Dogs like to play, especially with their owner. Playing with your dog regularly will help build a strong bond and understanding. Apart from fun, games help pets to burn off some extra energy and stimulate their minds. It will teach him to control his behavior and aggression. The following games can be played with any breed of dog.
In order to play soccer, start by teaching your dog to move the ball with his legs or snout. To teach him to do this, place some food under the ball. While trying to get it, he will move the ball with his snout or leg. Cue this action by using words such as ‘kick’ the moment he comes in contact with the ball. Over time, stop using food as a lure and get your pet to kick the ball with your verbal cue.
This is one of the most common games for dogs. They have a natural instinct to fetch an object after thrown. But they usually don’t return it to you. If your pet is clueless about this game, here is a simple method to teach him. Get a retrievable object such as a dumbbell or a rubber toy. Apply some peanut butter on it, show it to your dog, and throw it.
He should run towards it and as soon as he grabs it, use a cue like ‘come’. Once he returns it to you, give him a treat. Repeat this game daily and slowly get rid of the peanut butter. If you spend too many days treating your pet, he will get accustomed to it and will demand it every time. Therefore, only treat you pet for a few days. During the training phase, use cues such as ‘come’ and ‘fetch’ to get it accustomed to words.
Taking the object out of your dog’s mouth can sometimes be difficult. If he gets too aggressive, you should contact a professional rather than continue with the game.
Tug of War
Teaching your dog to play tug of war can be very easy. Just allow your dog to bite on to one end of a toy and you may pull the other end slowly. As he starts learning this, use more force and as a result even he will pull harder. Use a cue such as ‘leave’ when you want him to stop the game.
According to many dog owners, this game makes the animal more aggressive. Therefore, only play it once your pet get trained and builds a strong bond with you.
Lastly, while playing games, ensure your dog’s safety as well as yours. Give it regular breaks and stop the game as soon as you see signs of aggression.