Whether human or canine, little minds need stimulation just as their growing bodies need exercise. If puppies don’t get enough opportunities to flex their mental and physical muscles, their development may suffer as a result. Keep your little pup happy and out of trouble by playing these games with your puppy.
Why Is Playing Games with Your Puppy Important?
The time you spend playing games with your puppy helps to create a bonding experience with your dog. But that’s not the main reason to play puppy games.
No matter what breed of dog you have, every dog needs some degree of exercise. If your pup doesn’t get enough of that pent-up energy out, you are likely to come home and find your house has been torn apart.
Playing puppy games such as the ones listed below is a great outlet for your dog to release some puppy energy, stay entertained, and avoid destructive habits.
Tug of War
A familiar classic, all that tug of war requires is a piece of thick rope with a knot tied at each end. Allow your pup to tug on the rope while you hold onto the other knot. The goal of the game is to pull at the rope and see who gives in and lets go of the rope first.
Tug of war is a great way for your pup to get physical exercise and to practice obedience commands. Just keep in mind that you need to let your pup win sometimes so that they will remain interested.
Hide and Seek
As simple as it gets, playing hide and seek involves having your dog sit down, and you hiding in another room. Next, simply call your dog and give them praise when they locate you.
This game is mentally stimulating to your dog, and is ideal for practicing recall. At first, you can keep it simple and then later move on to hiding in more challenging hiding places.
Find the Treats
This game is ideal for working on your pet’s sense of smell. While your dog sits, hide treats all around your house. Next, tell your dog to “find the treats.” Your dog will then become a sniffing expert to locate the tasty morsels.
At first, leave the treats out in the open where they can be seen. This will help your dog become more confident in its abilities. Later, start hiding the treats in more challenging places like underneath or behind objects, or higher up. As they improve, you can even move the game outside.
This game is also ideal for getting your puppy to use its nose. It provides mental stimulation and rewards them with a treat in the end.
To begin, all you need is a few treats. You can even make it more appealing by using a few pieces of cut-up hot dog. Put a treat in one of your hands. Now, make a fist with both of your hands, and extend your hands out to your pup. Next, ask your pup which hand the treat is in. He or she will answer you by pawing or sniffing at the correct hand.
Pass the Puppy
To play pass the puppy, you will need to enlist the help of a few friends. It is a great game to help work on socializing your pup and giving practice on coming when called. Here is how it works.
Three or more people sit on opposite sides of the room from each other, with each one carrying a toy or treat. Next, each person takes a turn calling over your dog and rewarding it with a toy or a treat when it comes.
As you might expect, pass the puppy is a great way for your puppy to learn their name very quickly.
No matter if you play these puppy games or invent your own, spending time with your dog is sure to help cement a long-lasting relationship of love and respect.