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There’s no better way to keep your hound both mentally and physically active than to play together.
So, what are the best games for dogs to play?
When you fill your dog’s day with a much-needed dose of fun and fitness, as well as their daily walks, they’re guaranteed to lead a much healthier and happier life. But that’s not all. You’ll also develop a stronger relationship with your beloved pooch as you exercise together.
If you’re wondering how to make play time more fun and exciting for your four-legged friend, then look no further.
Here are some of our favorite outdoor games for dogs.
Benefits of Exercise Games for Dogs
One of the main advantages of regular exercise and exercise games for dogs is, of course, maintaining your pet’s health.
Your pup needs both mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis to reduce the risk of various illnesses, diseases and unnecessary weight gain.
Even the smallest breeds will benefit from outdoor games and plenty of fun physical activities.
In addition to enhancing your dog’s health, exercise games can reduce any behavioral issues.
Whether your dog has a tendency to chew, bark, dig or do anything else to curb their frustration and boredom, proper exercise can transform a ‘problem’ dog into a well-behaved canine companion.
Interacting with your dog during exercise games also helps you to build a better bond. Just like with positive reinforcement training, you’ll get to learn more about your animal’s personality and boost their desire to spend more time with you. A strong bond is essential for helping to keep your hound relaxed and happy, as well as calmer at home.
Every pup will need a daily walk or run, but adding some of the best games for dogs to play into your routine will be more enjoyable for the both of you.
Remember, exercise is just as important for you as it is your pet to maintain optimal physical and mental well-being, so you may as well make it fun and give yourself something to look forward to each day.
The Best Games for Dogs to Play
Aside from going for a walk, there are so many effective ways to exercise your dog.
Let’s take a look at some of the best exercise games for dogs.
Playing fetch with your dog’s favorite toy is a great way to encourage them to run until they tire themselves out.
Whether you use a ball, Frisbee or stick, simply throw the object fast and far to entice your pet to go fetch it.
Fetch is also great for giving your dog some aerobic exercise, making your animal more responsive to commands and practicing impulse control. Most dogs love a good game of fetch, as it helps to keep them agile and work off their excess energy.
Incorporate some command training into your fetch games. ‘Fetch’ in itself is an easy one to master, as well as ‘bring it back’ for the return journey.
Tug of War
There aren’t many dogs that don’t like a good game of tug or war, and you don’t even need lots of open space to play it together.
As long as you’re careful, you can even play this one indoors!
Firstly, you’ll need to get a suitable toy or some soft rope for you dog to tug on. Your dog isn’t meant to grab the toy before you give him or her permission with a prompt. Once you’ve decided your pet has tugged on the toy for long enough, they must let go of it when asked to do so.
You’ll have to teach your animal to respond to your commands for this game to be effective.
When played by the rules, tug of war will teach your dog to be more responsive and have better self-control.
Tug of war also helps to improve your pet’s endurance and build their strength. And yours too!
Now if you really want to commit to outdoor games for dogs, you can’t go wrong with some agility exercises.
And one great agility exercise for your dog is an obstacle course.
You can use tunnels, weave poles, cones, ramps, jumping hurdles and all sorts of safe and sturdy equipment to build your own outdoor course for your beloved canine.
With the right workout and course, your pet can learn commands like sit, off-leash control, toy play, stay, left and right line ups and skills relating to attention.
Over time, your dog can build and improve their skills with more complex obstacle courses.
This kind of exercise is also excellent for your dog’s mental health and longevity, as you train their body and minds.
Food Puzzle Toys
If you’re looking for the best games for dogs to play but you don’t have a ton of outdoor space to use, why not bring the fun indoors instead?
Out of all the best exercise games for dogs, your animal is sure to love spending some time playing with a food puzzle toy.
Stuffing a chew toy with your dog’s favorite treats or peanut butter will fast become your pup’s favorite game.
There are plenty of food puzzle toys out there to choose from, but try and find ones that makes it mentally more challenging for your dog to dig out the treats.
Food puzzles toys are perfect for stimulating your dog’s mind and body, as well as fighting boredom. You simply fill the specially designed toy with food and watch your dog get interactive.
These toys are also great for stopping your animal chewing things they shouldn’t, such as shoes, furnishings and anything else lying around the house.
Many animals have a natural ability to swim, but that doesn’t mean that all dogs like swimming or will be able to do it without careful supervision and training.
If your dog doesn’t mind getting his fur wet, then you should be doing more to get those paws in the water. Even if your dog turns his nose up at a good swim, you could try and teach them to be more water confident.
Swimming will provide your pet with a great aerobic workout and help to build muscle, strengthen the lungs and heart and keep their weight stable. However, just like humans, dogs can drown, so it’s important to make sure you never leave your dog unattended when playing in or near water.
As well as being a low-impact exercise, swimming is a good survival skill for your dog to learn. You can even try playing fetch in the water to make swimming a little more challenging for your furry friend.
So there you have it — the best games for dogs to play!
Which one do you play with your pup?