Games to play with your furry friend

Entertain your dog while also building a strong bond through these games.

Playing games with your dog helps to keep them busy, active and out of trouble. Engaging them in activities can also be a form of mental and physical exercise. If you are a new dog owner, or you are simply looking for new games, try out these ones.

Tug-of-war

This is a classic game almost all breeds of dogs will enjoy playing. It is fun for both you and your pet, while also maintaining engagement and physical exercise. Additionally, this activity can also help teach dogs good manners.

A key rule when playing tug-of-war is the game stops as soon as your dog’s teeth touch your skin. Some will struggle to pick this up quickly depending on their age and background. For example, puppies can get overly excited and riled up during the game. Implementing this rule from the start will help your dog understand boundaries — once their mouth reaches your skin the game stops.

Some say playing tug-of-war can make your pup aggressive and dominant. However, these are just myths. Letting your dog win makes the game more engaging and shows your dog you are fun to be around.

Hide and seek

This game allows your dog to activate their natural scent-tracking abilities in a fun and stimulating way. The rules and method of the game will not change from the way you played it as a child. Tell your pup to stay, or find a way to distract them, while you hide.  Instruct them to come and find you and they should be able to use their ears and nose to seek you out.

Play with a frisbee

If your dog is already an expert in playing fetch, then they will love playing with a frisbee. This game encourages your dog to fetch over long distances. Spending an afternoon playing will tire your pup out while also allowing them to have plenty of fun.

If you and your dog have never played frisbee, it is best to start by using a soft disc. The traditional plastic models can discourage them from trying to catch it. Start by throwing or rolling the frisbee over short distances to get them excited and used to the activity. Once they get the hang of it, transfer to longer distances.

There is no doubt dogs love to play outside, however, remember to always stay sun smart. Here are some tips to help keep your pup safe while playing outside.