skills on their own. This game requires a clothesline and a bungee with a treat filled rubber toy at the end. Loop a bungee rope over the clothesline so the rubber toy is off the ground at about eye level with your dog. Encourage your dog to grab the toy and when they do, a treat should fall out. Be sure to give them lots of praise! Once they get the hang of it, slowly shorten the bungee to make them work a little hard. This is a fun game they will enjoy for hours!
These 5 exciting dog games will keep your pet happy and busy for hours. Using games provides many benefits to enriching your dog’s life. A happy dog is content and becomes a great member of the family. Not to mention the bond you will have enjoying the time with your best friend.