Having an energetic dog can be a lot of work. Breeds like Labradors, Boxers, and Dalmations are high in energy and personality. Dogs like this love to play, but it can be difficult to find a game to really tire them out. Well, look no further! Here are the top 20 games you can use to tire out an energetic dog!
Tug of War
You can’t beat a classic. Tug of War is one of the oldest games for dogs in the book and a sure-fire way to tire out your dog. Basically, your dog bites down on one side of a toy and you pull on the other. It’s a great workout for both of you as it can require a decent amount of arm strength to hold on depending on the size of your dog. Two dogs of similar size may enjoy playing tug of war together as well. Any toy will work for this game, whether plastic, rubber, or rope. We suggest a stronger toy based on your dog’s size.
Pup Tip: If you own a labrador or other “chewer”, put toys away after play is done, especially if it’s a rope toy. Chewing breeds love to destroy toys, and you don’t want pieces to end up in their digestive tract.
Frisbee can be on the more advanced side of games. If your dog loves chasing a ball, chances are they’ll love frisbee. While you can play general fetch with a frisbee, it is generally to more agile dogs. Any breed that loves to jump, like Australian Shepherds, Collies, and Greyhounds, may get a kick out of leap into the air to catch a frisbee. If you’re hoping to get your pup into agility training, this is a fantastic first step.
Like Tug of War, Fetch is basic when it comes to games to play with dogs. Throw a ball, toy, newspaper, rope, or anything else and your dog will bring it back. While generally played outdoors, with care, it can be played indoors. The great thing about fetch is how little effort it requires on your part. For dogs that are new to fetch, it may take a little practice for them to understand you want them to bring the ball back. You can also incorporate a “drop it” command to make it easier to retrieve the ball once they bring it back. Simple, yet effective means of tiring out your dog.
If you’re looking for a game that is both mentally and physically tiring for Fido, agility training may be the activity for you. Now, this isn’t your typical game. Obstacles, tunnels, ramps, and more are included in an agility course. This kind of activity requires some level of agility and interest from your dog. It’s more complicated than a game of fetch and does heavily involve your participation. If you aren’t prepared to really commit yourself and your pup to this kind of training, agility courses may not be the right fit.
You can never go wrong with a toy that also dispenses treats. You can pick up these types of toys online or at any pet store. Simply drop a few small and large pieces of your dog’s favorite treat into the hole and let them play. As they push the toy around, the treats will fall out, giving them an instant reward and keeps them engaged. It’s the best of both worlds!
Soccer is THE game for dogs when you want to get some exercise too. The great thing about it is that you can play with virtually any ball. If you’re playing with just your dog, chances are low for them passing it back to you. You’re more likely to play some version of keep away. However, if you can find another human to play with, your dog may find joy in chasing the ball as you pass it between you. Just remember, this game is best played outside where your ball can’t roll under the couch.
Another game for those looking to do minimal work, letting your dog catch bubbles is a simple and cheap game. You can pick up bubbles from just about any dollar store. Your dog is sure to go mad trying to pop the bubbles as they float down. Just be sure to sneak a little reward in there after you’re done playing as your pup can get frustrated by not being able to catch their target.
Chase is another simple game that can be done in two ways. You can hold one of your dog’s favorite toys and run, enticing them to chase after you. You can also give them the toy and chase after them. Some dogs may have an affinity for one version over the other, so just stick with what they like best. This game is best played when your dog knows a command to stay off. The last thing you want is your dog developing a habit of jumping on people.
Fishing, also called a flirt pole, is typically associated with cats, but this game is versatile. You can purchase, or make your own fishing pole. You just need a pole or stick, string, and a lightweight toy or object that your dog is interested in to tie to the end. Then dangle it in front of them and watch them play.
Fetch (in water)
Bring fetch to the next level and play in the water! Whether a beach, pool, or lake, if your dog loves to swim, they’ll love playing fetch. This is an exercise traditionally associated with water sport dogs like Labradors and Spaniels. However, if your dog is so inclined to jump in the water, the breed may not matter. Just as with traditional fetch, all you must do is throw your pup’s favorite toy into a body of water and let them go after it. The upside to this version of fetch is that water will create more resistance to your dog, making them work harder and tire faster. The downside is that you now have a sopping wet puppy. We think the trade-off is worth it!
Healthy Play is Important
It’s so important to practice healthy, safe play with your pet. Know and understand their limits, especially as they age. It can be just as frustrating and depressing for your pet when their mobility decreases and they can’t run, jump, and play like they used to. We understand that aging is part of life. But age doesn’t have to dictate mobility or happiness. That’s why we created PupGrade Joint Supplements. These supplements are packed with powerful, dog-safe ingredients that work to not only alleviate symptoms but target the cause of joint pain. It’s never too late to give your dog the paw they need to leap into life. Check out our Joint Support here!
What’s your favorite game to play with your pet? Let us know in the comments!
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