Fun Games Between Kids & Dogs
Due to the Coronavirus, we have been sheltering in place for several weeks now. Almost everyone is getting bored and restless especially kids since there is no school or playdates. Here are a few fun games that your kids can play with your dogs to keep them both entertained. Playtime doesn’t require new toys or a lot of money, just a few everyday items will provide hours of fun games between kids & dogs.
This indoor game requires some dry dog food, tennis balls, and an old muffin tin. Place a few pieces of dog food in a few muffin tin spots and then cover ALL the spots with tennis balls. Dogs will have fun sniffing out and removing the balls to find the snack. Your kids will enjoy seeing if they can trick their four-legged best friend. This game is great because it can keep your dog and your kids busy on a rainy day.
Outdoor Obstacle Course
For good weather days, your kids can arrange hula hoops, cones, lawn chairs, plastic buckets, and old pool noodles to create a fun obstacle course youngsters and the dog will both enjoy. Your kids can set up their props so your dog can duck, weave, and jump through each obstacle, similar to an agility course. You’ll need a fenced in yard for this activity unless your dog has very good recall.
Although soccer is better played outside, it can be played inside if your dog and kids control the ball well and you have a room that’s safe for play. Use a small soccer ball (or a tough ball that is about the size of a small soccer ball) and set up a small pop-up net or a laundry basket on its side to serve as a goal. Kids can practice their foot skills while their buddy tries to steal the ball. For young dog “siblings” looking for a challenge, shoot the ball and train your dog to fetch it for you. Just make sure you supervise to help keep both kids and pup safe.
Don’t have a goal or a makeshift net? Dogs still love to chase a soccer ball with kids! Be safe though – dogs should never be the goalie because you wouldn’t want to step on them, kick them or hit them with the ball.
If your dog is well-trained with the commands sit and stay, this game is one that could keep everyone busy for hours. Kids can use training treats or a favorite toy and tell the dog to sit and stay. Then, within his line of sight, place his object of desire somewhere he can easily get it. Next, release your excited pup from the stay position and tell him to go seek. Hide-and-seek only works if your pup is trained and obeys commands. If he’s still learning commands, try the next indoor idea.
Help the kids craft awesome tug-of-war ropes by weaving together strips of fabric from a pair of old ripped jeans. With their new toy, your kids can play tug-of-war with your pup and help him expend some pent up energy. Make sure to teach the kids how to play before letting them play unsupervised. Pulling too aggressively can injure your dog or create unwanted aggressiveness. Never pull the dog up or forward with the toy. Use gentle pulls and let your pup dictate the level of energy in each tug to ensure he and your kiddo are kept safe. Have your kids let go of the tug of war item so that the dog ‘wins’ every now and then. This is a great exercise that is sure to tucker your pup out, so if you notice he is wearing down make sure to let him rest to avoid injury.
Kids playing with dogs offers multiple benefits including exercise, teaching responsibility, and forging a strong bond between kids and their furry best friend. These fun games between kids and does will also help pass the long days of sheltering in place while we are all doing our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.
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