Puppies are energetic little furballs of love and craziness! You may want to do nothing else but cuddle with them, but a lot of these curious cuties need a lot of exercise, training, and playtime. Always remember, a tired dog is a good dog. So try out these 6 fun activities with your dog to keep boredom at bay!
6 Activities to Try with Your Puppy
Pups are teething monsters who will chew EVERYTHING (yes, EVERYTHING)! A game of tug-of-war every now and then will teach them what’s okay to chew on and what isn’t. This is something most dogs do naturally, so they will understand the game pretty quickly. Make sure you only use a tug toy or a rope toy and if they pick up something that’s not okay, stop the game immediately. You can also use this opportunity to teach them commands like “leave it” or “drop it”. Be patient, use treats, and give them tons of praise when they get it right!
Take a Class Together
I cannot stress how important it is to start training your pup as soon as you bring them home. While there are some things you can do on your own, it doesn’t hurt to get professional help. After all, this is a new experience for you too and those trainers know what they’re doing. Check out puppy classes near you and look for ones that offer a good beginner’s course. These should include teaching your pup basic skills like recall (to come when called), bite inhibition, loose-leash walking, socialization, and teach you how to communicate with your furbaby. Of course, there should also be plenty of play-time!
Fetch is a classic game that dogs of all ages love! Plus it teaches pups how to focus and follow commands. When you’re starting out, make sure that you choose a toy that’s small and soft. If they don’t automatically chase the toy once you throw it, walk alongside them and encourage them to pick up the toy. Repeat it a couple of times until they get it. Then call them back with plenty of enthusiasm and their favorite treats. Pretty soon, your dog will be the master of fetch! Maybe one day he will even grab you a beer from the fridge. Never say never!
Hide and Seek
My dog Luna loved to play hide and seek when she was little and still can’t get enough of it! Start by getting a family member to hold your pup while you go hide (or just tell them to stay). Then, call their name and see if they can find you. When they do, squeal with delight and say “you found me!” and watch their tail go absolutely bonkers! There’s nothing more adorable, I swear. You can also hide your puppy’s treats and toys and give them the command to “go find”. Nose work is great for mental stimulation and it’ll tire out your energizer bunny in no time!
Build an Obstacle Course
Pups love a challenge and this one is fun for “hoomans” too. All you need is random stuff around the house and a creative mind. Use chairs, blankets, pillows, cardboard tunnels, and anything else you can think of to create an obstacle course. Use training treats or kibble to get your puppy to follow along as he conquers one hurdle after another. Since your dog’s bones are still fragile, avoid making him jump from high surfaces to avoid injury. If you’re really ambitious, you can even take it out to the yard and include cones, poles, and hula-hoops. Be sure to reward your dog with their favorite treats, cuddles, and lots of praises!
Time to Learn Tricks
Puppies enjoy learning new things and they love to please you! Teaching them tricks is the best way to keep them busy and bond with them at the same time. Start with the basics like “sit”, “stay”, and “come” or “here”. Keep repeating them until they’ve mastered it and believe me, they will. Patience is key! When you’re sure they know these, move on to party tricks like “rollover”, “say please”, and “play dead”. Learning and performing tricks will force your puppy to use their mind and ensure that they grow into disciplined, well-behaved dogs. Remember not to overwork them though and work in short sessions of 10 minutes. Also, be sure to have plenty of treats on hand. It’s all about the treats at the end of the day!
The best thing about pups is that they’re happy to try anything as long as it makes you happy! So take them on walks, let them explore the world around them, challenge them with puzzle toys, and show them how much you love them! What isyour dog’s favorite activity? Tell us below!