Summer is many dogs’ favourite time of the year (at least we assume); days spent outside in the sun, more time with the family, and best of all, more opportunities for playtime! Yes, the warm weather means more time for you and your furry friend to have some fun in the sun. But are you looking for something a little different to help keep your playful pooch entertained this summer? Thankfully, we’ve got some great games for you and your dog to try this year…
Name that toy
If you’re looking for a fun game that’s going to exercise your dog’s mind as much as his/her body, ‘name that toy’ is perfect for you and your pooch. First, you’ll begin this activity with a game of fetch. Say the name of one of your dog’s toys (“ball”, for example) and then throw it for him to fetch. After a few throws, switch to another toy and say its name (“teddy”) as you throw it. Once your dog has had some practice, place both toys on the ground and ask him to fetch “ball” or “teddy”. If he brings the correct toy, shower him with praise and give him a small treat. After more times playing this game, your dog will be able to bring the correct toy without you needing to throw and name it first.
Homemade agility course
Do you think your dog has Crufts-award-winner potential? Then they’ll need to get their practice in with their very own agility course! Teaching your dog to manoeuvre through tunnels, over jumps, around poles and more is great for challenging both their mind and body. It’ll also help your bond grow stronger, as you’ll learn to work together and in sync. There’s plenty of options for building your agility course from buying a ready-made one to using household items to create a self-made course. This can include things such as kid’s toys and old gym equipment.
The summer weather can sometimes be a bit too much for dogs. So when it gets too hot to handle, a fun water game can be a great way to cool your pooch down while keeping him entertained. A popular water game for getting dogs to work their minds is bobbing for treats. For this, fill up a paddling pool with water, place some treats in plastic, sealable balls and let your dog try to catch them. If their bobbing is successful, open the ball and give them the treat. Letting your dog play with a hose or sprinkler is also a good option, as it allows them to stay active whilst also cooling down in cold water.
If you’re looking for a fun game that’ll get your dog active, make him use his brain and keep him busy for a while, then a treat hunt is the game for you. All you need to do is to hide your hungry hound’s favourite smelly treats. You can do this either separately or filled in a treat-holding toy. Whilst your dog is trying to sniff out his prizes, try moving some treats into different hiding spots to throw him off the scent and keep him guessing. Once you’re done with hiding, call your dog to where the treats are hidden, start the search with a word or phrase such as “find”, and watch him chow down on his well-deserved find.