Doggos are social beings that love to have some fun! Proper dog and puppy training is definitely essential for their well-being, but so is some fun-filled playtime. Playing games with your pupper can provide sufficient mental stimulation and exercise to keep them healthy, entertained, active, and out of trouble.

It’s an excellent way to bond with the doggo while keeping obesity and illnesses at bay, and preventing potential behavioral issues and boredom. Truth is, an active playtime with your doggo is beneficial for both, you and your doggo alike.

Not sure how to get started? Don’t worry; our dog gurus have got you covered! Check out these fun games that can keep your pupper busy and entertained every day.

#1 Fetch

Dogs typically have the natural instinct to fetch things. Whether you want to stay indoors to save your doggo from the scorching heat or you think it’s a beautiful, sunny day to soak in some sun, either way, fetch is an exciting game that can be played almost anywhere.

#2 Frisbee

Disc dog or frisbee is an excellent game to keep up with the physical fitness of your doggo. It helps the doggo learn to concentrate, trains their agility, and strengthens the bond between you and the doggo. If your dog hasn’t played frisbee before, start training them by using a soft frisbee so that it doesn’t end up whamming their face when they attempt to grab it. It will just take a few tries before frisbee becomes your pupper’s new favorite game!

#3 Tug Of War

Most puppers love to play tug-of-war. The game is enjoyable, engaging, and an incredible physical exercise that can help keep your doggo in shape! Not only is it fun, but it also does wonders for doggos learning to practice good manners.
Since the game provides them an outlet for their natural predatory instinct and excess energy, it’s a great way to wear them out quickly! However, your dog should be trained enough to obey the release command to ensure the game can be played safely.

Certified dog behavior specialist recommend using exciting yet sturdy tug toys that your doggo can tug away. Also, don’t forget to give your puppy a chance to win because it can help boost their confidence and positively reinforce the idea of engaging in a friendly tug-of-war game rather than tearing your precious upholstery apart!

#4 Hide And Seek

Well, it’s not only the kids who love to play hide and seek. Puppers can also really enjoy the game. Hide and seek is a wonderful way to help your doggo learn to obey the recall command. Start by asking your dog to ‘stay’ and then grab one of their favorite chews, treats, or toys. Now hide in a good place before you’re ready to call the pupper to come find you. Shake the treats or squeak the toy to entice them to find you, and when they do, reward them for the food behavior by giving them their favorite treat or the toy you’re holding.

#5 Treasure Hunt

Although one of the most popular games that children love to play during Easter, it turns out that our canine companions also love a treasure hunt. It’s an incredibly fun way to hone their natural scent-tracking capabilities.
All you need to do to play this game with them is grab some peanut butter in a god bowl or other favorite treats and hide them in your backyard. Once you’re done hiding the treats, bring your canine friend into the yard and ask them to find the treats.

You can help them when they sniff along the way or if you think they’re struggling to find their way. Make sure to praise them every time they uncover any hidden spot! Once your pupper gets the hang of it, you can take it up a notch by hiding the treats in more difficult places.

#6 Digging

Is your doggo a naturally born digger? Most dogs love to dig things, and it’s a great idea to give them a dedicated digging box. They can dig to their heart’s content in this dedicated place without worrying that their hooman-friend might throw a tantrum at their digging!

Start by making a DIY digging box with sand and wood available at the local hardware store. Some people also like to use soil in the box, but that’s up to you. However, if you live in an area that has a relatively hot climate, be sure to wet the sand before letting the doggo digging begin. You can also bury his favorite toys or bones in the box to encourage them to play.

#7 Simon Says

Yes, the most favorite childhood game for all millennials! You can test your doggos understanding of basic obedience commands, such as stay, rollover, sit, heel, wait, jump, and more by mixing the order and rewarding them with praises and their favorite treats every time they get it right.

#8 Soccer

If you’re a soccer fan, you can teach your canine buddy to play with you. Get an appropriately sized ball, a clicker, and your doggos favorite treats to get started. Before you teach them to play soccer, you’ll need to make sure they’re well-versed with the clicker, then move onto the soccer training sessions.

Put the ball on the ground and wait for the doggo to react. When the pupper begins showing interest in the ball, click and give him his favorite treat. Make sure you click on the right time so that they can learn what behavior they’re being rewarded for. Now every time the pupper is enticed to get a treat, they will touch the ball with their paw. If they try to bite or puncture the ball, immediately stop the game and take the soccer ball away to make them learn what behaviors are forbidden.

Safety First!

Make sure that you’re observing your doggo for signs of overheating or exhaustion while playing. If you think the doggo is getting frustrated, over-tired, or might be showing signs of anxiety or agitation, immediately stop! If your dog is off-leash, make sure that you’re also aware of the surrounding so that there’s no dangerous distraction while you’re playing with the pupper. Be safe while you have fun!

Author's Bio: 

The author loves her three Labradors and strives to keep them healthy and happy! She’s also an active member and contributor of theDogHood, an online community for dog lovers where they can find support and resources for dog training and socialization. The dog parents can join the platform to access countless useful resources, dog and puppy training tips, socialize their dogs with local playdates, and engage with dog lovers, dog gurus, professional dog trainers, and certified dog behavior specialists across the globe.