Nothing beats quality time in the park with your dog, so we’re focusing on some of our favourite outdoor games for all the family to enjoy. Grey sky? We’ve also included our top games for indoors.
Games to play outdoors
1. Go fetch
We know this may not be a ground-breaking suggestion, but there’s a reason this entry has stood the test of time. Whether you toss a tennis ball, fill a KONG with treats or throw a bone, your dog is guaranteed to run with vigour. An easy way to inect some energy into everyday dog walks, it’s also a great opportunity to incorporate dog or puppy training.
2. Good old tug of war
A tried and tested classic, a good game of tug of war will make any walk more eventful. Not only is a great for improving your dog’s fitness, chew toys will help keep dog teeth healthy and strong, just remember that they shouldn’t be a substitute for targeted dental care. It’s important that your dog is willing to release a toy on command, and so some level of training is necessary for this activity.
3. Sit. Stay. Come!
Perfect for introducing on dog walks, this is a great exercise in testing your dog’s self-control. Tell them to sit and stay, then back away slowly, around ten paces. Place treats on the floor and watch to make sure they don’t move. Shout ’come’ when you’re ready, and watch as your pooch sprints to claim their treat.
Indoor games for rainy days
1. Learn a new trick
If the weather doesn’t deliver, one way to tackle surplus pooch energy and prevent boredom is to teach your dog some new tricks. Whether it’s a useful skill, like crate training or fetching on command, or a trick that’s less useful but just as impressive, make the most of your indoor time by training them something new, and making that owner-dog bond even stronger.
2. A game of names
A golden oldie, the name game is ideal for whiling away a few hours with your woofer. To play, give each of your dog’s toys a name. Teach your dog their names, one by one, by prompting them with the questing ‘where’s so-and-so’ and having them use their paw to indicate the correct toy. As they start to learn who’s who, you may want to increase the challenge by dotting the toys around the house and making your dog find them. Make sure you have plenty of treats on hand for this game!
3. Go under, over and through
A great way to transform furniture into a temporary dog obstacle course, this family favourite will teach your dog to do exactly what is says on the tin – climb under, climb over and climb through. It may sound straightforward, but it’s not as easy as you think! Designed to be stimulating as well as provide gentle exercise, start by teaching your dog to crawl under something, such as a chair. When they’ve mastered this, up the ante and teach them to jump over the object, onto the object and then finally, around the object. Remember to reward them with treats or a toy for all their hard effort!