Now that we’ve sprung forward, you and your pup have earned an extra hour of outside play time! Maximize the fun with some backyard bonding. Remember: No two dogs are alike. Choose the game that best suits your dog’s personality, fitness level, and play style.
Nothing beats a classic! If your dog loves to fetch, mix it up with different balls. Chuckit makes balls that squeak, bounce, float, and glow in the dark. Bonus: If you need to burn off some winter weight, race your dog to the ball. He’ll love the chase while you ramp up your heart rate.
My dog Cooper’s favorite backyard game: Set up obstacles with things you have around the house. A broom balanced between two lawn chairs makes a jump. A picnic blanket draped across patio furniture makes a tunnel. Set out cones or lawn ornaments to create a weave. Teach your dog each individual obstacle by luring with a treat. Once he’s got it down, combine obstacles to make a course.
This inexpensive kid’s toy makes a challenging enrichment toy for your pup. When placed on the ground, it serves as a visual marker to teach your dog to sit in the hoop. Sounds easy, right? For some dogs, the hula hoop on the ground creates a visual challenge that you can work together (with lots of treats) to overcome. Or, hold the hoop upright and lure your pup through. If he loves to jump, incrementally increase the height.
Games are a great way to engage your dog’s mind and body, keeping him sharp, healthy and happy. Check out the Six Categories of Enrichment for other great ideas!