Exercise is an important part of your dog’s health and happiness. Outside, sunshine and fresh air can make their playtime even better with running, playing, and other fun activities.
10 Great Outdoor Dog Games
The team at Union Lake Pet Services understands that dogs, like people, like variety in their activities. It gets them moving and engaged for better health and wellness. Keeping a dog active also decreases their likelihood of misbehaving.
To get you and your paw pal started, here are some of our favorite outdoor dog games.
1. Stage a dog scavenger hunt – Dogs love to sniff out treats and toys, as you can guess when they attempt to bury them outside or hide them under the couch. Find a good amount of small treats, toys, and other fun (safe) items and hide them around the yard or other fenced-in areas. Start them off by giving them some visual tips as to where the stash is hidden. Each time they are successful, praise them. Over time, you will need to find harder spots for them to sniff out.
2. Teach them to play Frisbee – Frisbee is a good choice because it can involve the whole family, dogs included. If your dog already loves fetch, find a large open space, such as at a park, and start pitching the Frisbee their way. Then throw it to another family member. Eventually, your dog will become a Frisbee champion – and probably make you play a few games of “keep-away,” too.
3. Make them their own digging box – Lots of dogs love to dig. Unfortunately, they do it in areas that are off-limits, like flower beds. If your dog has this instinct down pat, you don’t need to discourage digging completely. Instead, create a dog digging area in a corner of the yard which can be made with soil or sand. You can also use a child’s sandbox and place fun items in the sand for your doggo to dig up. They will love it.
4. Teach them a variety of tricks – If your pup already has a grasp on basic commands, you can take it up a notch by working on their skills. There are several tricks you can teach, including rollover, beg circles, and shake. You can also teach them to find things around the home as they gain recognition of keywords. They’ll be fetching your slippers in no time!
5. Create an agility course – If your dog has non-stop energy, creating an agility course for them is perfect. Set up things your dog can hurdle over, like rope, plastic piping, or blankets tied together. Create a make-shift tunnel using large boxes or items your dog can tunnel through, as well as other things they can run around. If you don’t have the items on hand, there are many complete agility courses that you can order online.
6. Follow the leader – There are multiple variations of this game. You can set up a fun trail over and under and around things. You can also hide treats, toys, and other exciting finds and train your dog to follow you. The goal is to get your dog to trust following you as you lead them through or to new things. They gain trust and confidence.
7. Play with a flirt pole – Practice your dog’s skills and exercise them even in a small space with a flirt pole. Here’s how it works.
8. Go for a swim – While winter isn’t the season for water sports, swimming is a great pastime during the warm months of the year. If your dog hasn’t had swimming lessons, plan ahead for spring. Swimming can be an awesome form of exercise, but not all dogs like to swim or can. Some prefer playing with friends and toys in a plastic pool, and there are some great water toys on the market. If your dog would enjoy swimming, now is the time to learn how to teach your dog to swim and other safety tips for pooches when it comes to water.
9. Test your dog with Simon says – Sit, stay, down, jump, heel, come–test your dog’s skills in these basic commands then reward him for doing it right.
10. Take a hike with Fido – Hiking is a particularly popular activity for outdoorsy men and women and their dogs. Find a trail to explore with your dog, ensuring that it isn’t too strenuous for them. And be sure to bundle up on cold days, bringing plenty of water for you and your best friend.
Spending time outside with your dog doesn’t have to be dull or routine. There are many outdoor dog games and activities that are perfect for the yard, park, or other natural areas. The fresh air, sunshine, and tremendous amount of enjoyment will be a great reward for your pet (and you).
Union Lake Pet Services is here to answer any questions you have about outdoor dog games and other pet-related questions. Give us a call!