ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dog and Puppy Games

Updated on March 25, 2022
angela_michelle profile image

Angela is a cat and dog lover who has made special efforts to learn as much as she can about the animals she cares for.

Playing with your dog is important for their emotional and physical health.
Playing with your dog is important for their emotional and physical health. | Source

Training Games

Taking care of your new puppy is a big responsibility. From clipping its nails, brushing its teeth, getting or not getting pet insurance, to training your dog. Many people think of training your dog as an arduous task, but training should be a time for fun and play. These games are excellent training methods, but remember:

  • Keep voice pleasant
  • Praise a lot
  • Make it fun for your dog, and you

These games are so fun, you and your dog may forget the games are part of his training.

Soon you will be able to play fetch anywhere. Some water loving dogs will even swim out into a lake to retrieve their ball.
Soon you will be able to play fetch anywhere. Some water loving dogs will even swim out into a lake to retrieve their ball. | Source


Everyone has heard of the game fetch. Unfortunately, owners often find fetch synonymous with a tug-of-war, which should not be the case. By adding training elements to a game of fetch, you teach the dog that he does not have to be dominant to enjoy the game, he will learn many of the basic commands more quickly, and you will have a game that will be a lifetime of fun for you and your pet.

There are four main commands you will be using when playing fetch. Because many of these are commands used in real-world circumstances, it makes fetch one of the greatest training games. The commands include: "fetch," "come," or "this way," "stay," or "sit," and "drop it."

  • The command "fetch" is self-explanatory. You want to say this as you are throwing the ball. Regardless of whether you say it, your dog will likely chase the ball. By stating "fetch," it tells your dog you are in the mood to play and want to play by your rules, not his. Once the dog understands the game's rules, the other three commands will become obsolete.
  • After you throw the object, call your dog back to you. The most common command is "come," although I choose to say "this way." You want to select the word you will use when you are going for a walk, and it is time for him to stop sniffing and follow you. I ALSO PAT MY LEG TWICE when I say, "this way," I also pat my leg twice. Since my dog knows what to do when I pat my leg and the word command, I often can pat my leg when I want to make a request but do not wish to speak, like when my family is asleep.
  • He must know not to run off with it once he comes back, preferably with the ball. So you want to teach one of two commands, "stay" or "sit." You are telling your dog to be patient. I will throw the ball again. For this reason, I chose to say "stay." "Sit" is a good choice if your dog needs extra work on the "sit" command in a more playful setting.
  • Regardless of the command you choose, it is a good idea to use a hand signal. "Stay" should be followed up with a stop sign with your hand. With "sit," point your finger at the ground. These hand gestures will be invaluable as your dog gets older and no longer can hear very well. Also, these gestures are discreet for a while you have visitors since you don't always want to interrupt your friend talking by commanding your dog.
  • The final command has been the most critical command I have ever taught my dog. It not only saved a neighbor's pet bird that he caught from being injured but also saved many of my daughter's toys and things that could have hurt him as well. This command is "drop it."
  • The best way to teach a dog to drop something is to say "drop it," then firmly tap the bottom of their mouth after a two-second pause. Most dogs will instantly drop whatever they are holding when you hit their chin. Some more stubborn dogs will not. Then say "drop it" again and tap harder without injuring your dog. They will soon understand. They are expected to drop what they have in their mouth immediately. Very rarely will your dog resist. Once he knows this command, you will not have to tap them on the chin after that. My dogs both picked up on this very quickly.
  • Playing fetch is one of the few moments to adequately teach the "drop it" command. By introducing this command, you will find that chasing your dog when carrying around your underwear is a thing of the past. More importantly, it is an excellent way to protect him from chewing on something that could harm him, like nail clippers or dangerous plants to dogs.

Of course, as with any game, you want to make sure you praise your puppy a lot. Initially, praise your dog after each command, but after a few days, it is good to wait to praise him until after he has done all four. By waiting, you will reinforce that when he plays fetch, he is expected to fetch, come, stay, and drop it, each time whether you say each step or not. In the early stages, do not hesitate to praise, just because you had to force him into the sit position or pat underneath his mouth to get him to drop his toy. They need to know that if they obey, you are pleased.

When you first begin playing follow-the-leader with your dog, use a leash; soon he will be able to go off leash.
When you first begin playing follow-the-leader with your dog, use a leash; soon he will be able to go off leash. | Source


Follow-the-leader is another fun game for the dog and yet trains them basic commands used in everyday life. The basic commands you will want to use are "come" or "this way" (I prefer "this way"), "stay," "sit," "lay." Then you can add many others like "rollover" once your dog understands the basic, more useful commands.

You will begin with your dog on his leash. The object is to make sure he never tugs or pulls on the leash and follows you. You can do this as you walk around your yard or even inside your house. Begin by patting your leg as you use a follow me command, like "this way," which signals that it is time for him to pay attention to you, not the world around him. As you are walking, he should walk with you. If he pulls on the leash, remind him by patting your leg and calling him. If he pulls hard, it may be good to get a choke collar. They do not harm him but make him uncomfortable enough to be trainable.

Soon he will learn when you walk- he walks; when you stop- he stops. If he halts without a fight, praise him and continue walking. Once he realizes that when you stop, he needs to stop, you can begin with the commands. Do not start with the other commands until he masters this one instead.

After walking for a moment, stop and say a command with an appropriate hand signal. I usually put my hand up like a stop sign for "stay," point to the ground for "sit," bend over slightly with your hand like a backward stop sign pointing at the ground for "lay." Once he feels you stopping, he should listen and look at you, then obey these commands.

To teach the "sit" command, you need to place pressure on his rump as you pull up on his leash slightly. Sit should be pretty easy to learn, especially if you use lots of praise. Some people choose to use treats, but I admit I don't, yet my dog is well-trained. Dog treats may cause them to learn more quickly, but praising them can be sufficient.

When you use the "lay" command, you want to tug the leash down as you put pressure on their rump. By pulling down, it will teach your dog what you expect. Getting your pup to lay is more beneficial in the long run than to sit, despite most people's insistence on using the "sit" command.

I say this because lying down is more comfortable than sitting down for your dog; therefore, it is more useful if you want your dog to stay in one position for long periods, like when you answer the door. Your puppy may begin to squirm if you have him stay in the "sit" position too long, especially when they are a young puppy or an older dog that has joint issues.

For the "stay" command, you should be able to drop the leash, walk away, then say "release," and he should know to come to you. You may need to practice a lot. You also may need to reposition him in his original spot many times before he learns to stay.

When you first are teaching your dog these commands, make sure to lay the praise on thick, even if you had to force them in the position. They will only learn what you expect by praising them when they do well. Your puppy will soon search for the praise by doing it more quickly and quickly. Soon you will not have to guide their body.

Follow-the-leader makes a great game; soon, you will be able to have your dog follow you anywhere off-leash. Follow-the-leader also gives them opportunities to do many commands while receiving individual attention. They will love the extra attention, all while having fun!


Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek is an enjoyable game for you, your company, and your dog. You will need to use your puppy's favorite toy with this game. It's essential to name its toy so your pup knows what it's called. For instance, my dog loves his squirrel. So we often will say, "Here's your squirrel," when we give it to him. He now knows what "squirrel" is.

When beginning the game, you want first to say, "Where's your (squirrel)?" and point to it, so he knows you want him to get it. Once he grabs it, praise him and make a huge deal about him finding it. As he learns what you expect, it is fun to hide their toy, much like you would hide for a four-year-old, somewhere not too obvious but where they can find it by looking around the room. As the dog gets better at this game, you can hide it in better and better spots. Soon he'll be able to find it just by his sense of smell.

This game is also a training tool by teaching the dog to go into another room while you hide it. I use the terms "inside," "outside," "upstairs," and "downstairs." These are important commands, as they will make leaving your house much more manageable. Another command to use is "stay," which you would use once he has gone to the appropriate spot before the game begins. Once he is allowed to come out, then say "release" or "this way," so he knows he may break the "stay" command.

The " drop it " command is another command you can teach through this game is "drop it" command. You want your puppy to willingly give up his toy so you can hide it again. You do not want to play a game of tug-of-war because then it's a game of wills, not training. Soon the dog will love playing hide-and-seek, and you may find him bringing you his toy when he wants you to hide it.

Playing games with your dog is extremely important. They will not only bring you and your dog closer together but also teach them that you are more than just a roommate. Many games can teach your real-life dog commands that will make owning your dog much more manageable. Also, playing many of these games with your dog will make him calmer and more contented because he has an outlet for his energy.

Although playing typical games is essential, having the right toys to help your dog is necessary. Kongs are magnificent toys to keep your dog active for hours. They will chew and lick on it, trying to get the treat inside. If you run out of treats, placing peanut butter inside will keep your dog preoccupied for a long time, ideal for chewers like my dog.

Skeezix with Big Rawhide Bone

© 2012 Angela Michelle Schultz


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)