Brain and Brawn Games for Dogs

To keep your dog happy and healthy, you’ve got to enjoy some good playing time together. Both the mental and physical are warranted – mental challenges help stimulate their brain just like physical exercise works out their muscles. Below are a handful of games for your pooch.

1. Tug-o-war

This is a classic activity for a reason: few dogs will resist a vigorous pulling of rope with you on the other end. It’s always exciting for them and, depending on the size of your doggie, might be a decent workout for you too!

Brittany Spaniel

2. Find the Toy

The idea behind this game is to teach your dog and make them think. If they have a number of toys, try naming one in particular from another room and see if they can bring the correct one to you. If you just start with one, over time they will recognize the name – then you can begin to name more to heighten the challenge.

3. Go Wild and Freeze

Originally thought up by the dog trainer September Morn, “Go Wild and Freeze” involves dancing and singing. You should start shaking around to get your dog really enthused. After a few moments, stop your sound and movement and instruct your pooch to sit. Once they do, start up your rambunctious boogie again. Reward your dog for behaving in spite of the game’s energetic nature.

4. Fetch

The possibilities are endless on this game, but they bear repeating: use a stick or a disc or a ball and fling it through the yard, the hallway or park for time-tested back and forth fun. Certain breeds really, really take to this game, so you can keep them engaged for a long time.

Collie dog

5. Speak

Much like “Go Wild and Freeze” helps teach your pet self-control, “Speak” develops restraint as well. It does require them to be trained over time to bark at your command. If they can do so, have them sit and ask them to speak for you. They should bark just once. You can experiment with getting them to be quiet and louder by your command and reward them accordingly.

6. Hide and Seek

Another game that engages the canine cranium is hide and seek. Instead of them searching for a toy by name, they need to find you! It’s much easier to play this activity with at least one other person who can help ‘seek’ with the dog. They can move around with them and say your name aloud – and you can be vocal to draw the dog’s attention closer to your hiding spot if need be.

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