By: | | Dog Care Tips

Shake things up during your next play session with your dog. Sure, she probably loves playing her favorite games and going for walks every day. But, mix it up to keep your dog interested and excited during her play time.

Here are several fun games you can play with your dog:

Go…fetch!

Sure, it’s an oldie but it’s a goodie. One great way to play with your dog is to engage in an old-fashioned game of fetch. However, let your dog pick the toy after which she will run. Then you know the routine – throw the toy. Let her bring it back and throw it again. Don’t forget to praise her for a job well done each time she returns with the toy in her mouth.

Go get it…right up the stairs!

It’s the same concept as playing go fetch but it will probably wear your dog out a little faster and it is especially good on those frigid winter days when it’s too cold to go for a walk. Of course, the stipulation is you must have stairs.

Have your dog choose a toy to play with – a favorite ball, for example. Hold her back and get her excited. “Are you ready to get it, girl? Do you want to go get it?” When she’s excited, throw the ball, and let her go. She will likely go flying up the stairs.

Allow her to descend from the stairs as quickly or as slowly as she would like. Keep playing until she gets bored or tired.

One…two…three…tug!

Everyone loves a good game of tug of war, right? A vigorous game of tug of war can mentally and physically stimulate your dog and  can wear her out. A win-win. However, never tug too hard or you risk causing damage to your dog’s teeth.

Hide and seek!

Hide and seek isn’t just for kids anymore. Even dogs can learn to play a challenging game of hide and seek when properly taught. Here’s how to start: Decide who is going to hide first. You or another family member. One of you will have to hold your pup back while the other walks away. Start by hiding somewhere obvious, such as beside the sofa. Have the other family member let your dog run after a minute or two. Your dog will come looking for you and when she finds you, lavish plenty of praise on her. Once your dog gets the hang of hide and seek, you can hide in even more challenging places and, if you want, offer a treat when she finds you.

Can you find the treat?

A simple treat can be turned into a fun game that will get your dog excited about playing. Use the treat to enhance your dog’s tracking abilities. Hold a treat out for her to smell. Then, with another family member holding her back, hide the treat. Say the command, “go” once it’s hidden. Use the same method to teach your dog to find the treat as you did to teach her how to play hide and seek with you.

What is your dog’s favorite game?