1. Dog Frisbee Game
Frisbee or also called disc dog is a great exercise game to keep your dog’s body in shape. It trains your dog’s agility and concentration furthermore it improves the bond between you and your dog.
If this is the first time your dog plays frisbee, you should start out by using a soft dog frisbee as you don’t want your dog to have negative experience by having traditional plastic frisbee whamming up his face on his first attempt.
Your dog might not know what to do if this is his first time playing. You should start off small by making him intrigued. Introduce him to the game by tossing the frisbee on short distance or rolling it on the ground towards your dog. After getting over it, your dog may instinctually start to follow it and grab it in his mouth.
Once your dog is excited, you can try tossing the frisbee a little higher and further, and so on and so forth. After several turns, your dog may vote frisbee game as his new favorite game.
Read also our review of the best durable dog frisbee.
2. Dog Treasure Hunt
A treasure hunt is one of the most popular games that we often played during Easter. Not only for us, but this game is also one of the most popular games that the dog loves to play. It’s a fun game to hone your dog’s natural scent-tracking abilities.
To play this game, first, you need to grab some of his favorite treats and hide them around the backyard. You can put your canine companion in another room or tell him to sit as you hide the treat. Just make sure he doesn’t see or smell the secret hideout.
After you have finished hiding the treats, you can bring your dog into the backyard and ask him to sniff away the treats. Help him along the way if he is struggling. Praise him every time he uncovers one hidden spot.
Once your dog gets the hang of it, you can increase the difficulty level by hiding the treats in more difficult spots.
3. Tug of War
Tug of war is a game that you can play both indoor and outdoor. It’s a great game that helps to keep your dog exercised, calm his temper, and teach him some basic impulse control — stay, get it and let go.
Before starting the game, you need to set up the basic rule first which is “no mouthing allowed”. Once your dog’s teeth touch your skin, stop the game immediately. Your dog then will learn not to mouth you if he doesn’t want the fun game to stop.
After your dog learns the basic rule, the next step is to teach him the “stay”, “get it”, and “let go” commands. Put the rope toy on the ground and tell your dog to “stay”. Reward your dog for staying. Once he has understood, tell him to “get it”. This will give him the green light to grab the toy and initiate the game.
In the middle of the game, tell him to “let go”. Once your dog releases the toy, reward him with his favorite toys. Let go is probably the trickiest command since your dog might get pretty riled up during the tug game. After your dog has understood all of the three commands, you can put them all together in one fell swoop and have fun!
4. Flirt Pole Game
The flirt pole (link to my review) is an addictive game that can stimulate your dog’s mind and body. The flirt pole essentially is a long pole with a rope attached to the end. You place a lure for your dog to catch at the end of the rope. The lures itself can be varied from his favorite treats to favorite toys.
You can buy one at Amazon or you can make it yourself. It’s simple enough to make your own flirt pole. All you need are four or five meters of rope and a long PVC tube. You just need to pass the rope to the PVC tube and tie a large knot at one end and tie the lure on the end of the rope.
This game can do a lot more than burn off your dog’s excess energy; this game can also be a great way to practice some basic impulse control such as let go. You should occasionally let your dog win the game or he will be bored and uninterested in the game. Contrary to popular opinion letting your dog win the game won’t make him aggressive. Letting him win just showing how fun it is to play the game with you.
5. DIY Agility Course
Building your own agility course in the backyard can be a fun way to give your dog some mental and physical exercises. Walk your dog through the course and have him jump through a hula hoop, or hop over one or two rolled-up blankets, or weave through some little mini cones.
Building a backyard agility course (link to my review) doesn’t need to be expensive. You can use everyday objects that you can find around your home. Just be creative, and let your imagination runs wild. Here are some household objects to start with: old blankets, pillows, towels, hula hoop, large open-ended box, kitchen stair, stool, a pole on two boxes, ball, frisbee, and more.
6. Hide and Seek
My dog never gets tired of playing hide and seek. To play this game you need to get your dog’s favorite toys or grab a handful of treats. Have your dog stay, then go and hide. Once you’ve situated yourself call your dog to find you. When he finds you, reward him with praise and treats that you have brought along. This is a great game that can stimulate his brains and natural sniffing abilities in a fun and exciting way.
7. Digging Box
Some dogs just naturally born as a digger. If your dog loves to dig, you may want to consider giving him a dedicated digging box, a dedicated place where he can dig to all his heart content without worrying his person will throw a tantrum at him.
To make your own digging box, you will need wood and sand from your local hardware store or you can use it in the soil in the box if you prefer. If you live in a hot area, you may want to wet the sand first before your dog digs it.
Initially, your dog might don’t understand with the game, help him by burying some of his favorite toys or a bone in the box to encouraging your dog to dig them out.
8. Soccer Game
Are you a soccer fan? Then you may want to teach your dog how to play soccer. Before starting the game, you will need to get an appropriately sized ball, your dog’s favorite treats, and a clicker.
Playing soccer is an advanced trick. Before you teach your dog how to play soccer, you need to teach him first the basics of clicker training. Only after your dog has understood the basics of clicker training you can move onto the soccer training.
Put the soccer ball on the ground, and watch your dog’s reaction. Whenever your dog shows interest in the soccer ball, click and give him his favorite treat. Remember to click at the exact moment your dog shows interest. Dogs don’t have the ability to make a connection between future and past events. So it’s important to click at the exact moment so that he understands what behavior he is being rewarded for; by the way, this is the essence of clicker training.
Now to get his click and treat, he’ll need to touch the ball with his paw. No bitting and puncturing allowed, stop the game and take the ball away if your dog shows one of those two forbidden behaviors. Resume the game again in one or two hours.
The next step is to click and give him his favorite treat only when he moves the ball with his paw.
9. Water Game
Every dog and their person, well, at least me and my dog love water games, especially during those hot summer. If your dog already loves swimming, you can bring him to the local beach. Remember to bring along some of his toys, make sure it’s floating toys and bring him his doggie life jacket (link to my review) just for extra precaution.
If you don’t have a local beach nearby, you can alternatively play water games in the comfort of your own backyard using a plastic pool. Invite his friends, toss in some toys and let him have his own splashing fun time.
Playing with a hose for the strong stream of water can double the fun. Some dogs just love to chase the stream of water flying out of the end of the hose. Other dogs don’t like to go anywhere near the hose.
10. Simon Says
Test your dog’s understanding of basic commands such as sit, stay, down, rollover, jump, wait, heel, come, etc. Mix the order and praise and reward him with his favorite treats for getting it right.
11. Round Robin
This is a great game to spend some quality time with your family or friends. You can play this game in your backyard and you need to ask at least three or four people for this game. Ask every member to spread out (at least 20 feet from one another). Then, every person will call the dog’s name. Every time he comes, reward him with praise and treats.
12. Basketball Game
Teaching your dog to play a basketball game is also one of the most fun activities to do. To start with you need an empty laundry basket or bin, and your dog’s favorite ball. First, you need to demonstrate the rule of the game.
Bring the ball and drop it into the basket while saying “drop”, Do it several times and make sure your dog is paying attention. Then, ask your dog to get the ball in his mouth and go over to the basket. Once he is in the right position, say “drop” and reward him with praise and treats every time he drops the ball into the basket.