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Entertaining Your Little Mate

Why play games with your pooch?

Games are a great source of exercise for your little mate no matter what age they are! Use active games to get them moving and brain stimulating games to get them thinking. Try to play with your dog at least twice a day for about 15 minutes each time. This is important for your dog’s mental and emotional well-being as well as bonding time for you and your best friend.

Here’s some fun games that anyone can try with their dog.

Remember: It will take time to teach your little mate the commands. BE PATIENT, and always use positive reinforcement and treats to REWARD the correct action for the command.

  1. Let’s play a Tug-of-War! Choose a long, soft toy with rope so you can grip the toy away from your dog’s mouth. Associate a command such as “Get it” to encourage the game, play for 10-20 seconds before using another command such as “Drop it” to end the game.

  2. Let’s play Fetch! Some pooches are bred for fetching, but all dogs love this game. Use a ball or a disc that can be thrown a distance. Avoid sticks that can cut your dogs mouth.

    Have your dogs attention on the toy while it’s in your hand then throw the toy for them to retrieve. Call your little mate back to you and use the command “Drop it” before throwing it again. Reward your dog for bringing the toy back with praise or if you are introducing the game, use some treats.

  3. Let’s play Hide-n-Seek! This game encourages your pooch to use his sense of smell. Use the command “Stay” to stop your dog from following you, then take your dog’s favourite toy and hide somewhere in your backyard or house. Call your mates name once and reward him with a game of tug-of-war once he finds you.

    TIP: Start the game off easy, then make it harder – eventually you can be out of sight and your little mate will be a pro with his nose!

  4. Let’s learn Vocabulary! Teach your best friend the name of his toys. When you hand over the toy, say the name. For example, say “Leo” as you give your dog this toy. Work on this to build up the word association with the toy. Then with Leo Lion on the floor, say “Go get Leo”, Your pup should recall the word and go fetch the toy. Remember one word names are best!
Top tips for lasting play:
  • Have several toy options – different toys for different games such as– Rope, Throw, Chew and Snuggle toys
  • Don’t leave toys lying around. Hide some toys away and rotate the toy offering to create new excitement for your pup!
  • Don’t use household items like old shoes as toys. Your pup cannot tell the difference between your new shoes and old shoes so you’re asking for trouble!
  • Have interactive toys to keep your pup occupied while home alone. Toys that hold treats are perfect for long-lasting entertainment! Try our Rufus Junior or Rufus Mini treat storing toys.

Make sure you keep an eye for signs of wear. Take the toy from your pup if breakage occurs. A dog’s bite strength can be up to 148kg there isn’t much a dog cannot destroy.

View the Rufus & Coco range of toys