Just like people, dogs love to play games and have fun! It’s a great release for the two of you and it strengthens the bond between you both. By playing games with your dog regularly, you will notice that he/she is more alert, less destructive and in better emotional and physical shape! What more could you ask for!
Do’s and Don’ts about game playing:
DO Make rules that are fair for your dog.
Do Play in a safe location for both of you.
DO Use a lot of food treats and dog toys.
DO Pour on the praise to your dog.
DO Always start the game and finish it.
DO Reward your dog with “life rewards” – Throw a ball for your dog only when he/she sits.
DON’T Be unfair to your dog by asking him/her to sit or lie down if he/she does not know how to.
DON’T Play in areas that are unsafe.
DON’T Get frustrated or angry at your dog. That defeats the whole purpose of playing and having fun.
DON’T Play tug-of-war games with your dog if he guards items. It teaches them to fight over objects
DON’T Play head smacking games with your dog. This will only instill roughness in your dog.
My all time favorite! “Find It”. Get treats and place them inside or out in fairly easy locations for your dog to find. Add the cue “find it”. Praise with each detection. Gradually make the hidden locations more difficult.
Get three plastic cups and place one treat under neath one of the cups. Then encourage your dog to find where the treat is. Some dogs may need more coaxing than others.
Place pillows on the floor in between a doorway. Have your dog on one side of the doorway while you are at the other and call your dog to you with a food lure. This game can also be played with two people, one person on each side of the doorway & calling the dog back & forth.
Hide and Seek! Dogs have a great time with this game! Have your dog in one part of your house while you go and hide somewhere. As soon as you get there, call your dog. When you hear that he/she is getting closer (“warmer”), praise him until he finds you. Some dogs may need some assistance from another person in finding the one hiding. This is a favorite game for children, parents and dogs to play together.