Dogs need both mental and physical exercise. Check out these fun games that provide both!
Dogs need both mental and physical exercise to stay happy and healthy. Stimulating your dog's mind helps him stay mentally fit, while keeping boredom at bay. We all know that dogs can get into some serious mischief when they're bored (shredded couch cushions, anyone?). Check out these fun dog games to keep your pooch in his best shape ever, both intellectually and physically.
Teach Tug Play
Dogs love playing tug. It keeps them physically fit, but also provides a mental challenge and encourages bonding. You can use any toy, but ideally look for something that's sturdy and comfortable to hold.
You'll want to first teach your dog the "rules" of the game. First, have your dog sit before you give him the toy to show you're in command. At the end of the game, he must let go when you say "drop it" or "let it go." These rules will keep the game mentally stimulating for your pup.
Play Hide and Seek
Dogs enjoy games that stimulate their powerful sense of smell. Play hide and seek by hiding treats in strategic places. Go outside and rub the scent in various places. Then, hide the treat in the toughest place you can find. Set your pooch loose on his own version of a treasure hunt. When your dog finally finds his treat, be sure to give lots of praise and attention to boost his confidence.
Interact with Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys offer a fun mental challenge that reward your dog for his problem-solving skills. You know how far your dog would go to enjoy a tasty treat. Put him to the test with a few new puzzle toys that will keep him occupied for hours. You can find dozens of fun puzzle toys that range from simple to complex, where your dog needs to use his paws and nose to dislodge tiles or extract the treat from a maze.
Play Find the Toy
Start this game with two boxes and your dog's favorite toy. Have your dog watch you place the toy under one of the boxes. Then shuffle the boxes around and tell your dog to "Find the toy!" You can help him out if you need to by encouraging him to flip the box over. Give him plenty of praise when he finds the toy.
Help Him Clean Up
Teach your dog how to clean up his toys! For this game, you'll need your dog's basket of toys and a few treats. Scatter the toys on the floor. Then, help your dog to pick up one toy at a time and put them in the basket. Each time he places a toy in the basket, reward him with a treat.
Keep your dog happy and healthy with these fun dog games. With just a few minutes of playing each day you'll train your dog's brain and keep him from getting bored.
Have any fun dog games you like to play with your pup? Let us know in the comments!