Dogs thrive when they engage in activities that are both physically and mentally stimulating. To make your Hamilton dog training classes even more fun and engaging, Hearts in Harmony’s local dog trainer, Kim Miller, shares some creative games you can play with your dog.
4 Games to Play with Your Pooch
Playing with your dog is more than just about having fun. It teaches him good manners. It also stimulates his brain, exercises his body, and makes him more confident. Furthermore, it deepens the bond between you and your dog. Try these four games with your dog today:
1. Chase a Flirt Pole
A flirt pole is a long stick with a rope at the end. On the end of the rope is something called a lure. The lure could be anything that will prompt your dog to chase, such as his favorite toy or a tasty treat.
Move the flirt pole around and let your dog run after it. Allow your dog to catch the lure from time to time as a reward. You can also step up the challenge by practicing the “Let Go” command after he catches the lure.
2. Tug of War
Most dogs love to play tug of war. Not only is it physically engaging, but it’s also an opportunity to teach them bite inhibition.
Fret not – playing tug of war won’t make your dog dominant or aggressive. The trick is to stop the game every time his teeth and mouth touch your skin. Pretty soon, your dog will learn that he has to be gentle and careful if he wants to continue playing this fun game with you.
3. Set Up an Agility Course
An obstacle course offers intense mental and physical exercise for your dog. In fact, some owners find that running through an agility course tires out their dogs more than a two-mile walk!
Set up your course with common household objects. Have your dog jump over a broom, mop, or weave through dining room chairs. Ask him to jump through a hula hoop or step over a pile of blankets. The sky is the limit in terms of what you can use, but you can also buy some ready-made agility equipment if you prefer.
4. Nose Games
Dogs’ noses are 2000 times more sensitive than human noses, but they rely on their eyesight more. Help your dog harness their sense of smell through various nose games.
At first, keep it simple by showing him a treat in one hand then closing both your hands. Let him sniff both hands and choose one. If he’s right, give him the treat and praise him for a good job. If not, simply show him the treat, close your hands, and repeat the game.
Once he becomes an expert at it, level up the game by hiding treats in boxes and all over the house for him to find.
Play and Train with Hearts in Harmony!
When combined with positive training methods, playing games with your dog will help you raise a well-rounded companion.
Hearts in Harmony offers fear-free dog training near Leesburg, VA, Purcellville, Fairfax County, Hillsboro, Oak Grove, Northern VA, Loudoun County, and surrounding areas. Reserve a slot for our dog training classes or send inquiries by calling us at 540-454-4098!