4 Good Games & 4 Bad Games to Play With Your Dog

“Control the games, control the dog,” says British behaviorist John Rogerson. Games can be a fun way to teach your dog leadership and control. Listed below are 4 bad and 4 good games to play with your dog.

Bad Game: Catch Me if You Can

You stomp, he runs – or worse, dog grabs something and you try to catch him to get it back. This teaches a possessive power trip for the dog, teaches him that he can out-run / out-smart / out-maneuver you. It also makes him impossible to catch if he ever gets out!

Good Game: Hide and Seek

You hide and the dog searches until he finds you. This teaches the dog to come when called and how to find you when he can’t see you … or hide a toy or a treat and encourage him to find it – an excellent “scenting” game.

Bad Game: Tug of War for Keeps

The dog wrestles the toy from you, sometimes growling, and wins, running off with the toy. A major power trip and confidence builder for your dog. Often turns into a “catch me if you can” game.

Good Game: Tug of War on Your Terms

You present the toy and invite the dog to play. You make all the rules! “Take it” “Pull!” “Out” The game begins and ends when you say so, and when the game is over, you keep the toy until the next game. This is a leadership exercise so use it sparingly. In case of over-stimulation, the game ends abruptly. Teaches self- control.

Bad Game: Throw the Ball

Dog pushes his ball at you, staring intently, ordering you to “throw the ball!” and then snatches it just as you reach for it. When he does allow you to throw it, he dances around teasing you with it instead of delivering it to you. A power trip for the dog, teaches him that he can give you orders.

Good Game: Fetch

You bring out the ball and invite a controlled game of “fetch” – the game becomes a training session: “sit” “wait” “get it” “bring it” “out” and you put the ball away until the next game. Pack leaders get to decide when and what the rules are, and when the game ends. Always stop when the dog would like to play longer. Leave him wanting more.

Bad Game: Wrestling and Play Fighting

This encourages jumping up, mouthing, biting, chasing and pits the dog’s strength against the owner. A definite confidence builder. Teaches the dog he can “run for higher office” and win.

Good Game: Tricks

Exercise your dog’s mind! Teach your dog to sit up, roll over, shake hands, or even balance a treat on his nose. This helps build brain power. Teach your dog the names of his toys or names of family members. Teach him to deliver notes or find your car keys!

Did You Know

Ailurophilia is the “love of cats.”

The nose pad of a cat is ridged in a pattern that is unique, just like the fingerprint of a human.

There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with 33 different breeds.

A cat’s heart beats twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats per minute.

The largest cat breed is the Ragdoll. Males weigh twelve to twenty pounds, with females weighing ten to fifteen pounds. The smallest cat breed is the Singapura. Males weigh about six pounds while females weigh about four pounds.

Don’t pick a kitten or a cat up by the scruff of its neck; only mother cats can do this safely, and only with their kittens.

Cats knead with their paws when they’re happy.

Calico cats are almost always female.

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