There are many ways to bond with your dog, like walking, training sessions or relaxing together, but we think playing games together tops them all. Here are four fun game ideas to play with your dog, using treats to encourage them.
1. The Shell Treat Game
Mental stimulation is important for dogs, to keep them sharp and avoid boredom. The classic shell game helps train their attention, restraint, and problem-solving skills, while keeping them entertained. Take three cups or small bowls, and let your dog watch you put a treat under one of them. Shuffle the cups around thoroughly, and then let your pooch select the right cup the treat is under!
Make sure to do a test run before a few times so your dog can learn how the game works, and if they don’t select the treat right, simply start again.
You can adjust the difficulty of the game by adding more cups, shuffling more, or then training your dog to tap the cup with their paw before they get the treat. It’s also a great activity to help them learn patience while waiting for you to shuffle, helping them learn to sit still and not rush for food before granted permission.
If your dog is slower to catch on, try using two cups, and placing the treat under one, then let your dog choose without shuffling them around.
2. Hide and Seek the Treat!
It’s a great indoor game that trains both your dog’s nose and orientation and can be played over time too! It’s a great game to play if you’ve just moved houses with your dog, and they are still a little unfamiliar with the area. Stash treats in hidden places and teach your dog to find them. Accompany them as they look for it and encourage them as they’re getting warmer! Our new Protein Boost bars are great for this, as you can split the bar into smaller pieces, making it a fun game to play during the holidays as your home more with your dog, or over the weekend.
3. Which Hand is the Treat In?
A brain training game that will help bust boredom and keep them on their paws! Put a treat in one hand, close your fists and then show both hands to your furry friend, letting them sniff it out. It can be a great way to also introduce new tricks, like getting your dog to tap their paw on your hand before you open it, keeping the game fresh and interesting. Our Super Snack sticks can be broken in half or smaller pieces to play this game with.
4. Treat Treasure Hunt
A treasure hunt can be a fun indoor or outdoor activity, teaching your dog to use all their senses and a brain workout. Begin simple, in an area they are familiar with like your backyard. Instruct your dog to sit or stay, then hide a treat somewhere obvious, letting your dog see you hide it. Give your dog the release cue and let them find the treat. Hype them up with encouragement to get them excited about the game! Continue raising the difficulty, by hiding the treats in different places or set up cardboard boxes to let your dog explore. Continue to get creative with different areas in your house or suburb, or even as a play date idea with other dogs to turn it into a competition!
We’d love to see you try these out! Tag us in your videos for the chance to be featured here on our website and get a social media promotion!