Everything that you do with your dog shapes the way that they act and behave. Some activities that you do together are both fun and teach your dog valuable lessons. While you may need to send your dog to lessons with a trainer to establish the basics of good behavior, there are some enriching pastimes that educate your dog in ways a trainer doesn’t touch on. These activities that train and entertain your dog will help them learn positive behaviors while you have fun together.
Regular Walks To New Places
Dogs are only able to see the parts of the world that you let them see. Give them a wider view of the outside world by taking them on walks to new locations and paths. With each walk, you’ll be teaching your canine companion how to properly behave on a leash. Keep them close and controlled with a standard dog leash—not a retractable leash—but cut your pup some slack to explore the new sights, sounds, and smells.
Stay aware of the world around you. If you see something that may make your dog tug, brace yourself to hold them back and keep moving forward. You may see other dog owners with their companions on the trail; don’t let your dog interact with the other dog without the owner’s permission.
Trains: Leash behavior, listening skills, and social skills.
Supervised Playtime With Other Dogs
Just like how you may need to interact with people outside of your home sometimes, the same goes for your dog. Socializing your dog with other pups teaches them how to behave and play safely with anyone. With you and the other dog owner watching, you’ll both be able to step in at a moment’s notice if either one starts playing too rough.
If you don’t have as much time to spend socializing your dog with other dogs or you don’t have any dog-owning friends, it may be difficult to build up their social intelligence. While not an activity, you may consider leaving your dog with a trusted friend or family member for a day to broaden their horizons. You can also consider taking them to doggy daycare or a boarding service, but make sure to learn everything about the facility before leaving your furry friend with them—some daycares and boarders may not provide supervised playtime.
Trains: Social skills, boundaries, and proper play etiquette.
Hide and Seek
You may have seen videos of people playing hide and seek with their dogs or where the owner throws a sheet into the air before disappearing behind it right in front of their pet. Hide and seek is a fun activity that trains and entertains your dog and solidifies the bond between the two of you. Train your dog to sit and stay until you give the command to come and find you. Reward them and raise the difficulty each time they succeed!