Playing with your puppy never gets old, no matter what game you decide to play! Whether it’s fetch or tug-of-war, playtime with your four-legged buddy is an exciting opportunity to bond together. The more you play and interact with your little buddy, the stronger your friendship will be.
A study from the University of Bristol found that play is a normal part of a dog’s behavior and has a significant factor in their sociability. Therefore, the amount and type of play you engage with your puppy will also indicate the quality of your friendship with them.
Even if you’re stuck at home (for whatever reason), there are plenty of fun, meaningful games that you can play with your cuddly friend. These are the type of games that don’t just tire your puppy out; they also push them to work their noggin.
The next time you’re homebound, try out the 5 best in-door games that’ll keep your mischievous puppy on its paws!
Hide and seek
You probably liked playing a good game of hide-and-seek as a kid. Well, guess what? Your puppy can play hide-and-seek just as well as humans can! This game will only work if your fur-baby knows how to follow the “sit”, “stay”, and “come” commands. Check out our blog, Essential Commands to Teach Your Puppy to get started.
Since you’re playing the game with your canine companion, you’ll need to tweak the rules just a bit so that they can participate. For example, you won’t need to count or cover your eyes.
instead, lead your puppy to a specific room or corner of your house.
Tell them to stay, then find a hiding place either in or away from the room. Once you’ve hidden, call out your puppy’s name or say “come” so that they come to find you. You have the option to keep quiet when you hear them approach and to call out their name again as they leave.
This will keep the game interesting and exciting for you and your puppy. It’ll also train them to use their critical thinking skills and their sense of smell while they look for you.
Tug-of-war is the best game to test your puppy’s strength and smarts! To play it correctly, all you need is a rope toy. We recommend purchasing a rope toy for puppies online or at any Petland store.
Do not use a regular rope for this game. Using a regular rope can damage your furry friend’s teeth and jaw as it’s not designed for puppies. Make sure your puppy knows the commands “stop” or “leave it” before you start playing.
Present your fur-baby with the rope toy and encourage them to bite on it. Once they chomp their pearly whites on the rope, start pulling. Your puppy won’t resist pulling right back! Now, it’s important to create boundaries with tug-of-war.
If your puppy gets a little rough or won’t let go of the toy, stop the game. Do not praise your puppy and leave the room. When they’ve calmed down, come back and resume the game again.
By doing this, you teach your furry companion what behavior is acceptable for you. Avoid giving sharp tugs or pulls while your puppy is biting down. This can damage their teeth and even their jaw if you aren’t careful.
Obedience training may not sound like fun at first glance, but we promise your puppy will appreciate it. An obedience training session doesn’t just keep your puppy occupied; it also reinforces their training ability. You can start small by teaching your furry friend the 5 basic commands.
These commands come in handy when you’re out for a walk or greeting visiting guests. You’re also allowed to go all out. Some dog owners use a dog training platform and agility system to improve their dog’s skills for competitions.
This one is easy to set up, durable, and available for indoor usage. Even if you aren’t planning to have your puppy win obedience contests, having an indoor setup can help your furry friend listen and follow your commands easily.
Agility training games
Agility training games allow your puppy to boost their endorphins, regardless of whether you’re training them to win trophies. From tunnels to weave poles, there are several training aids you can use to engage your fur-baby with.
Of course, if you don’t have the means to purchase agility training aids, you can use household items instead! Chairs, tables, and even people can be great replacements. Just instruct your puppy to move between the item or person as you would with a weave pole.
You can also construct a DIY tunnel yourself! This blog has step-by-step instructions on how to create a great agility tunnel for your puppy. As you work through agility training exercises with your furry friend, be sure to add some variety. Change the pace from fast to slow and switch directions.
This will help your puppy concentrate better on their training. You’ll see that agility training is an amazing cardio workout but it also forces your little buddy to use their intelligence.
While you can purchase a full-on obstacle course, we recommend taking advantage of your household items to build one just for your puppy! The design and size are up to you. And the course can be as easy or difficult as you want.
Of course, if your furry friend is just getting started, don’t overwhelm them. Give them something easy to do first so they get the gist and then ramp up the difficulty level by adding more things.
You can use cardboard boxes, chairs, tables, and even book stacks. Arrange your items in the order you want your fluffy puppy to crawl through or jump over and voila! You have your own DIY obstacle course.
Playing new games and changing the rules to old ones can be an exciting adventure for you and your furry friend. Be patient with your puppy. Remember that they do not know the rules of each game. You may need to repeat the rules a few times before your fur-baby “gets” it. And most importantly, have fun. Playtime is your opportunity to bond with your furry friend so be sure to make the most of it!