Although most dogs love to play fetch and tug-of-war games whatever the weather, the truth for most of us owners is that there are days when we really don’t feel like taking our dogs for a walk in the dark and the cold. Days when fighting over the same slobber-covered, beaten-up tennis ball is beyond tedious and yucky. So what do we do? Generally, we just suck it up and do it. But it’s going to be uncomfortable and boring. There is an alternative…
Although I cannot promise you won’t still have days like that, (anybody who does is selling you ‘snake oil’), I can give you some fun games to play with your dog to keep life together from getting stale. Your dog will thank you for it!
Get your equipment in order…
Before you adventure into the big outdoors, you need to get the right tools for the job. These days it’s hard to know whether the new toy you just bought is going to fall to pieces within ten minutes and perhaps even get lodged in your dog’s throat. One way to keep things safe is to stick to a brand that you know and trust. Chuckit! has an array of toys to offer including balls, launchers and frisbees that are fun, functional, innovative and high quality.
Next, you need a game plan! Try out these games when you and your dog need a break playing the traditional fetch and tug-of-war games.
Stand a few feet away from your dog, and show him a ball. Roll the ball quickly, aiming right between his front paws. Watch your dog scramble to get the ball as it rolls around underneath him!
- Doggie in the middle
This is a multi-player activity. Sit on the floor across from one of your family members. Roll a ball back and forth, with the goal being to not let your dog “steal” the ball. The faster you roll, the faster your dog will move!
- Hide and seek
Have your dog stay sitting in one room. Take your dog’s favourite ball or treat and find a good hiding place somewhere around the house or garden. Once you’re ready, call to your dog and when she finds you, make sure to reward her enthusiastically with praise and play.
- Frisbee toss
It takes agility and concentration for a dog to learn how to catch a flying disc. Throw the frisbee to your dog slow and low at first until she gets the idea of the game. Then you can gradually increase the difficulty by throwing it higher and further. Using the Chuckit! Flying Squirrel Dog Frisbee will make this game easier for your dog to pick up as the shape makes it easy to grab and the glow in the dark paws make it easier to see on dark winter walks.
- Doggie basketball
Grab an empty laundry basket and your dog’s ball. Demonstrate what you would like your dog to do. Drop the ball into the basket while saying “drop.” Make sure your dog is paying attention to this command and the motion. Once you think you’ve done it enough times, pass the ball to your dog. Every time he drops the ball into the basket when you say “drop,” reward him enthusiastically.
Set up two goals and some open space. Run and kick the ball around from goal to goal, and see if your dog can take it away from you. Get a family game of Barkaway going to find out who is really top dog!
Don’t forget: To have plenty of water on standby for your dog while it works up a sweat playing these games and to regularly check the toy for damage, and replace it if it is damaged or missing any pieces to avoid potential injury to your pet.
Do you have any other games you like to play with your dog? We’d love to read about them in the Comments below.