Games and Activities For Dogs
Games To Play With Your Dog: Find It, Hide and Seek
Dogs are very playful creatures and continue to enjoy play throughout their lives. I would imagine that is one of the reasons you brought a dog into your home: to have a companion to spend time with and enjoy. Building a good play relationship with your dog can greatly enhance your relationship and bond. By becoming a good play partner, you will become more important and valuable to your dog. In turn, he will prefer to be with you and will listen better.
Play sessions ideally will be short and sweet and speckled often throughout your day. By asking your dog to play often, he is less likely to be demanding about getting attention. Play is a great way to teach your dog emotional control. During your play sessions, take frequent pauses in order to teach this important life skill to your dog.
Inappropriate play relationships can have the opposite effect on the relationship. You will want to teach your dog ways to play with humans. Those ways are different than the ways two canines play together. Inappropriate play behaviors between dogs and humans include body slamming, biting, mouthing, jumping, wrestling or teasing. Playing and spending time with your dog should be the highlight of your day, not a battle.
Here is an easy game to get you started. Find The Treat, Toy, or Mommy. Okay, Daddy would work too.
Find The Treat:
Start by grabbing a handful of healthy, tiny treats, or your dog’s food. Ask him to Sit/Stay and place one treat about 5′ from him and say, “Find It!” Repeat this process, but you can start placing more than one treat around, and in harder to find places. If your dog does not have a Sit/Stay with distractions, you can start by tossing a few treats in one direction, then placing a few in the opposite direction and tell him to find them. You can build on this game by tucking the treats in harder to find places. Just remember, your dog will go to those places, so don’t hide them in spots you don’t want him investigating.
Find The Toy:
Start by playing with one of your dog’s favorite toys. Get a nice game going. Ask him to Sit/Stay (or hold him back if he does not know it), and place the toy 5′ from him and say, “Find It!” Once he grabs it, start playing again. Build on this game, putting the toy farther away.
Dog Training Tip: If your dog can stay while you leave the room, place the toy in another room as you tell him, “Find It!” You can encourage him as he looks for the toy. But don’t start out-of-room finds until your dog knows he’s supposed to look for a specific toy.
Ask your dog to Sit/Stay as you leave the room and tuck yourself behind something. Once you are hidden, quickly say your dog’s name in a sing-song voice, then be quiet. Let him look around for you. Give him a chance to find you. If he has a real hard time finding you, make a little noise. When he finds you, make a big fuss and play. If he does not have a stay, you can hide when he is not paying attention, or drop a few treats on the floor and run away and hide.
Remember, these are GAMES and are meant to be fun. You don’t have to have strict rules, and you can easily improvise. Have fun~
What games do you play with your dog? Tell me in the comments.
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