Games & Competitions for Active Dogs

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Dog on hiking with woman

If you have a dog who likes to spend time with you, the best thing you could do is to keep him healthy and happy by playing with him. Fortunately, there are a plethora of different games you could engage in with your four-legged companion. We’ll be taking a closer look at the fun casual games for backyards and parks, but we’ll also see what are the best officially organized competitions for canines. Read on!

Active Games for Your Pup

Hide & Seek

Pups love playing with their parents – most of them undoubtedly enjoy playing a simple game of hiding & seek. To play it, you’ll have to tell your pooch to stay in place and then try to find a right place for hiding. It’s essential to avoid hiding too well as that might cause the dog to give up due to frustration. Once you are well-hidden, whistle or call the pooch by his name and wait for him to find you.

Another way to play this game would be just to hide a treat for your furry friend to find. First, let the dog smell the treat while holding it closed in your hand (don’t let him see it). Then, go to a different room and try to hide the treat somewhere in it. Now simply call the pup and let him try to find it!

swiss shepherd dog

Fetch

The game of fetch is as simple as it gets – the owner throws a toy, and the dog has to bring it back to him. It’s an easy and fun game that can be played almost anywhere.

But the main issue with this game is that many canines chase after a toy but refuse to bring it back. The solution for this is to wait for the pooch to pick the toy up and then run away from him – he’ll chase you with the toy in his mouth. Once he gets close to you, stop and ask him to give you the toy. Reward him with a treat if he does.

To spice the game up, you could also use a tennis ball launcher. It’s an automated device that’s capable of throwing the ball very far away, and it can even keep pup occupied while you’re not at home.

Explore Your Surroundings

If there’s one thing that dogs love, it’s tagging along when their owners go for a walk. Exploring the surroundings is yet another game you could engage in with your faithful companion – he’ll appreciate the chance to be by your side wherever you decide to go.

Some of the best places to explore together with a pup are the local beach, river, lake, forest, and the park. As long as you choose a place that’s safe for your pooch and bring the necessary equipment (food, water, treats, leash, etc.), you’re bound to have an unforgettable time together.

dog on a beach

Find the Nearest Beach

If you live close to a (dog-friendly) beach, you should consider taking your pup there as soon as possible. There’s a load of fun games you could play with him there – like a game of fetch with a Frisbee or teaching your pooch how to swim.

However, there are some precautions to take before you head out. Don’t forget to bring fresh water and some sun protection cream. Furthermore, look out for the possible dangers in the sand and make sure to pick up your dog’s pup. If you intend to teach your canine friend to swim, purchasing a special dog life jacket would be a wise decision.

Take a Bike Ride

Biking can, actually, be a remarkably enjoyable activity for both the owner and his pooch. It is best suited for medium and large canines that are in good health and don’t have a problem with doing a bit of tagging along. However, not all pups are able to run along for a long time, and some can get easily distracted and run away. There’s a solution for both of these problems:

  • The bike baskets for dogs allow the owner to easily take the dog along for a ride. They are machine-washable, comfortable, and usually feature restraint systems that prevent the pup from jumping out during a ride.
  • The dog bike leashes, on the other hand, are used to keep the energetic dogs by your side while you’re cycling. They are easy to mount and allow the owner to keep both of his hands on the handlebars.
woman biking with a dog

Running

There’s nothing quite like running together with your furry mate. Pups love to run, and they will be even happier to do so in the company of their owners. But unlike the human running partners, who are quite capable of keeping up the pace, your furry friends require some special attention.

You’ll have to make sure that your canine friend is fit enough for running. And even if he is, you should avoid running in excessively hot weather – the pooch could experience serious health problems due to exhaustion and heatstroke. Always carry some water for him and don’t run too far or too fast.

Take Funny Photos

In today’s world, it’s next to impossible to scroll through Facebook or Instagram feed without seeing at least one selfie. These are very easy to shoot and posting them is quick – so why wouldn’t you get your beloved pooch in on the fun?

Unfortunately, taking a photo together with your pet can be pretty challenging. The hardest thing is to get the dog’s attention – try to achieve this by tricking him with a treat. Never force the photo, and try to spice up the whole thing with some props, such as sunglasses, hats, and similar items.

Competitions and Sports to Do with Your Dog

Sheepdog Trials

If you are, by chance, an owner of a sheepdog, then this activity is something you definitely shouldn’t miss out on. Your pooch will have to herd a flock of sheep and lead it back to the pen while avoiding all sorts of obstacles.

Just like many other competitions of this kind, the sheepdog trials also come in more advanced versions. One of them includes separating the sheep into different groups. It’s a perfect kind of activity for all herding breeds, such as Border Collie, presenting them with both a physical and a mental challenge.

Dock Diving

This is a relatively new aquatic sport for dogs, as it began in 1997 and involves canines competing against other canines. In this activity, your pup has to jump into a pool – the winner is the pup that jumps the farthest.

This sport is slowly gaining in popularity and can be seen on the television quite frequently. All breeds can take part, but it’s the best choice for the Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.

dog jumping in the pool

Lure Coursing

As the name suggests, this sport requires dogs to chase a mechanical lure across a distance of up to 1 kilometer. The bait is made in a way to look like a live prey, for example, a rabbit. The dogs which chase this fake prey are judged on their focus on it, their agility, and, of course, their speed.

It’s a perfect choice for the hound breeds. Pups that love this activity include Whippets, Afghan Hounds, Greyhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, and Borzoi.

Obedience Trials

The name says it all – this activity is guaranteed to challenge the pooch both physically and mentally. As he’s getting better, your four-legged friend will be slowly learning how to master various commands. This usually ends with getting a formal title, such as Companion Dog or Utility Dog. A great way to become a proud owner!

dog running with a ball

Flyball

If your furry companion likes chasing balls, then this is the perfect sport him. The flyball will see canines separated into groups who then have to jump over various obstacles to reach the tennis ball.

And to retrieve this ball, the pup has to press a special pad. Once he gets the ball, he carries it back to the starting gate and allows the next dog to take the turn. It’s an activity that’s suitable for almost all breeds, especially for Jack Russells, Border Collies, and Whippets.

Disc Dog

This sport began all the way back in the 70’s and is something that challenges both the animal and its owner. The owner has to be pretty good at throwing, and his furry friend has to be even better at catching. The “Disc Dog” competitions are usually split into two distinct games – the Toss & Fetch and Freestyle.

The first one is all about how many discs your furry partner can catch during one minute. You have to throw the flying discs, and your dog has to give his best at catching them.

In the “Freestyle” game, on the other hand, the owner and his furry friend work together as a team while using a choreographed routine that’s usually accompanied by music. You will be judged on style and agility, as well as on how good your pup is at catching discs.

pup playing with a disc

Conclusion

As you can see, there are dozens of different games that you and your dog can engage in and have a great time together. There are also some dog-specific competitions that will challenge your pup’s mental and physical skill, requiring him to do his best to win the prize. No matter which one of these activities you choose for him, your furry friend will be more than grateful!

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