There’s nothing quite like spending a day in the park with your pooch. We’ve rounded up 7 outdoor dog games you should play with your dog. And if it’s forecast rain? Don’t fret – we’ve included our top 3 indoor games for dogs, too.
The best outdoor games for the park
The first entry may not be a newcomer, but it’s a classic for a reason. Be it dog friendly tennis balls, a bouncy KONG filled with mouth-watering dog treats, throw your dog a bone and they’ll run like the wind. This active dog game is a simple way to add some energy to your regular dog walks and might even be a good opportunity to squeeze in some extra dog training or puppy training.
2. Hide and seek
A firm family favourite, hide and seek can be an amusing addition to off lead dog walks. It’s no secret that our canine companions have a strong sense of smell and so, of all the easy dog tricks, it may be the quickest to teach. Upgrade your pooch from a beginner to an intermediate by hiding a selection of dog treats for them to sniff out. Next, bump them up to a professional by encouraging them to hide whilst you seek – it’ll put your dog recall training to the test.
3. Tug of war
A good old-fashioned game of tug of war can be one of the most entertaining things to do with your dog outside. As well as being a great way to test your dog’s fitness, chew and tug dog toys can help to keep their teeth strong and healthy – although they’re not a substitute for regular dental care. As it’s important that your pooch is able to release their dog toys on command, a degree of dog training will be required for this one.
4. Water dog games
Your pooch doesn’t have to be a strong swimmer to enjoy a variety of water games. Be it water fetch, water polo, a sprinkler dog agility course, or a splash in the sea, dog games that include water can be how to keep your dog cool in the summer heat. And the bonus is that they can be played anywhere and everywhere! They’re great games for the park, garden, and dog friendly beaches – but perhaps not the best things to do with your dog inside.
5. Sit, stay, and come
This one is a stimulating dog game to introduce on dog friendly walks – and it’s a good way to challenge your dog’s self-control. Ask them to sit and stay before slowly backing away from them ten paces. Place some dog treats on the floor in front of you, making sure they don’t budge an inch. When you’re ready, yell ‘come’ and your pooch should sprint towards you to claim their reward. This one’s a great tool for fitting in some ad hoc dog training, too.
6. Bubble catching
Whether you’re picnicking in the park or are enjoying a family BBQ, summer is a great time to teach your dog how to catch bubbles. In fact, it’s one of the funniest dog tricks that you can show them. Simply blow a froth of bubbles into the air – the higher the better – and watch as your dog chases, jumps, and pops them. Ahh, the leisurely life of a dog is enviable to say the least.
7. Create a dog agility course
We all need a challenge from time to time – and a dog agility course can be a great choice for your pooch. As well as acting as a tool for weight management, an agility course is seen as one of the best brain games for dogs. Navigating obstacles can be mentally stimulating for our four-legged friends! Chairs, boxes, hula hoops are all good obstacles to consider. Just make sure there’s a bag of dog treats waiting for them at the finish line!
The best inside games for rainy days
8. New tricks
When the weather takes a turn for the worst – we do live in the UK, after all – a great way of preventing boredom is to pick out some new tricks to teach your dog. Be it useful skills – such as crate training and recall training – or something a bit more fun and unique, take advantage of your rain check by catching up on some dog training and reinforcing that human-pooch bond.
9. The name game
Another golden dog game to play inside is the name game. Start by giving each of their dog toys a name. Then, one by one, teach each toy’s name to your dog by asking “where’s so-and-so” and getting them to paw at the corresponding toy. Once they start to learn who is who, you can up the ante by hiding the dog toys in different places around the house and asking your pooch to find them. Dog treats are an absolute must for this one!
10. Under, over, and through
A simple way to double up your furniture as dog toys is to teach your furry friend to climb under, over, and through them – fairly straightforward, right? But it can be trickier than you’d think! Another winner on the list of brain games for dogs, start by asking them to crawl under an object – such as a chair. Once they’ve mastered this, you can teach them to jump over the chair, jump onto the chair, and walk around the chair. They might not be easy dog tricks but they’re sure to keep the fun going on a rainy day!