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5 Easy Puppy Training Games

The word fun is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase puppy training. But by using puppy training games you can make the training process a lot more fun. And the best part is that all these training games are easy to play.

Interactive games are great for puppies: they’re mentally stimulating, they’re a fun way to bond with your new dog, and they’re a great way to work on some basic training skills like impulse control. From the “come hither” game to playing a game of tug-of-war, here are 5 easy puppy training games.

Tip: As with all things puppy related, keep in mind that your dog’s attention span is limited. Keep these games short and sweet, and don’t forget to stop before they get bored and/or frustrated.

The Come Hither Game/Pass the Puppy

Now I know what you’re thinking: how is it a game to teach my dog ​​to “come here”? The truth is, teaching your dog to reliably come when called can be a challenge, but turning it into a fun game can help reinforce the behavior. And if you can get the help of some friends, you can turn the “come hither” game into a game of “pass the puppy” for some extra socialization.

How do you play the Come Here game?

  1. Sit on the floor with a treat or toy
  2. Tell your puppy to “come here”
  3. When they are with you, praise them like crazy and give them the treat/toy
  4. Wait until your dog walks away and repeat steps 1-3 (you can move places/change rewards to keep things interesting)

The ‘come hither’ game is easy to play and the best part is that it is a fun way to teach your dog that good things happen when he ‘comes hither’. If you’ve ever dealt with an adolescent dog, you know how difficult it can be to get their attention – so teaching your dog to “come here” equals “yes, fun times!” when they are a puppy they can help later.

Instructions Pass the puppy

  1. Have a few people sit in the room or garden with treats/toys in hand
  2. Have one person at a time call your puppy with the “come here” command
  3. When your pup reaches it, have the person praise your pup like crazy and give him a treat/toy
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 while someone else calls your puppy

Similar to the “come hither” game, passing the puppy will help reinforce a reliable recall. And because it relies on more than one person, it’s a good way to get some extra puppy socialization in as it’s a fun and positive way to introduce your pup to new people.

5 easy puppy training games

One of my favorite ways to get some extra puppy socialization is a game of pass the puppy because it’s a positive and fun way to introduce your dog to new people.

The which hand game

A simple game you can play with your puppy is called hand play. It’s a mentally stimulating nose work game that’s good for teaching your dog some basic manners when it comes to handling treats. All you need to get started is some dog treats; If you don’t have any on hand, you can use some chopped fruits and vegetables (which are safe for dogs) or make some of your own homemade dog treats.

How do you play the game with which hand:

  • Place a treat in one of your hands.
  • Close your fists and hold them in front of your dog.
  • Let the dog choose which hand it is in.
  • When your dog sniffs or paws at the right hand, open it and give him the treat.

When it comes to the final step, it’s up to you to decide which type of signal you prefer from your dog – whether it’s a gentle sniff or a paw. With Laika I prefer sniffing because her “gentle” paw movements are still quite rough, so she only gets the treat if she gently sniffs the right hand.

If your dog gets too excited about the treats and bites your hands or claws your arms, I recommend adding the “It is your choice‘ game (see video below) first. It is an impulse control game that teaches your dog to be gentle when it comes to handling treats.

The game ‘Find the treats’

Nose work games like “spot the treats” are a great way to stimulate your dog’s mind and help him hone his natural sniffing skills. It’s a great game for puppies because it’s mentally and physically stimulating, helps increase their focus and can boost their confidence by teaching them a new skill. Plus, it’s a really fun way to bond with your new dog. And since you can teach your dog to “find the treats” in your home, this is great for puppies since you’re working in an environment that isn’t too distracting.

The “find the treats” game is simple enough: you teach your dog to sniff out the treats you hide around the house.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to make it easy for your dog until he starts to get the hang of it. Have your dog sit in the stay position while you place treats in a few different places around the room while he watches you. After placing them, return to your dog and tell him to “find the treats.” Remember to keep it fun and positive by praising them every time they pick up a treat.

Once your dog has a good idea of ​​what “find the treats” means, you can start hiding them in more difficult places, such as under rugs and on furniture. With some practice, your dog will start using his natural sniffing skills instead of visual cues to find all those treats. Once your dog is a pro, you can even start working on it in more challenging (and distracting) environments like the garden.

How to play Find the Treats with your dog:

  1. Grab a treat and have your dog sit in the stay position
  2. While your dog is sitting, place a treat on the floor around him
  3. Release your dog and tell him to “find the treats”
  4. Encourage them as they pick up the treats
  5. Practice a few times until your dog understands what “find the treats” means
  6. Place the treats further away and repeat steps 3 and 4
  7. Start by placing the treats in more difficult places that are out of sight, such as under a rug or on a chair, and repeat steps 3 and 4
Fun and easy training games for puppies

Find the Treats is a mentally stimulating game that helps improve your dog’s focus. And because candies are all you need to play, it’s easy to play in different environments.

Hide and seek

Hide and seek is another of my favorite puppy training games. It’s fun, it’s mentally stimulating, and it’s a great way to exercise your dog’s memory. If your puppy is not having proper nutrition stay command you want to work on that first. If you have a friend nearby, you can also enlist their help to hold your dog while you hide.

How to play hide and seek with your dog:

  1. Have your dog sit in a stay position (or have a friend hold your dog)
  2. Find a hiding place
  3. Call your dog
  4. Praise your dog like crazy when he finds you

To avoid frustration, keep it simple for your dog by hiding in a few easy places first. After they get the hang of it, you can start hiding in harder to find areas.

My dog ​​loves hide and seek, even though I’m not creative enough to come up with more than 3 different hiding places. It’s a great interactive game that allows your dog to use some of his natural qualities scent tracking capabilities in a fun and stimulating way.

Tug of war

When it comes to puppy training games, tug is one of my favorites. It’s great physical exercise, it’s mentally stimulating, and it’s great for teaching your dog some basic impulse control and manners. And because it doesn’t require much space, you can also play it indoors.

And contrary to what people say, tug of war will not make your dog aggressive, nor will letting him win make him dominant. Letting your dog win actually makes the game more fun for your dog and encourages him to keep playing. Research has even shown that dogs that play tug-of-war with their owners often do so more obedient and exhibit greater confidence.

When it comes to tug-of-war with your puppy, there is one basic rule you should keep in mind: the game stops when his teeth touch your hand. I usually stop the game for 30 seconds and try again, and usually give my dog ​​a few chances before putting the game away altogether. It will take a few times for your dog to understand that “the game is over when my teeth touch my person.”

Depending on your puppy, it may take a while for him to get the hang of this. Some dogs get very excited when they are playing tug-of-war, making it difficult for them to stick to the ‘no biting’ rule. If that’s the case for your pup, I recommend taking it slow when starting a new game. If you move the tug toy too quickly or start making noises, your dog is more likely to become overly excited.

What are your favorite puppy training games?

What kind of games do you like to play with puppies? Have you ever passed the puppy on for some extra socialization or played hide and seek to work on his recall? Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below.

5 easy puppy training games

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