On average, a puppy sleeps for around 11.2 hours a day and spends the rest of the time full of energy. You can put that energy to good use by playing games to keep the puppy busy, entertained, and out of trouble. Playing with puppies will also help you improve their physical, mental state and shape their future behaviors.
There are various fun games that you can play with your puppy to help them gain some special skills. The following options can build your puppy into an obedient, fit, social and friendly dog in the future:
- Agility games
- Find the treat
- Tug of war
- Water games
- Hide and seek
Read on to find out more on what Games Should You Play With Your Puppy
7 Fun Games to Play with Your Puppy
Puppies are usually curious and eager to learn, but they don’t know what to do or avoid. It’s your job to teach and train them through games, and playtime can be exhilarating if done correctly. Keep reading to learn more on how to play the right games with your puppies that will set them on the right life path.
Try Out Some Agility Games
The agility games are one of the most exciting, fun, and challenging baby puppies games that you should try out. The games create a new source of mental stimulation for your puppy, build the dog’s confidence and coordination. It involves guiding your puppy over obstacle courses.
Lay a plywood piece over a few books and encourage your puppy to jump over. Keep increasing the height gradually and experiment with various contact obstacles.
Get short tunnels where the puppy can see the other side. Have someone else with the puppy’s favorite toy on the other end, and lead the puppy into the tunnel.
Once your dog gains more experience, move over to the weave poles. Encourage your puppy to go through the set of bars, but this will require constant training to master the skills.
Alternatively, get an old bike tire and tie it onto poles. Start at a low height, encourage your puppy to jump through, and gradually increase the height.
Once the dog masters all the obstacles, put them together and teach your puppy the sequence they should approach them. Begin by linking two options like the jump and then tunnel, and later add the rest until the puppy can comfortably go through them. This game will require you to improve your puppy’s concentration levels and basic obedience behaviors.
[Related Articles: At What Age Can Dogs Start Agility Training And How]
Teach the Puppy How to Find Treats
A dog’s nose sensitivity surpasses humans’ by 100 million times.[Source] Playing the find the treat game is a great way to teach the puppy to rely on their sense of smell. This will also help build on their problem-solving skills and increase their sense of adventure.
Start by hiding the treat on your body, then ask the puppy, ‘where is the item?’. If your puppy sniffs around your body and finds the item, give it to him as a reward. Next, move the treat to different areas in the house and let the puppy sniff around and look for it.
Repeat the process severally, and after the puppy masters the game, expand the area where you hide the treat. This will improve the puppy’s mental abilities.
You can even use a toy for this game. Come up with a name for each toy, hide the puppy’s favorite one and ask him to find it. Once your puppy gets the toy, remember to praise and reward him. If the dog doesn’t find the treat, keep repeating the command, and they will recover the items with time.
Consider the Fetch Game
The fetch game is one of the most rewarding baby puppies games that you can teach your pet. While some breeds like the shepherd and retriever do well for this game, others require a bit of training. You need to choose the right items that your dog can quickly grasp with his teeth. Some of the fetch toys you can use include:
• Tennis balls
If your puppy loves sitting and staring, start by teaching them how to chase after objects. Hold a toy with your arm stretched and command the puppy to ‘get it.’ If the puppy grasps the item, offer them affection or a treat.
Next, place the toy on the floor, ask the dog to ‘pick it’ and then start moving the toy slightly further away. You can walk alongside the puppy to teach them that they are supposed to run after the toy and use verbal encouragement.
Once the puppy brings back the toy, ask him to drop it and praise the dog for a well-done job. As the puppy continues to understand the game, use various toys and increase the distance. With consistency and a little patience, your puppy should be able to do it right.
Play the Tug of War with Your Puppy
Tug of war is another engaging game that you can use to shape the behaviors of your puppy. Although it’s mentally and physically demanding, most dogs enjoy the game, so you shouldn’t have issues getting started.
The game rules are that the puppy shouldn’t hold the toy unless you ask him to, and they should let go whenever you command them. The game should also immediately end if the puppy touches your skin or clothing while playing.
Get a durable and flexible toy, like a soft rope or rubber handle, to initiate the game. While holding the toy on one end, ask your puppy to sit, then wave the toy over the dog’s face and ask him to take it.
Once the puppy grabs the toy, pull it up and down, back and forth, to encourage the dog to play. Take breaks and ask your puppy to let go of the toy to prevent him from becoming aggressive or out of control. If the puppy obeys your command, always remember to reward him with a treat.
Allow the Puppy to Play with Water
Naturally, dogs love to play in the water, so it’s a great idea to introduce your puppy to water games as early as possible. To train your puppy on some basic water games, begin by filling up a paddling pool with water. Allow the dog to play inside with some of their favorite toys, like squeakers.
Alternatively, let the puppy run around, chasing toys around a sprinkler in your garden. This will make the puppy get used to being in the water, making bath time less stressful.
Once the puppy gets accustomed to the water, you can take him to your local beach and swim together. Bring along some toys and play games like fetch in the water. You can get the puppy a lifejacket if you are worried about safety.
Play Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is an entertaining game for puppies that will help them work out their brains and bodies. Use the puppy’s favorite treat toy to get their attention. Ask someone to hold the puppy on a leash, so he doesn’t follow you.
Run away, calling the puppy, then hide in an easy-to-find place at first. Signal your helper to let go of the leash and keep calling the puppy. Once he finds you, reward him to celebrate the win.
Keep hiding further away to make the game a bit complex. Let the puppy use his senses of smell, sight, and hearing to locate you.
Now get the whole family involved, let them hide in different spots, and command the puppy to find the hiding persons. The game also creates a perfect chance to teach the dog your family member’s names.
[Related Article: Why Is My Dog Obsessed With The Newborn Baby And Is It Safe]
Dogs enjoy running around to chase things, so frisbee will be an exciting game for your puppy. This game is also excellent for exercise, keeping your puppy active, healthy and reducing the risk of obesity. To introduce your puppy to frisbee, get a disk-like toy, roll it on the ground and encourage the puppy to follow it.
When your puppy begins to show interest in chasing the disc, now start tossing it. Once the puppy gets the flying disc, reward him with a treat to associate the actions with desirable consequences. Introduce the puppy to the ‘give’ command.
After the puppy grasp the disk, ask them to give it to you. Toss the disc once more and repeat the process. Take the puppy outdoors, let him sit, and toss the disc up higher. Have the puppy jump to get the disc, and once they give it to you, always remember to offer a reward.
The Bottom Line
Active play will make your puppy sharper and more focused. Most of the above-outlined games encourage the puppy to use their senses, contributing to better intellectual and physical development.
Keep experimenting and choose the sports that best interest your puppy. Ensure that you play with your pet for at least 20 minutes daily to strengthen the bond and help them interact with people positively.