Puppies are full of energy and need extra play time, love, and attention to keep their bodies and brains active. But not all games are suitable for puppies right away! Here at Doggy Brace, we’re all about keeping your dogs healthy and happy, so here are our top safe games and activities to play with puppies.
Fun Games For Puppies
There are so many age-friendly fun and safe games you can play with your puppy. One fun game to play is hide-n-seek! You can either hide from your dog and call their name to see how long it takes for them to find you (and reward them with a treat when they do!) or you can hide their toys when you’re playing with them and have them find it.
Think of taking the ball you’re playing fetch with and burying it under a blanket. Encourage them and give them hints until they get it. Dogs that love to burrow like this game a lot, so your dachshund will get such a thrill from it. It’s also mentally stimulating and gets them thinking with their natural instincts.
Sprinklers! One of the best ways to introduce your dogs to water is through a sprinkler — one that shoots water gently upward instead of one with a harsher spray. This can be less traumatizing, it gives them something to chase, and it lets them get in and out of the water on their own free will. Let them run free and get used to the water on their own terms!
If your pup is more adventurous, put them into a doggie life vest and let them jump right in. Or, lead them in with you to swim together. Some dogs are just like kids and they love water! Just be close by, just in case!
Interactive Treat Toys
You can make DIY interactive treat toys if your dog is food motivated. You can see how their minds work as they try to get a treat out of it, which can be both hilarious and adorable. Use plastic storage bowls that nest inside each other, either ones that are the same size or ones that go from large to smaller.
Place a treat in the bottom container, and keep layering the containers and treats. Include one treat in the top container to get your dog started. Be sure to do this under supervision so your dog does not try to eat the plastic containers. You can work up in level to make this more difficult, by adding more containers as your dog figures out each level.
For a bigger idea if you’re more handy, you can use plastic soda bottles, a metal rod, and a wooden base to create treats-in-a-bottle. Put three soda bottles through the metal rod (so the bottles can be spun on a vertical plane) and secure in the wooden base. Put treats in two of the bottles and watch your dog try to get the treats from the bottles. It’s great fun for both you and your pup!
Obedience Games For Your Pup
You can make learning tricks and certain words fun for your pup. Try tug-of-war if you’re teaching your pup the words “leave it” or “get it.” This game also helps them if they get territorial over their toys — it lets them fight for them and get out the energy in a very controlled environment.
Making Eye Contact
If your puppy is food motivated, then almost anything involving food can be turned into a game. You can teach your dog to make eye contact with you, which helps establish a relationship, dominance, and a way to distract your pup should they need it. Hold a treat to your forehead or by your eye and ask your dog to look at you.
Fetch or Tag
Depending on if your dog brings their toy back to you or prefers to run around with it, you can turn fetch or tag into a game where they learn commands. Think of “come here” or “go get it” when you play this and use those terms with the toy until your dog understands what it means.
And sometimes chasing after the dog to get the toy is a game within itself! It’s all up to how you want your dog to play and teaching them when playtime is over and when they should listen again.
Like with everything, be aware of your dog and how they play. Respond appropriately to them and use their own enjoyment to your advantage. But above everything, remember to have fun!