Top Games To Play With Your Dog
Hello everyone, and welcome to another River Dogs Dog Blog! It can be hard for our puppy pals to concentrate after a hard day at dog school. Sometimes, being the new dog on the block can be pretty scary, especially when you’ve forgotten your waterproof collar and the teacher starts talking loudly about ‘dog swimming near me‘ and reaching for the leads. It’s important, therefore, that we know how to keep our dogs entertained and how to stimulate their creative minds. You might go home and watch Countdown to relax, but when it comes to your long-eared housemates, they like nothing more than to chase, chew, and roll their stresses and blues away. And if you’re going to help them, then you’re going to need to know about some of the best games to play with your dog!
If you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration when it comes to entertaining your favourite pooch, then you’ve certainly come to the right place. Playing with your pet can be one of the most rewarding feelings ever, but you need to know what games to play to keep them interested. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top games to play with your dog that we play with our own four-legged friends. We guarantee that any one of these games will have them all plum-tuckered out with all four paws up in the air (leaving you to watch Countdown in peace)!
Top Games To Play With Your Dog
1. Tug Of War
Sometimes the old fashioned games are the best, but just what is it about pulling things that dogs love so much? Tug of war is at the top of our top games to play with your dog list because it’s very simple and can be done by anyone as long as you have something long and strong to play with. This is great for those cheeky pooches that just won’t let go of the stick or that try to run away when you go to throw their toys. Be careful of your dog’s teeth and don’t tug for too long at a time though; we find that they always like it when we let them win anyway!
2. Doggy Puzzles
We’re not suggesting that you should try to get your dog into Cluedo or Sherlock Holmes stories, but puzzles are a great way to keep them occupied and to help with their ‘seeking’ skills. You can sit at the side-lines and cheer them on or leave them to it and crack on with preparing some tasty homemade dog treats for the next puzzle! Puzzles can range from sticking some treats in a box with a couple of tennis balls on top to weigh it down, all the way through to special puzzle boards like this one that you can purchase from Outward Hound on Amazon!
3. Doggy Football
Some of you might have been keeping up with the River Dogs football squad during this world cup, and we can definitely say that they’ve had a great time on the official Tadcaster HQ pitch. This is a great one for you to play with your own dog or for a bunch of canine pals to play together. Use trees as goalposts and throw in a soft or hard ball depending on the size and strength of the players, and away you go! Football is one of our top games to play with your dog because it’s so accessible and everyone knows how to play. Now all you need to do is to decide who’s going to be the referee. YELLOW CARD REF!
4. Dog Cups
You know that game that you always see shady-looking people playing on films with three cups and a pea or a penny hidden underneath one of them? Well, it turns out that dogs really like this game too. Number four on our list of top games to play with your dog needs nothing more than three cups and a tasty treat. This can be done on any surface, in the park, at home, or even at a place that specialises in doggy daycare near me and you (ring any bells?). Place one treat under one of the cups and start off by letting your dog get the right cup every time. Then, when he or she is starting to get the hang of it, start mixing them up and seeing if their noses can sniff out the right cup! Simples!
5. Agility Course
If you’ve got the space in your garden then building an agility course is a sure-fire way to keep you and your dog occupied for hours. If you enjoy DIY then building the course will keep you out of trouble, and you’re doggy will enjoy running around his or her new play park for years to come. Try to time their run around the course or just enjoy watching them jumping in and out of tyres or sliding down ramps. Whatever you decide to build, a well-made course is definitely one of our top games to play with your dog.
6. Old School Frisbee
99% of dogs have an instinct to bring something back once it is thrown, so what better toy to keep them occupied than a colourful frisbee. Frisbees are usually pretty soft and won’t hurt your pet if they have a ‘mid air collision’. They’re also a good form of exercise as you can really throw them a long way with the right wind behind you. What’s more, your dog can experiment with some cool jumps for you to put up on Instagram – you might have a social media star in the making!
7. Hide & Seek
To avoid confusion we advise that you are the one that hides in this situation! Hide & seek can be a great little game to play with your furry friends, and it also gets them used to sniffing out your scent. They’ll be crazily happy once they find you, especially if you have a treat or two in your pocket. Hide & Seek might only go on as long as your dog stays interested, but it’s still one of our top games to play with your dog because its so easy and can be done inside the home. Plus we like the thought of your dog having a snooze and you staying hidden for hours on end! (we’re only human after all.)
8. Digging Box
Photo © @moose_the_miniaussie
Some dogs love to dig, and rather than having them ripping up your prized begonias at the bottom of the garden, you can make a box from wood and sand and have them search for hidden treasure. You can pick up the supplies to make your own special digging box at any hardware store and it can be as big or as small as you like (though don’t try making a massive box for a tiny dog to dig through – they’ll end up getting lost!). Sand can be substituted for soil for that really authentic touch, and you can hide anything from your dog’s favourite toy to a nice tasty bone!
9. Water Games
Last but not least is our favourite of the bunch – water games. There’s nothing better than cooling down with some water games on a hot day (unless there’s a hosepipe ban of course!). Whether you’re in the garden or down by the beach, playing with your dog in water can be a great experience. If your furry friend can swim then it’s great to go for a paddle together, and what’s more you can even play frisbee in the water or try to take them surfing with you. It all depends on how adventurous your pooch is, but just make sure to not take them too deep or anywhere out of their comfort zone if they aren’t a strong swimmer!
10. Tidy Up!
With all of these toys hanging around your house, this last game on our list of the best games to play with your dog will not only help them with their seek, fetch, and drop skills, but it will also leave you with a tidy living area without even having to lift a finger. Get your pooch to pick up toys that are scattered near the toybox and ask them (nicely) to drop it while over the box. Eventually, after a little bit of practice, your dog will understand that he or she will get a treat when tidying up after themselves at the end of a play session. It’s a win/win situation and fun for all of the family (sort of).
Thanks for checking out our list of Top Games To Play With Your Dog! We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading the article and picked up some good tips along the way!
Want to hear from the River Dogs themselves? Check out Betty’s debut blog from her visit to River Dogs Tadcaster!