Best Games to Play with Your Dog

Games are of the utmost importance to your dog. They develop instincts, improve health and keep your pet in good shape. So, which best games to play with your dog?

Scent work games

Food distributed on smooth soils, the dog can search both with the nose and with the eyes. This is one of the best games to play, as it is easy for the dog. If the dog has understood the principle and enjoys it, the requirements can be increased. Chunks of food on a high rug, spread on the grass or on gravel, are already much harder to find. The dog has to rely on his nose now.

In the room, the food can also be hidden in small portions, e.g. behind the curtain, behind flower pots or on the shelf. Outside, finding food in piles of leaves or in dense undergrowth becomes a real challenge. In order to avoid that the dog is then out there constantly looking for food and also eats unauthorized, you should always take only a specific (dry) food for these games and give the dog a start signal to search.

Treat ball game

Treats balls are available in different variants in the pet shop to buy. An alternative to this is unused watering cans or plastic bottles filled with feed. In contrast to the ball, which is usually rolled, these things are also great for flinging.
First attempts to start it therefore better in the garden or on the lawn. It is important that the game is supervised, since your dog can chew or ingest the plastic parts during the games.

Games with unpacking

Next game to play with your dog is unpacking. This game not only let the dog use his nose, but as with real prey, he also has to use paws and teeth to get the best pieces.
The feed may e.g. wrapped in newspaper or in well-closed boxes. Or for example, egg cartons or toilet paper rolls whose ends are collapsed must be disassembled to get to the food.

Games with Kong Dog Toy

For wet food, a Kong is good. This consists of almost indestructible hard rubber, with a fillable cavity. In addition to wet food, you can also take or mix many other things: bananas, potatoes, sausage pieces, skimmed quark, grated apples, dried food pieces, egg, pasta, tuna...

During the game, your dog will chew on the Kong and suck up the food. The filling can also be mixed with cheese for a short time in the microwave. So everything blends into a rather tough mass, which makes the emptying of the Kong even more demanding and interesting.

Diving game

For water lovers among the dogs, the treats can also be distributed in a large tub or in a paddling pool. Rather water-white representatives can try this task: floating or non-floating food chunks are placed in a bowl filled with water. Some dogs fish with their paws, others with their muzzles, some overturn the bowl. In any case, a nice puzzle on the theme of the game: how do I get food?

Small brain games

Thinking games are less suitable for less destructive dogs, like this one: a roll of kitchen paper is cut in laterally and a cardboard strip is pushed through. Then comes a piece of food. The dog has to pull out the cardboard strip so that the food falls out at the bottom. The difficulty can be increased over several cardboard strips.

A little exercise to promote "think around the corner": Take a piece of dry food in your hand, show it to the dog and then close your hand to a fist. Then you hold the dog both hands as a fist. So an empty fist and the one the dog knows is food in it. Presumably, the dog will deal with the fodder fist. You let him do it. If the dog accidentally touches the empty fist, the fist goes up with the food and the dog is allowed to eat it. This is repeated until the dog understands that he has to touch the empty fist to get to the food.

If that works, you will not show the dog in advance, in which hand the food is. Especially with faint-smelling feed, the dog must now perform only a nose performance. If he has the right hand but finally snoops, he still has to turn to the other and show them. This is a good games to play with your dog.

Game of hide

Some examples of these games to play with your dog. Hide under planters, pots or under towels. Put a several pieces of food in a larger package. The dog will smell the food and has to think of a way to get it.
Caution: some dogs are very straightforward in their approaches during games and just chew the packaging.

The hat game goes in a similar direction: One hides food under one of several cones and then swaps the cones. The dog can either follow with his eyes or sniff out the food. One should consider in advance whether the dog is allowed to poke the right little hat or whether he should display (for example, by putting himself in front of or sets).

It becomes more difficult if the dog comes to food only with the help of auxiliary means. The object of desire is in an inaccessible place. Instead of the box used here, e.g. to be a low couch or a closet.
The food / toy is attached to a rope or a leash. The dog only reaches the food or the toy when it comes to pulling on the leash.

Games with catching and balancing food

Many dogs can not do much with it at the beginning when food is thrown to them. But over time, the dog will be more skilled in catching.

A variation of this game is the balancing of feed on the muzzle. Depending on the type of dog you can hold the muzzle quietly from below while you put the treat on it. On command the dog is allowed to eat it. In the process, many dogs become really good at throwing the treat up so that they can then catch it in the air.

For sensitive or very eroded dogs, this method is suitable: in the first step, you put a pinkie on the snout of the dog. If the dog tolerates this for a moment, praise and treats follow. The dog should only learn to keep still with the light weight on the muzzle.
The second step is to move a piece of food in front of the dog's nose while holding the finger on the snout. The dog should learn to keep still, despite the food stimulus. If that works safely, you can put the food piece on the muzzle and slowly remove the finger.

Game with bottle rotation

For this game you need an empty plastic tab, in which you drilled two holes. The holes should be so high up the direction of the bottleneck, that the bottle is held by the holes with the bottom facing down, but still well rotatable. Through the holes a steel pin, a bamboo stick or a clothesline is pulled. On the other hand, you can hold the steel pin in his hand, and the clothesline can be stretched anywhere in the room.
Now, you need to pour dry food into the bottle and bring the dog to it. The dog may try with paw or muzzle to move the bottle, so that it turns upside down and chunks of food fall out. At the beginning of the game, you can help the dog, so that he has a quick sense of achievement and remains motivated.

Game with suspend socks

Old socks are filled with pieces of food and hung on a clothesline. In the first step you hang the socks at the level of the dog's nose and approach together with the dog. If the dog does not try to get to the food, you can animate it to tug. It helps to hang the socks at the beginning only at the outermost tip, so that they can be removed even with light touches. If the socks off, you have to be quick in the beginning to give the dog the reward of the socks. Otherwise there is a high risk that the will tear a hole in his socks to get to the food. Later you can hang the socks so high that the dog has to jump and send the dog at a distance.

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