Whether you have a distractible dog, a couch potato or a
play-crazy canine, there are a lot of fun games you can add to your dog’s play
to get his/her body moving and challenge your dog’s mind. Here at Salt Lake County Animal Services we have some fun games you can play with your dog.
8 Games for You and Your Best Friend:
Vary the fetch:
Chase- It by Kong or a Flirt Pole is a pole and a line with
a stuff animal or toy attached that can be used with more control that many
traditional toys. Instead of throwing over and over in a straight line, you can
vary the height, direction and distance of the object. This will keep your dog
mentally challenged while playing.
A lot of dog’s love bubbles and are entertained by chasing
or biting at passing bubbles. Bubble chasing mimics a predatory behavior and
can help work their mind and use their instincts. Just make sure you are using
a pet-safe bubble that is nontoxic.
Play with water:
Some dogs love to join you in a game of chase as they follow
you through the sprinklers on a hot day.
Other dogs find entertainment from a moving outdoor hose or
filling up a small kiddie pool for them to play in. You can take a field day to
your local canine-friendly park for some cooling down in the streams, ponds or
lakes. Just make sure to stay in shallow water and stay away from strong
The type of frisbee that is best for a dog varies depending
on the individual dog. Frisbee is a different game from a regular game of fetch
with a ball because the saucer lingers longer in the air and gives even the
most athletic canine a better chance of catching it in midair. Have a canine
athlete? Take a look at a Frisbee Thrower, it allows for a longer launch
without having to touch the disc.
Teach your dog scent:
Take a look here:
This is a great game for a rainy day or just to get some mind exercise. Once
your dog has got it down you can look into other food puzzles to keep it
This is a great game for dogs that already know their basic
commands. IE: sit, shake, down, roll over etc… Grab some of your dogs’ favorite
treats and test his/her ability to understand command after command. Make sure
to mix up the order every once and awhile to make sure you are keeping it
interesting and your dog on their toes.
Hide and Seek:
This fun childhood game is not just reserved for human kids.
Our four-legged friends can partake in the fun too. Find one of your dog’s
favorite toys or grab a handful of treats. Have your dog sit and stay in one
room and then go hide in another. Once you have found a good hiding space, call
your dog. Once they have found you, reward them with treats and praise. This is
a great interactive game for both the senses and the mind.
Grab your dog’s favorite smelly treats and hide them around
the living room or outside. Make sure your canine friend is in another room
when hiding the treats, so they do not see or smell the secret hiding spots.
Then invite them in to sniff out the treats. You can also do this with boxes,
placing treats inside of only some of them and allowing them to sniff out the
boxes that have treats inside of them. This is great for both the mind and the
senses. It can also help to build confidence.
Playing games with your dog can help you bond, work on
energy, stimulate his/her mind and teach some basic commands. Playing games
gives your pup physical and mental exercise, as well as the opportunity for
positive and fun interaction with you.
Looking to adopt? Take a look at our wonderful adoptable
animals looking for their forever homes at www.adoptutahpets.org.