Dog Games

Everybody knows the more common games to play with their dog out on walk. Things like fetch and chase. These are great for you and your dog. Fetch in particular because you can literally stand in one spot while you dog runs around fetching a ball.

The thing is, if you are slightly more active and playful and want to have more fun and interaction with your dog, you, like me, want to play more exciting games on walk. Well my friend, look no further! I am going to list a few exciting and interactive games you can play with your dog while out on walk.

Boring walks with a tennis ball are going to be a thing of the past!

1- Hide and seek

This fun and interactive game can make walks much more fun for you and your dog. These are the things you will need for this game:

  • A dog
  • Places to hide
  • Treats
  • Energy and enthusiasm.

To start off, hide in pretty easy places not too far from your dog. You want to have fun, not scare the living day lights out of your pet. Hide, but keep and eye on your dog, if you see that he is starting to get scared or flustered, jump out and call him over with an energetic and friendly call.

Remember, you want to start off practicing in either a very quiet park away from roads, or even in your house or back yard.

When your dog finds you, give him a treat and a good pat on the head and belly scratch (or whatever he really loves).

Once, your dog starts getting the just of the game, you can start playing everywhere, you can make your hiding places slightly harder for him so that he has to engage is highly tuned senses. He should use his nose to try and pick up your scent, his eager eyes to spot your movement behind the bush and even his keen hearing. This makes the game highly stimulating for your dog and the prospect of a delicious treat and a good scratch will keep him highly motivated.


2- Seek the Treat

This is similar to hide and seek, except that you are just hiding a treat and your dog is using their treat seeking nose to find it. This is an exceptionally stimulating game for dogs with tracking blood in them, breeds like beagles, any of the scent hound breeds, and the hunting dog breeds. The breeds with flatter nose like the bulldog breeds will take much longer to find the treat but will still enjoy the game.

You can start off this game by dropping a treat beside you and telling your dog to ‘seek’. The easier you make the game initially, the quicker your dog will pick it up. When he finds the treat, say ‘good boy’ and carry on. When your dog wonders off again, call him back after you have dropped the treat and say ‘seek’. Simply repeat this process while gradually making the treat harder to find.

This game will have a two-fold benefit for you:

The first benefit is that your dog will be getting more stimulation on walk and making him less destructive at home.

The second will be that your dog will pay more attention to you on walk, because he will constantly be expecting you to play a game with him. This means that he will become less bothered with other people, dogs and squirrels and listen to you more intently.

If your dog has become a master at this game faster than you expected and you think you need to challenge him more. Try hiding the treats at different levels, up on a tree stump, under some leaves, on a bench or even on a fallen down tree.


3- Catch

This simple game is exactly what it sounds like. All it is, is making your dog want to be around you more.

So, if you battle with your dog wandering off or not listening to you that well, this game is a good little game to make you more interesting. While walking along call your dogs name, say ‘catch’ and gently lob a treat to your dog. Don’t throw it at your dog, you are not trying to take his eye out, you want to give him a good chance to track it and catch it in the air. This game can be done with a ball, a treat, or a toy. Simple yet entertaining.

4- Where We Going Walk?

This game is about walking along and then changing direction quickly and running in a different direction. This makes the walk exciting, unpredictable and engaging for your dog. It also helps to make your walk more exciting because you will always be looking for new directions to go in and keeping your dog engaged.

There is a good lesson in this game too. It teaches your dog to keep an eye on you all the time, this way your dog won’t ever stray too far away.

5- Foraging Fun

Start by getting your dog to sit. To keep her occupied while you move away, scatter a few treats on the floor for her.

While she is busy finding them, walk away and drop a treat every few steps. Once your dog has finished the initial scattering of treats, she will start to follow you and hopefully pick up on the scent of the treats that you dropped along the way. This will be, for your dog, a delicious trail towards you. This is a great way to engage your dog’s sniffer senses and keep the walks fun and interesting.

It would be a good idea to practice at home first and teach your dog the word ‘forage’ so that she knows when you are playing the game, otherwise you might end up just throwing treats away.

Some advice:

As with all reward-based training and activities make sure that you moderate the amount of food your dog is getting, be very aware of how many treats you have used while out and about and reduce your dogs normal feed by that amount.

Another thing you can do is to use your dogs food as the treats, this way you will be feeding your dog and she will be getting physical and mental stimulation at the same time instead of just gobbling it up out of a bowl.

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