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Fun Games to Play with Your Puppy

January 4, 2023 | Categories: Petcare

Fun Games to Play with Your Puppy

Having a good selection of puppy games on hand is a lifesaver for those times when all your little one wants to do is play, play, play! While having a variety of the best puppy toys on hand will go down well with your puppy, it’s also nice to mix things up and add some variety to your dog’s day.

One of the most important things for a pet parent is learning to play with their puppy. Playtime is essential because it gives your growing dog the physical and mental stimulation it needs to be happy and healthy.

Playing with your puppy daily is fun for them, but it also burns calories, makes them stronger and more resilient, and sharpens their young minds. Playtime is also a great way to keep your puppy entertained and out of mischief.

But what games should you play? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite puppy games. Let the games begin!

The Name Game

Your puppy’s name will be one of the first things they must learn. That may seem simple enough, but learning generalized behaviors is difficult for young puppies. In this case, “generalized behavior” refers to your puppy responding to his name in the same way at home or at a dog park with you. In general, you want your puppy’s behaviors to be generalizable. You don’t want him jumping up on your guests at home, and you certainly don’t want him jumping on strangers at the park. He should never “jump up,” no matter where he goes.

However, where puppies learn to do or not do certain behaviors can become associated with where they learn the rule. When you call your puppy’s name at home, for example, he will readily respond, but when you go to the park, he will ignore you.

This is why we recommend you make it a habit to play the name game with your puppy. Start slow and warm up to your puppy. Make this an experience to remember. Use your puppy’s kibble during feeding. Sit on the ground with the puppy and say their name. When they look at you, give them a piece of their kibble. This makes dinner time fun and filled with training. Play the same name game outside on walks. Don’t forget the treats! Call your puppy’s name and give them a treat the second they look at you and continue that throughout your walk. These sweet experiences will bring a closer bond between you and your puppy.

The Shadow Game

Nothing beats taking your dog for an off-leash walk on a hike or in a dog park. This is a great long-term goal to work toward, and if you start now while your puppy is young, you have a good chance of having an obedient dog who will heel when necessary later in life. The key is to teach your puppy the rules and benefits of walking next to you when he is off-leash. The best way to do this is to reward him with the shadow game.

Begin at home in a quiet area with your puppy on a leash. Prepare some treats to reward him and begin walking around in any direction. Give your puppy a treat whenever he catches up to you. If your puppy gets ahead, turn around and throw a treat on the ground. Walk ahead a few paces while your puppy eats the treat, but be prepared for him to catch up to you and give you another treat when he does. Go forward, backward, sideways, fast, slow, and in any direction you want. Your puppy should be following you like a shadow the entire time.

If you play this game at home regularly, you will eventually be able to remove your puppy’s leash and see how he does. You will notice they would show more interest in following you like a shadow than sprinting away, but this will take time, so be patient. As they get more comfortable, they will also gain a greater deal of self-control. It’s now time to enjoy the outdoors. Be aware, when you try it in public the dog must be on leash so you set them up for success. There are many distractions outdoors and safety always comes first.

Play Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is a fun game for your puppy that allows him to practice using his senses of smell, hearing, and logic to find you. This could come in handy if you get separated on a hike later in life.

We recommend starting the game inside first, then moving it outside if you have a large backyard with hiding places. You’ll eventually be able to play this game in a larger outdoor area, but you may find that the interior of your home offers the best hiding spots.

Make sure to have treats on hand for the first game. When you start walking away from your puppy to hide, keep your puppy in sight and don’t go too far. If you “hide” the first time, it’s clear where you are. You can hide once he understands the game by going to a different floor of your house and tucking yourself out of sight.


Having a friend “play” with your puppy can be beneficial while you hide. Call your puppy when you’re out of sight, and reward him when he finds you. When your dog understands the game’s concept, expand the hiding places to include the entire family so he can find each of you individually.

We wish you a wonderful new year bonding with your pet! 


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