Fun Games to Play With Your Dog

If you are a current or past client of Good Buddy Dog Training, you know that a big part of our mission is to help build the bond between dogs and their owners. With that in mind playing with your dog is very important in building that bond, so we want to give you a few fun games to play with your dog to build a strong bond with them.

Name game:

As you start your day, always have your treat pouch on your hip or have treats available throughout your house. Periodically call your dog’s name when doing regular tasks, like the dishes, going outside, or whenever you feel you need them. Once they have come to you after you’ve called them praise and reward!

Hide and seek:

Place your dog in a stay. Walk over to a hiding spot and call them over, once they have found you reward them! Another way to play this game is to grab the dog’s favorite toy and call them over. Get them interested in the toy and throw it into a safe space. As the dog runs to get the toy, you need to run to a hiding spot and wait for your dog to find you. Hiding spots can be in the bathroom, behind a door, behind the couch, in an office chair, etc. Once they have found you reward them with a treat and continue the game.

Find the Toy:

Grab a Toy and put your pup into a stay. Walk to a spot where you can hide the toy, place the toy in the hiding spot and walk back to your dog. When you are back, tell them “Go find”. When they find it, reward them with a treat or a few seconds of playing with the toy. Then repeat the process of placing the toy in the same hiding spot and telling them to find it until the dog understands the game. Advance to hiding the toy in other spots around the house or backyard until the dog understands the game. If the dog can’t find the toy or gets confused, you can lead them over to where you’ve hidden the toy. Or, once you’ve placed the toy down in its hiding spot, stand next to it and tell the dog to “Go find”. Once they have grabbed the toy, praise and reward the dog. Continue the games as long as your dog is having fun and not getting frustrated.

Start-stop Game:

Grab your treat pouch and call your dog over. Have them in a heel on either your left or right side, once they sit next to you hold out your hand with treats in front of the dog’s nose and walk three steps forward then stop tell the dog to “stop” as you do, if the dog follows and stops next to you Praise and reward. Repeat the process.

Cupcake Tin:

Grab the cupcake/muffin tin, some treats, and tennis balls. Fill the tin spaces with treats and cover them with tennis balls. Call your dog over and ask them to sit and stay, place the tin down while your dog stays. Tell them “Okay” when you are ready, then let your dog investigate the game and praise when they knock a tennis ball off the tin to get the treat underneath. You can play this multiple times and advance to hiding just two or three treats in the tin. After the game is done, let your dog play with the tennis balls afterward as a reward for winning this game!

Playing in water:

Do you have a hose? You can grab the hose and introduce it to your dog. Start with filling up the hose and “watering the yard” (make sure the spray isn’t painful or will cause discomfort on the dog). Move the hose around like you would a laser pointer to grab their attention. If the dog goes for it, you can have the dog chase after the stream of water or keep it still and just see what they do. If you have a patio, you can play there instead of the yard, especially if you have dirt and don’t want to clean up a muddy dog. Spray downward to the patio. Have the dog get interested and let them chase the water. Do Not Spray the dog on their feet or face deliberately, you want them to see the hose as a positive and not something that’s going to hurt them. When either you or the dog gets tired head to a dry spot, grab a towel, and dry off your dog.

Bobbing for treats:

If you have a kiddy pool, you can fill it up with some water and let your dog play this game. Fill the kiddy pool and place it outside where your dog can make a mess (if you don’t have a kiddy pool you can also use a large bowl, the biggest one you have). Drop some treats inside (you’ll want large treats or ones that can be easily seen by your dog) or their favorite lightweight toys such as tennis balls. Watch them bob for treats for however long it takes to tire you or your dog out. When playtime is over grab a towel and dry them off.

Playing with Kong toys:

Classic Kong toys are a useful tool to keep your dog occupied and focused on something while you go about your day. You also get to see them go nuts over whatever you choose to put inside the toy! Peanut butter, mashed sweet potatoes, yogurt, or wet food fillings. Grab the Kong toy and stuff with whatever filling you want to use. Stick it into the freezer and wait for it to chill. Take the Kong out and ask your dog to lay down in a nice quiet spot, their bed or crate can be a great place! Once they lay down, give them the Kong, and let them go nuts! Make sure to leave them alone while they make their way through the Kong. And tell anyone else who is around to do the same thing.

Kong Wobbler is another great toy and can also be used to keep your dog occupied. The Kong Wobbler looks similar to the classic Kong toy, except it’s larger, made of a hard plastic, has a hole in the side of it, and has a weighted bottom. Some of us are old enough to remember Weeble Wobble toys(Weeble’s Wobble, but they don’t fall down). Well, the Kong Wobbler is similar to the Weeble Wobbles where your dog will knock it down, some treats may fall out of it, then it will stand back up.

For this game you’ll want to grab the Kong Wobbler and some of your dog’s favorite treats (kibble size). Unscrew the bottom and fill the Kong Wobbler up. Next, call your dog over to a nice quiet spot, then place the Kong Wobbler down on the ground and tell them “Ok” and let them figure out how to get the treats out. Some dogs will hit the toy with their paw, some will nudge it with their noses, some will treat the Kong Wobbler like it’s filled with wet food or peanut butter and will try to get the treats out of the small hole. Each dog is different and might take some time to figure out the game but once they do it’s always fun to watch!

Fun Games to Play With Your Dog

We hoped you enjoyed this article about fun games to play with your dog. Another related article you may enjoy is 10 Easy Tricks to Teach Your Dog.

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Dog Training in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Corrales, Placitas

The mission of Good Buddy Dog Training is to help build the bond between dogs and their owners through positive training methods. We teach dogs to accomplish new behaviors and humans to bring out the best in their furry friends. For the most effective training, we work with people directly in their homes, where dogs and their humans feel most comfortable. And the training we do is based on the science of how dogs learn by using a positive and fun curriculum to build confidence in both dog and owner.

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