Playing with your puppy is a huge part of your relationship, and it has loads of benefits too! Games help keep your playful puppy active and healthy, and it gives you the chance to get to know one another better.
Tug of war
If your puppy is still learning what he can and can’t chew, redirect their behaviour with a fun game of ‘tug of war’. Make sure you have a toy that’s long enough for you to both hold comfortably without his teeth getting in the way.
This game isn’t just great exercise for your puppy, it also helps teach them about appropriate play too! Make sure you don’t pull the toy upwards (as this can hurt their back) – instead, wriggle the toy from side to side, taking care not to be too tough on their tiny teeth and developing mouth. This game can be tiring, especially for puppies, so it’s a great way to let them burn off some extra energy in between walks.
Hide and seek
Teaching your puppy to come when they’re called can often be hard work. That’s why hide and seek is not just a fun and easy game for puppies to play; you’ll also be helping your puppy to learn and recognise their name!
Unless your puppy knows the ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ command, you might need some help when beginning the game. Ask someone to hold your puppy while you hide behind a tree, under a table or behind a curtain.
When you’ve hidden, call your puppy’s name repeatedly and let him seek you out. When he finds you, show him plenty of affection as a reward!
You can play this game inside or outside, making it a great choice whether you’re having an outdoors adventure or stuck inside on a rainy day.
Chase the ball
Make your walking routine more fun by playing a game of throw-the-ball at the same time. If you have a particularly enthusiastic puppy, you can increase the distance he travels by encouraging him to run after the ball and bring it back to you.
This puppy game will let him burn off some real energy, as well as satisfying some of his basic instincts too! Just make sure your puppy has had all of his vaccinations before he goes outside so he can enjoy being outdoors without any risk to his health.
Create a fun and exciting obstacle course from household items and guide him through it, then give him a treat at the end! Soon he’ll be able to complete it all by himself without your help.
Make the obstacle course harder each time, helping your puppy improve his skills and keeping him interested in this fun and rewarding game.
Your obstacle course could include chairs for them to run under, baskets for them to jump over, and tunnels for them to go through. As a reward, give them a treat or lots of fuss when they reach the end for doing so well.
This puppy game will help your puppy develop their co-ordination skills, as well as giving them some mental stimulation. It’s a great game to play when it’s wet outside, as you’ll still be giving them plenty of exercise.
Teaching your puppy fun and useful tricks is a great way to help them develop their agility and cognitive skills. From teaching them to ‘sit’ to asking them to ‘fetch’ your slippers, training your puppy is a good way to strengthen your bond.
Benefits of playing games with puppies
Your puppy is growing fast, and in between napping, they’ll always want to play!
Games will also help your puppy learn about interacting with the world, as well as improving their co-ordination skills, building muscle, and helping with their socialisation. Best of all, it could prove to be a brilliant bonding experience for you both, as you’ll learn more about his personality and they’ll get used to your commands.
The most important thing is to have fun! The more time you spend playing together and bonding while your puppy is young, the better relationship you’ll have as he grows older. By teaching our five fun puppy games, you’ll be having fun and training your puppy to play games with you in no time.
Next, discover five easy tricks you can teach your dog, here.