Playing games with your dog can be a great way to form a bond and teach him basic obedience. Plus, it's fun. Some dogs are most interested in toys than others, but any dog can become interested if you follow a few simple steps to make them more fun.
Make Toys Exciting
First, choose a toy. If your dog shows an interest in a particular toy, start there. It can be a ball, rope toy, stuffed toy or any other type. Keep the toy picked up. If your dog sees the toy all the time, it will be less exciting. Thus, the toy should only come out when you want to play.
Get Your Dog Interested
- Pull out the toy and start talking to your dog with enthusiasm. Ask him where the toy is or tell him he's a good boy, anything that will get him excited.
- Play with the toy on your own. Toss it up in the air, bounce it or toss it to someone else in your house. Your dog should be watching excitedly or following the toy.
- Throw the toy. Run after it and try to get to it before your dog. If your dog gets it, praise and start a game of tug.
- Repeat just a couple of times. End the game and put the toy away.
End the game early so your dog is still excited. If your dog walks away from the game first, it makes the play less exciting. If your dog will chase the toy three times, end the game after two. This will increase excitement for the next game.
If your dog is food motivated, you can reward your dog with treats to make the game more interesting. Give your dog a treat when she brings the toy back. If your dog won't chase the toy, keep the toy near you and reward your dog for showing interest, such as sniffing it or picking it up. Move the toy across the ground and reward any interest.
Once your dog is showing interest in the toy, get excited to play. If your dog tries to initiate a game, always play. Bring out the special toy every day and play for just a few minutes. Gradually build up the amount of time that you play with him until you have a dog that is happily bringing you a toy and doesn't want to stop.