12 Dog Training Games to Strengthen Bond and Skills (2023)

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Dogs have a lot of energy stored and need to be active to release all that energy. Many types of Dog Training Games include Obedience, Brain Training, Fitness, Self-Control, and Scent Training.

However, you need games that can be played with any type of dog breed and size. 

Hence, we have compiled a list of 12 Dog Training Games for you to play with your furbaby and the procedure to play them properly.

Take this list as an inspiration and try out all these games with your dog. As a cherry on top, you can improvise these games with more challenges.

So, let’s take a quick look at the best Dog Training Games that are the easiest to play with your dog.

12 Dog Training Games to make your dog smarter

Dog Training Games To Make Your Dog Smarter

Here are our top 12 picks for the Dog Training Games that will help you make your dog smarter and your life easier with an obedient dog. Let’s take a look at each of them individually.

1. Chase Recall (Obedience or Recall Training)

Dog training game- Chase Recall

This game requires fast physical movement to make your dog run behind you. Dogs naturally get excited when they see something moving fast; hence, you only need to get your dog excited and make him chase you.

How To Play?

1: Stuff a pouch with your dog’s favorite treats.

2: Ask your dog to come by giving a ‘Come’ command and go a few steps back.

3: Keep running back and let your dog chase you for a long distance whenever he comes closer.

4: Repeat it multiple times.

5: Try turning your back on your dog while running backward.

6:  Reward your dog when they catch you.

2. The Name Game (Obedience or Recall Training)

The Name Game (Obedience or Recall Training)

This game is a way to have fun while teaching your dog his name. With this training game, he responds quickly and runs to you whenever you call out your dog’s name. This training is helpful for your dog to get rid of his excessive energy in gloomy weather.

How To Play?

1: Get a bunch of treats.

2: Throw treats on the floor to distract your dog from where you are standing.

3: Call out your dog’s name happily when he finishes the fetched treat.

4: Praise the dog after he gets the treat and throws another one in another direction.

5: Repeat this game by throwing the treat away from your body.

3. Join The Dots (Obedience or Lead Walking Training)

Join The Dots (Obedience or Lead Walking Training)

This can be played outdoors by creating a visual target to walk towards. You must also prepare treats to reward your dog in between the game.

How To Play?

1: Create and put some visual markers like cones, boxes, or anything that you can use to play with, and keep them two steps apart from each other.

2: Now, walk toward the first cone and praise your dog by saying, ‘Good,’ and treat your dog when your dog comes to you at the spot.

3: Do the same after walking towards the second cone. Then, stop and put the treat on the cone’s spot.¬†

4: Repeat this exercise by dropping treats at different cone spots. (Do you understand the benefit of this game?)

5: Try increasing the distance between the spots once your dog is better at this game.

4. Shadow Game (Obedience or Lead Walking Training)

Shadow Game (Obedience or Lead Walking Training)

This game will make your dog stick to you all the time. This activity will help you keep your dog’s pace while walking alongside. 

How To Play?

1: Keep your dog’s favorite treats with you.

2: Start walking and let your dog lead you.

3: If the dog maintains his pace with your pace, praise and reward your dog. 

4: If the dog gets ahead, turn a little away from your dog and drop the treat on the floor.

5: When your dog is eating the treat, start walking forward, and then when your dog follows you and catches up to you, reward them with a good treat.

5. Digging Pit (Brain Training)

Digging Pit (Brain Training)

Digging is one of the dog’s favorite games, and it would add more fun when you help your furbaby dig a pit in your backyard, giving him a special place to play. 

How To Play?

1: Make your own digging pit with the help of your dog. 

2: Bury your dog’s favorite toys under a layer of mud or soil and command your dog to find them.

3: Now, if your dog is used to this training, all you have to do is keep hiding the toys and ask your dog to find them.

6. Muffin Tin (Brain Training)

This game is lower in cost and very easy to teach your dog some problem-solving training. It works great in making your dog think better and faster.

How To Play?

1: ¬†Get a set of six muffin tins, six tennis balls, and some of your dog’s favorite treats.

2: Place a small portion of the treats in each of the muffin tins and place the tennis ball on top of it.

3: Ask your dog to find the treats and then he will take out the tennis balls and eat them underneath them.

4: If you want to increase the game’s difficulty level, only add treats to some tins.

7. Home Agility Jumps (Health and Fitness Training)

This game doesn’t require going outdoors. All you need to play this game is your own obstacle course, and ask your dog to finish the course by going through the obstacles one by one. You can even play this game with a bunch of books. 

How To Play?

1: Set up two piles of books and attach broom handles at both ends to each pile for your dog to jump over them.

2: Try throwing a treat when your dog jumps and see if you can get the treat.

3:  If the dog succeeds, reward your dog with an even better treat.

8. Quick Sits (Health and Fitness Training)

This game is specifically made for puppies and helps them learn how to respond to cues faster. Plus, it is effortless to learn. Small dogs can also learn it quickly.

How To Play?

1: Get a few treats before playing.

2: Ask your little furbaby to sit.

3: Praise your dog with a ‘Good,’ then throw some treats at a distance so the dog has to run to get the treat.

4: When your pup turns and looks at you for a new treat, command your dog to sit again.

5: When the pup sits, mark the action as ‘Good’ and throw another treat a little further.

6: Repeat the same game until you and your dog tire.

9. Puppy Zen (Self-Control Training)

Puppy Zen (Self-Control Training)

This might sound like dog yoga, but it’s nothing complicated but simple eye contact training. Plus, it shows your dogs that you are paying attention to your results in getting treats.

How To Play?

1: Get some yummy treats for your dog and set a word command to say to your dog when he succeeds.

2: Hold some treats in your hand and keep your hand at your eye level and on either side of your face. Hold as high so your pup won’t catch it, but you should also be able to see the treat.

3: Try to turn your dog’s head to your face and say,’ Good’ to your dog in a rewarding voice and give the dog the treat in your hand.

4: Repeat this activity in a loop and have your dog follow your commands and pay attention to you.

10. Smart 50 (Self-Control Training)

This game is designed for dogs of all ages and stands for See, Mark, And Reward Training 50 times daily. This game makes your dog think and also teaches your dog better manners. After this training game, you will have the dog you desire when getting an independent, confident, and highly motivated dog for yourself.

How To Play?

1: Get 50 pieces of treats.

2: Put these treats in an accessible place.

3: When your pup does something that displays good manners, reward the dog with praise like ‘Good’ and a treat.

4:  Follow this activity throughout the day and when your pup does something well, like sleeping in their dog bed, patiently sitting while waiting for their meal, and not jumping around in the house.

11. Find The Toy (Scent Training)

Dogs are better known for their ability to smell things from afar. In this game, you must use this ability to hide your favorite toys around the house. This way, your dog will learn how to use their sniffing and strengthen your bonding as a team. 

How To Play?

1: Get your dog’s favorite toy and throw it away while asking your dog to fetch it.

2: Praise your dog when he brings the toy back to you.

3: Make it more challenging by hiding the toy somewhere accessible to your dog.

4: Command your dog to find the toy and cheer for your dog when he finds it.

5:  Keep making it more challenging for your dog to find the toy each time you hide it and turn the game into a Hide and Seek game.

12. Drag Race (Scent Training)

This game involves a lot of sniffing around for your dog. All you need for this game is your dog’s favorite treats or some pieces of meat that your dog loves to eat. Also, remember it might be a little messy, and you can only play this game outdoors to not dirty your house.

How To Play?

1: Fill a small bag with your dog’s favorite treats or meat and make a small hole in the bag’s bottom, allowing some liquid to drop.

2: Tie the bag to a string.

3: Drag the bag with the string on a short and straight path, and let the liquid drop through the hole you made in the bag.

4: Place a prize at the end of the path which your dog will love.

5: Reward your dog with the prize at the end of the path and praise your dog.

Drag Race (Scent Training)

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Wrapping Up! Dog Training Games

Training sessions could be more fun and exciting if they are turned into games. So, you can refer to the above list containing 12 Dog Training Games that can be played indoors and outdoors.

These games don’t require many accessories and are fun for you and your dog. 

Additionally, they are helpful in improving your dog’s physical and mental abilities while exploring new games with their favorite human.

The best part of Dog Training Games is that you can create your own set of games and add them to the list above as a collection.

Have fun playing these games with your pup!

FAQs: Dog Training Games

Which commands are most frequently taught to dogs?

The ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ are taught most frequently to dogs, primarily by their owners.

Why do dogs get bored on walks?

If you repeat the same daily routine to go on a walk, your dog will get bored. 

What are the three key factors in dog training?

The three most important key factors in dog training are Patience, Consistency, and Fun. The amount of fun your dog has is dependent on these factors.

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