When it comes to pets, there are few animals with as much energy and desire to play as a dog. It is no secret that dogs love running, jumping, tackling, wrestling, chewing, and more. They love rolling in mud, chasing a ball, and exploring new places. While dogs are perfectly capable of finding fun on their own, there is nothing they love more than playing with their owners.
Benefits Of Playing With Your Dog
According to Psychology Today, playtime offers dogs a variety of developmental and neurological benefits. In addition, playing with dogs can help them learn new skills, release pent up energy, build confidence, and more. At the same time playing with your dog helps you develop a strong unbreakable bond with them and create memories you both will cherish.
So whether you already have a dog or are looking to add a new puppy, here are all the different ways you can play with your dog.
It may seem basic, but playing fetch is a great way to stimulate your dog’s senses and help them utilize their ancestral instincts. Since dogs have been domesticated by humans, people have bred dogs to retrieve items for their owners for centuries. While most dogs no longer need to retrieve items, it is still an enjoyable game for both parties involved. Before heading outside to play fetch, be sure that your dog is meant for the temps outside. Some dogs are cold weather dogs while others can’t handle the cold. The same goes for hot weather.
Use A Flirt Stick
Similar to the cat toy with a mouse on a string hanging off a stick, a flirt stick has a rope on the end you can use to entice your dog to chase it. You’ll have a great time getting your dog to chase the rope while they get a healthy and challenging workout. At the same time, this allows your pup to simulate chasing prey in a non-destructive way. You’ll also have the opportunity to teach them new commands like halt and let go.
Tug Of War
Another classic game adored by dogs, tug of war, is fun, engaging, and physically exhausting. Like the flirt stick, using a tug of war rope is a great way to teach your dog new things. For example, you can teach your dog good manners by not letting them get too aggressive while they are playing. For instance, if their teeth touch your skin, stop the game immediately. They will eventually catch on and make sure they don’t go overboard.
Create An Obstacle Course
It is no secret that dogs love a good challenge. A fun way to boost their brainpower and give them some exercise is to create a dog-friendly obstacle course. Instead of going out and buying supplies, be creative and use things around your house. For example, use a hula hoop for them to jump through and some soccer cones for them to run around. Not only will an obstacle course challenge them mentally, but they will expend all their energy and look forward to resting in their bed.
If you are looking for an intense workout for your dog but an easy activity for yourself, consider teaching your dog to chase bubbles. They will love gliding through the air attempting to pop the bubbles you send their way from the comfort of your favorite lawn chair.
Play With Water
With a few exceptions, most dogs love playing with water, especially on a hot summer day. Consider investing in a kiddie pool, if you don’t already have one laying around, and allow them to sit and splash as they please. You can even attach a nozzle to the hose and spray them in a playful way. However, it is essential to ensure your dog knows you are playing. You don’t want to overdo it and make them scared of the hose and water.
All dogs have different personalities, and their idea of fun may differ from that of another dog. However, nobody knows your dog better than you, so come up with a creative and engaging game you both can enjoy together.