Thinking of new and exciting games to play with your pooch can be difficult, especially if you’ve exhausted the thrills of ‘hide and seek,’ and want to play a more exciting game than ‘fetch.’
With our list of games to play with dogs outside, you can be more adventurous at playtime and enjoy the great outdoors come rain or shine!
Teach your dog to catch a Frisbee
Playing flying disc, or Frisbee, is a great alternative to throwing a stick or a ball and it’s an excellent form of exercise too! If your dog is already good at catching toys and bringing them back to you, he’ll be quick at learning how to play with a Frisbee and the game will be even more fun for the both of you.
All you need to get started is a Frisbee and the great outdoors! Begin your game by throwing the Frisbee lightly, and once your dog has gotten used to catching and retrieving you can start to increase the height and the distance of each throw.
This game is great if you’re short on time and aren’t able to go on a long daily walk. The quick bursts of energy spent running to catch the Frisbee and bringing it back will tire your enthusiastic dog out in no time!
Make a splash!
Most dogs love to play in water and will jump at the chance to dive into a lake for a swim. That’s what makes playing with your dog outside even easier if you have water nearby where you can take your dog for a quick dip – especially on a hot day!
Throwing a ball into water for your dog to retrieve is great fun – just make sure it floats, and that it is a suitable size for your dog. (Many pet stores even sell balls made specifically for dogs.) Not only will he be catching and retrieving the ball but he’ll be swimming for it too. Swimming is excellent exercise for dogs, especially those in their more senior years as it’s easy on their joints and helps improve muscular strength.
If you’re without a lake or a river nearby, let your dog make a splash in his very own paddling pool. There’s nothing more enjoyable on a hot sunny day than getting out the hose and letting your dog chase the water around the garden; helping your dog burn off lots of energy and cool down at the same time.
Agility is a fantastic way to spend time playing with your dog outside and it’s all about building up a relationship between you and your dog. It provides exercise that improves your dog’s behaviour and mental stimulation whilst allowing them to have fun at the same time – what could be better?
Your dog doesn’t need to go to agility training classes or be at competition level to enjoy jumping over hurdles and weaving round poles. To get you started, all you need is a big open space and some obstacles for your dog to manoeuvre round.
If your dog knows the basic commands such as, ‘sit’ and ‘down,’ then he’ll just need guiding round each obstacle until he almost memorises the routine. Set out some cones and guide your dog in and out of them until he can weave around them on his own. Reward him after each pattern and praise him for his hard work!
Teach your dog to play football
While you might not be able to form your own four-legged five a side team, after teaching your dog how to play football you can guarantee you’ll both be enjoying time outdoors together.
Football is a great game to play and with a quick training session, you can teach your dog to pass the ball in no time. Just make sure you use a ball that’s the right size for your dog to safely and easily pick up – you might even be able to find one made specifically for dogs! The easiest way to teach most dogs to play football is by using their noses, and by keeping the ball in your control you can stop your dog getting too carried away.
Encourage your dog to nudge the ball and reward him every time he moves it without playing with it. You can encourage him to touch the ball with a voice command and he’ll be much more likely to touch the ball if it’s moving. With every nudge he gives the ball, reward and praise him until he’s eventually dribbling the ball.
Whether you want to start training your dog to enter competitions or just want to have fun together, playing with your dog outside offers lots of benefits for both of you. It’s not just the fresh air and exercise that will do you good, but being outside lets you spend more time together and develop your existing bond too.
Take a look at our five easy tricks to teach your dog if you’re looking for even more ways to play together!