The Best Games for Dogs: How To Keep Your Dog Occupied For Hours

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Hide and Seek

Pretend that you’re going to hide something, but instead of hiding it, you’re going to hide in plain sight. Hide your dog’s treats in the backyard or your bedroom closet. Don’t give your dog a chance to find them by just hanging them somewhere obvious, such as a keyhole, blind spot, or on the wall. Instead, get yourself out of the way and let your dog find them. Allow your dog to find it, but then move so that he/she is once again in plain view. When your dog finds the treat, treat them appropriately with treats that match the color of the object that they found. Catch Grab your dog’s attention, and then “throw” a ball, a feather, or a crumpled-up paper airplane toward them. Once your dog has it in its mouth, immediately put it down and offer them a treat. Repeat.

Find the toy

You want a game that your dog is going to enjoy. You don’t want to just hand her a tennis ball or something she doesn’t really care about. If your dog does get excited and hyper you’ll want to keep your session short and end it before she gets hurt. Pick a game that fits your dog’s size, energy level, and interests. If they’re competitive and love to chase you around then keep them occupied with something that requires more energy like tug of war, fetch, or hide and seek. If they’re energetic and love to play rough and tumble then keep them busy with fetch, hide and seek, or rolling and wrestling. On the other hand, if they’re lazy and would rather curl up and take a nap than play ball, fetch or tug of war, you’ll want to add something to their routine that is a bit more relaxing.

Tug of War

Another classic game, this one takes a bit of skill to keep dogs from eating all the tug ropes or otherwise wrecking the game. It can be played in any number of ways. To make it easier and more fun for you, look for tug ropes or tethers. Basic: Put a bunch of toys into a round container. Make sure the container is sturdy enough that your dog can’t easily tip it over. Tie a knot or two at the top, to secure the toy on the container. Add an extra ball and one or two extra tug ropes, so you have two or three toys, balls, and rope tied to the container. Put all of the toys into the container. Make sure your dog is at least 18 to 36 inches from the container when the game starts. Set your dog in a sit/stay near the container. Tell him to grab the tug rope and get it.

Playing Fetch

To play fetch, pick up a ball and throw it. That’s all you need to do. It’s an easy and fun way to play. But how many balls will your dog need? Here is a few tricks to make it less expensive and more fun. Tricks to Make Fetching More Affordable: Size Your Balls You want a ball that’s roughly the size of your dog’s mouth. They should be small enough that your dog can easily grab it in one bite, but large enough so they can hold it in their mouth, shake, and release it. Shop around for a few options, and remember: Wheeled Toys Walking toys Ball Hopper (or similar toy) Walking toy (stuffed animal, dog toy) Ball Sling Make this fun! Since you’re playing fetch, it’s nice to have some treats or toys for your dog to play with. So many treats! What to get?

Teach them to do tricks

It’s the easiest way to keep your dog entertained all day long. Teach them to perform a variety of fun tricks. Once they’ve mastered a few simple commands, they’ll feel confident and ready for an entertaining game of fetch. To start, you can teach your dog to shake a paw. Shake a paw is very simple. The only real thing you need to know is how far to throw the paw out when the dog “shakes” it. As they get older, they’ll learn to expand their repertoire and show off their new tricks. Basic commands are the mainstay of dog training, and they can be practiced at home with a clicker. Your dog will learn the commands and work on learning the basic hand position. When your dog does something right, click the clicker.