When it comes to games you can teach your dog, a rowdy round of fetch comes to mind.
Playing games with your dog helps keep him alert and sharpens his mind while providing exercise and bonding for both of you.
Did you know there are some other games you can teach your dog to play aside from fetching?
Read on for some really cool games that will provide exercise and entertainment for you and your favorite pooch.
Related: Nose Games: How To Teach Your Dog To Find Things
How do You Mentally Stimulate a Dog?
Before we get into the cool games you can teach your dog, let’s talk a bit about the benefits of playtime (aside from the fun factor).
The main benefit: mental stimulation! Just like people, dogs need to be stimulated not just physically, but mentally as well. Certain highly-intelligent breeds, like border collies and German shepherds, need to it even more than others. You know what they say about a bored dog! Read our mental stimulation ideas for dogs.
Tire out your dog
Ever wonder “how can I tired out my dog?” Well, here you go! Playing games that challenge him on all levels leaves him feeling satisfied and sleepy by the end of the day. I have a high-energy, highly intelligent pooch. I know if we don’t give her adequate game time during the day, she paces all night long!
Need more tips to wear out Fido? Check out these fun ways to tire out your dog!
Bonding with your dog
Remember that fun factor I mentioned above? Well, it has two benefits, actually. First, yes, it’s fun to play cool games with your dog. Second, though, you’re spending time building your bond, which in turn helps your dog learn to trust you more.
Five Cool Games You Can Teach Your Dog
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Wondering how to entertain your dog for hours? Most, if not all, of these are fun games to play with your dog inside or outdoors! Let’s check them out!
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is always fun, but it is especially so when you are playing with your four-legged buddy. For extra fun, gather up the kids and let them hide while your dog seeks so everyone can get in on the action.
The hiders can also make small noises to attract attention and give clues to their whereabouts. You can also take a few of your dog’s favorite toys and hide them around the room then let your furry guy seek them out.
If your dog knows a few basic commands like sit, stay, roll over, lie down, play a game of Human Says. It is along the lines of Simon Says except of course you don’t worry about “Simon didn’t say…”
Practice going through the commands with your dog and see how he does. Be sure to offer praise and easy dog treats! If you’re wondering how to play with your dog without toys, this is the game for you!
Need some treat ideas? Check out all our top dog treat recipe videos!
Treat Treasure Hunt
This game is sort of like a hide and seek scavenger hunt, with tasty treats as the reward! Keep your dog out of the room then hide some of her favorite treats around. Stick the treats under cushions, inside end tables, under chairs. Let her sniff out her treats while you watch the fun and enjoy her excitement. This will surely become your pooches’ favorite of the games you can teach your dog!
Related: Puppy Train Games
Name Game Fetch
This game can help you teach your dog a few words. No, he won’t recite them back to you, but he can learn the names of some of his favorite toys. Practice throwing toys and saying what they are. For example, throw the stuffed bear and say “Bear,” then tell him to “Get the bear.”
Do this over and over with his toys and eventually, he will learn to recognize the words and associate them with the correct toy. Once he starts recognizing the names, test him by putting two toys on the floor then ask him to get one of them.
Make sure to give treats and plenty of praise when he gets it right!
Round Robin Game
This is a great game for helping your dog come when called. Enlist the whole family and do this game indoors or out. Have everyone spread out, so each person is several feet from the next? If outside, you can have everyone stand in various locations around the yard. Each person needs a handful of treats.
Start by taking turns calling your dog’s name. When she comes to the person who called, she gets a treat and praise. Play a few games that will actually help teach your dog a few things. Try one or more of these out and enjoy quality time with your fur baby.
Need more ideas? Get inspiration from this video full of cool games to teach your dog!
How Do I Get My Dog to Calm Down After Playing?
While many dogs will simply tire out and take a nap after playing these games, some pups seem to get even more riled up! If that sounds like your dog, you’ll need to develop a cue or command that says, “playtime is over, time to calm down.”
Let me tell you what I do when my dog is playing her favorite game: dot. That’s what we call the laser pointer, and she LOVES to chase it all around the house. First, I’ll say “one more round!” That is her cue that we’re almost done.
Then, I use the word “kitchen!” to cue her in even more. We end the game in the kitchen before putting “dot” in the drawer. I lead her in there, then make sure she sees me putting it away, and I say, “Goodnight, dot! Get your drink.”
I know it sounds like a system that you’d use with a two-year-old child, but it works very well with my dog. You’ll devise a system based on the types of games that you play. If it’s consistent, your dog will get the hint.
Fido getting too rambunctious? Check out our tips on calming a dog who plays rough!
Do you know of any other cool games you can teach your dog? Tell us in the comments!