Top 9 Dog Games To Keep Your Dogs Mind Sharp!

March 06, 2019 5 min read 0 Comments

Boxer jumping in a field of grass

My dog loves play time whenever she can get it but sometimes the typical fetch just isn't as fun as it used to be. There are certain dog games you can play that will engage their mind and even teach them a new skill while still being a fun bonding moment between you and your pooch. In this article, I will be going over the top 9 games that you can do with your dogs at home!

Most of these games to play will be something you can do for free and others may have costs associated with them such as a toy or equipment. No matter what each of these dog games is super fun for both you and your furry companion.

Top 9 Dog Games

Black and white terrier playing with a yellow ball in the yard

1. Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is a game that has been around forever and that is because it is simple and fun! All you need to do is hide somewhere either inside or outside and then call for your dog which will usually get a quick excited response. Some dogs will run all overlooking until they see you, others will use their nose to sniff you out but no matter what it is a fun time that gets their brain and their body working. This is a good game for dogs who you want to get active but they are not as mobile as they once were

2. Cup Shuffle

This game much like hide and seek has been around a while and it is great for dogs to practice their scent smelling abilities. This will require three cups that cannot be seen through and a couple of treats. Simply place a treat under a cup and keep the other two empty, then switch the cups around while keeping the treat hidden until you think your dog has lost track of the treat. Once this happens allow your dog to pick one of the cups and reward them if they are right.

3. Treat Hunt

Puppy beagle exploring their house on a hard wood floor

If you have a dog that enjoys sniffing things out and finding mysteries then this may be the puzzle game for you. The idea of this game is to keep your dog outside or in a room while you hide treats throughout the house or back yard and then simply let them search for them. This will teach your dog how to hunt a scent and you can make it exciting by helping them out if needed.

4. Tug Of War

A classic dog game for multiple reasons, Tug Of War is a great option to entertain your dog. The reason dogs love a good game of tug of war is because they are able to use their bite and then use their body to pull which is a natural instinct to them. The reason it is a good option is that it is a good workout and can help keep them calm and not pent up. This may require a stronger toy as some cannot hold up against dog games like these.

5. Toy Cleanup

One of my favorite games is the toy cleanup game which can be fun and helpful all at the same time. This is a simple game where you train your dog to put their toys back in their toy box and they can get a treat for doing it. Though it may seem silly it is actually a good time for both me and my dogs as they always get excited for this moment.

6. The Stay Game

German Shepard with a thick coat in a grassy area

Another beneficial game is what I call the stay game which will make sense once you know what it is. When one of my dogs was a puppy she had a hard time staying so I came up with a game where I would get her to stay and then I would back up slowly. Now, this has evolved where I will have her stay and I will back up out of sight and then have her come with a command. This is great because it is teaching her great impulse control and is a fun time for me.

7. The Chase Game

I decided to put this game here as it is almost the opposite of the one before it. The chase game is where you have your dog chase you around the house or yard and can actually become a cardio workout if you work hard enough. The idea behind this rather than you chasing your dog is that if a situation ever came up where your dogs escape it is better for them to instinctively chase you rather than them running from you.

8. The Name Game

A game that I am currently trying out with my dog is the name game which involves their various dog toys. What happens is that their toys are placed on the ground in no particular order and you give each of them a simple name (like Tennis Ball). Once you do this simply call out the name of the toy you want and let them bring it to you. If they bring the right toy you can reward them but if it is the wrong one then have them go back and repeat the name. Eventually, they start to catch on and learn the names of their toys.

9. Dog Agility Training

Two dogs on a sunny day in an agility tube

The last game on our list is actually more like a sport but can be extremely fun to do. Dog agility is when a dog races through a course with preset obstacles in a certain order following your commands. Though this sounds very complicated it is not that bad and can be a great bonding moment for your dog. If you'd like to see our beginners guide check it out so you can get started today. The one thing about this dog game is that a course is required, Luckily we have also come up with a guide on how to build one at home!

Those are the top 9 dog games to keep Fido happy and relaxed. Each one of these methods is extremely fun and can be done at home with a little set up for a few. If you have your own game that you enjoy playing with your furry friend feel free to leave it in the comments for others to try! And as always make sure to share this article so others can get some of these great dog games ideas to try out.

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