Tired of throwing a ball and having your dog bring it back…over and over and over again? Fetch is a simple game that lets your dog get some exercise, but it can get pretty tedious. Here are some other games to play that will break up the monotony for you and challenge your dog mentally and physically.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek isn’t just for humans. Give this classic game a canine twist where you hide and your dog does the seeking part. Hold a treat or toy in your hand, then have your dog sit. Go to another room, then call your dog. Give him the treat or toy and some praise when he finds you. Of course, this game only works if your dog knows how to sit on command, so you might need to work on that part. Hide and seek gives your dog a chance to put his impressive sense of smell to use, along with his brain.
This canine version of basketball doesn’t involve having your dog do fancy moves on the court or making three point shots, but it’s still a fun game to play with her. You’ll have to show her how it works first. Set up an empty laundry basket, and drop a ball in it. Say “drop” as you let the ball go, then give the ball to your dog and repeat the command. Be patient if it takes awhile for your dog to catch on. Use treats as rewards when she drops the ball in the basket. Once she gets the hang of it, she’ll be able to score baskets like a pro as soon as she hears the word “drop.” This game provides your dog with some practice at learning a new command, which gives her brain a workout.
You don’t have to invest in any actual agility equipment for this one. Roll up some old towels or blankets, and place them around a room or your yard. Have your dog walk around this obstacle course to get him used to it, then encourage him to hop over the blankets or towels. When he knows what to do, stay at one end and call him over to you. He’ll jump over the obstacles and make his way to you. This game is a great way to introduce him to agility courses and physically challenge him.