Part and parcel of owning a dog is not only exercising them regularly, but keeping them mentally stimulated too. The best way to do this is to play games with them that will keep them from getting bored and ultimately, getting into mischief.
Below are a few of our favourite, inexpensive games that will be fun for both you and your dog.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but this is certainly not true. Your dog loves to learn and learning new tricks is both fun, and improves their obedience. If you’ve mastered the basic sit, lay down and paw with your dog then why not try roll over or spin? Teaching and learning is a great bonding experience for you and your dog, allowing them to become more disciplined whilst still having fun.
Tug of War
Tug of war is a traditional game that many puppies love, but it’s also a fun way to exercise your dog! Contrary to popular belief, tug of war does not encourage aggressive behaviour. To make sure the game remains safe for you and your dog, establish rules such as drop or stop on command.
You can also make your own tug of war toy by using an old piece of rope tied at both ends or plaiting together old pieces of fabric. A scrap fabric rope is not only cost free but it is also easy to machine wash, keeping your dog’s toys clean and hygienic.
Creating an indoor (or outdoor) obstacle course is another game your dog will love. Use household objects such as plastic boxes, buckets or pillows and set them up around the room for your dog to jump over and run around. If you’d like to upgrade your homemade obstacle course, you can buy many affordable ones online that are bound to provide endless fun for you and your dog.
Find the Food
Hiding treats around your home or in objects is a good way to make your dog work for their food. It will encourage them to use their brain and release their natural foraging instinct. You can hide treats under furniture, in boxes or in socks, encouraging your dog to use all their senses to find the food.
Playing these games with your pet will not only keep you both entertained but will also create a bond for life!
Find out more information about dog health and nutrition as well as training and behaviour by visiting our Simpsons Premium advice centre.