Fun Dog Games

Searching for fun dog games to play with your furry friends?

Comet really loved to play. However, he was also very smart, so we had to come up with creative, fun dog games that held his attention.

Below are some of his favorites.

Fun Dog Games By Visitors

Dog Runner – by Skyler 
(Hercules, California)

  • 1 empty washed out milk carton with a handle
  • 1 rope – whatever length you want 
  • 5 small rocks

1. Tie the rope on the handle tightly and put the small rocks inside the milk carton. 

2. Grab the end of the rope and tie it so that there’s a circular loop for your hand.

3. Find a place were you and your dog can run.

4. Finally, hold the rope by the circle and start to run. 

When your dog hears the small rocks inside, he/she will start to run after it.

Bouncy Scented String Looperby Laura from Connecticut 

She describes how a sock, tennis balls, and a shirt provide the perfect opportunity to play games with your dog!

Chase a Treat Dog Toy by Allison from N. Carolina

All you need is cardboard, tape, yarn, and a treat. First tape a treat on the cardboard. Then tape a piece of yarn to the cardboard, and there you have it – a nice chase a treat toy!

Dog Games

And here’s another by a young visitor from Barstow, California, named Tatiana:

“I like   to  play  this  game  with  a  bunch  of  dogs.  I  toss  a  piece  of  dry  dog  food  out  to  the  lucky  dog.  

This  game  works  well  for  dogs  that  are  different  sizes.  I  played  this  with  a  3.7 pound  Chihuahua,  a  Toy  Poodle,  a  Pit  Bull  mix,  and  a  full  grown  adult Yellow  Lab.”

(Tatiana went on to tell us that the dogs all bonded together, although the Lab and Pit Bull have sadly since passed away.)

Find It!

Hide treats and have your dog find them! This can be good for teaching commands such as “Find” or “Search.” 

How to Play:

  1. First confine your dog to a room, with the door closed. Alternatively, put your dog in the Down/Stay position, tie her up, or have someone else hold him.
  2. Make sure your dog cannot see you! 
  3. Hide treats in 3 or 4 places that the dog can easily reachor access when he or she is new to the game.

Some tips: 

  • If you have a dog that’s smart at figuring things out, you can pretend to stash treats in places where you can be seen. This may throw your furry friend off the track and thereby lengthen the time it takes for those goodies to be found.
  • Make sure the size of the treat is small enough that you are not overfeeding your dog – slightly larger than a crumb is enough.
  • For later games, make it harder for the dog to find goodies by putting them underneath or behind things.
  • For additional hiding places, consider the garage or outdoors.

Method 2, suggested by Kara from Massachusetts:

  1. Take three or four paper cups and under one put a treat like a milk bone. 
  2. Let your dog sniff the treat before putting it under the cup. 
  3. Shuffle the mugs around a little, without making your dog bored. 
  4. Step away from the cups and give the cue that let’s your dog know to eat the treat. 

Once your dog knows which cup, he/she will have a good time trying to nose or claw the cup away from the treat.

Fun Dog Games:  Catch Me Out!

I used to play this with Comet when I was riding my bicycle in an open space area with no one else around. 

I found this one to be really good training for him to keep an eye on me and not stray. With a slower dog, you could do this on foot.

It was also one of the more fun ways to exercise him in urban places.

How We Played It

I would bicycle around and wait until Comet was clearly paying attention to something else. Then I would quickly pedal as fast as I could in another direction. The trick was to do it with as little noise as possible. 

Once he saw me, he would come after me like a blue streak! Naturally, I would laugh and praise him once he caught up to me… Being of Shepherd heritage, he would sometimes nip me a little to remind me who was herd boss!

Fun Dog Games: Hide-and-Seek

Here’s another fun dog game provided by Kara from Massachusetts:

First, ask someone in another room to hold your dog. With the dog in the other room, hide somewhere. Ex. behind the couch or curtains or bury yourself under pillows. My dog loves this game!

Another way is if you know exactly where you are going to hide, throw your dog’s toy up or down the stairs or the hall so they go after it, and then quickly hide. Call your dog’s name. Fun game!

Someone who tried this saidMy dog LOVES playing hide & seek–great suggestion! We play it on rainy days when we can’t go out for a walk, but I want to keep her entertained so she doesn’t get up to any mischief.

I live alone, so there’s no one to hold her while I hide, but that’s actually a great opportunity to do a little obedience training–I just put her in a down-stay on her bed (that’s home base!), and then I go hide around a corner or in another room.

If she “cheats” and starts to look for me before I call her, I just cheerfully take her back to “base” and start over. When I’m hidden & ready, I say our release command: “alright!”–and her reward for sitting & staying is the excitement of getting to find me! (In the beginning, I also had a dog cookie in my pocket to reward her when she found me–but that’s not necessary anymore.)

My dog has severe separation anxiety, and our trainer recommends trying to break her habit of following me around the house 24/7…this game is a fun, no-stress way of working on that! Who says obedience training can’t be fun?!

Fun Dog Games: The Whipwhir

The Whipwhir is pronounced whipper. This was one of our fun dog games that got Comet going, literally!

We used it both indoors when he needed a quick workout, as well as outside when we didn’t want to leave the yard. It was also useful in training him to “Leave it!” and “Drop it!”

The object is this dog game is to try and prevent your dog from catching an item you are whipping around.

Equipment Needed

A pole* (an old broomstick handle or the equivalent), a rope tied to the pole, and an item tied to the other end of the rope. This could be an old sock or two, some rags, a tennis ball in a sock, an old stuffed toy, etc.

*The pole is optional. We have also used a leash instead of the rope.

Instructions for Playing

  1. Drag the object along the ground in front of your dog in a wide circle or run with it in a straight line for a while to get him/her warmed up. This is really important to do as later on the dog will be jumping and twisting and you want to avoid injury.
  2. Gradually start raising the item off the ground while turning in a circle. Try to keep your dog from catching it – however, if your dog becomes discouraged with the game, make it a little easier every once in a while. [Comet was pretty clever at catching it when I didn’t mean for him to – this would get me laughing which I think made the game more exciting for him.]
  3. Let your dog chew on the item for a few seconds, tell the dog to Sit!; then give the Drop It! or Leave It! command.
  4. As your dog and you become more used to the game, get more creative with whipping the object around in different directions and higher levels so that your dog has to jump. Just be sure to watch for any problems regarding the twisting, and landing.
  5. Do NOT play longer than 5 or 10 minutes at a time – and no more than twice a day. Keep close tabs on your dog to make sure he or she is doing okay.

Truth or Dare for Dogz

Another of the fun dog games is an idea submitted by Naomi of Adkins, Texas:

“You know the game Truth or Dare, right? If you do, I made the dog version on how to play. It is very easy and simple.

Instructions for Playing

1. Pick your dogs for the game. You can have up to 5 dogs/puppies with their people. [We think more could be possible if the space is large enough and the dogs well trained. In other words, this could work well at a dog birthday party or at an obedience class graduation.]

2. Dogs should be standing.

3. Commands are:

*Truth: Down

*Dare:  Sit

4. Ask  Truth or Dare?

5. Dogs that go into the Down position when you say Truth get a treat. If a dog does anything else, no treat.

6. Likewise, if you say Dare, reward the dogs that get into a Sit position.