Dog Games for Christmas

dsc_4956With the holidays upon us and our dogs part of our family we need to keep them active, stimulated and ensure they also have loads of fun over the festive season, here’s some games you can play with your family and your dogs, have lots of fun!

Musical Chairs

Normal musical chairs but you walk in the circle with your dog. When the music stops, you have to put your dog in a sit/down stay and run to a chair. The one person without a chair can then try to tempt any of the other dogs into breaking their down/sit stay. If the dog breaks the stay, then the standing person gets to take over the owner’s chair.

Bucket Drop

Dog must hold toy or dumbbell until they reach the bucket and they must then drop the article into the bucket on command handlers must not take articles out of dog’s mouth and cross the line before next dog starts but last dog must retrieve an article from bucket and carry back across the start line.

The Dog Chocolate Drop Race

For this you need a large bag of dog’s chocolate drops (not human chocolate as this is poisonous to dogs) and plenty of greedy dogs.  The idea is to put several lines of choc drops starting from about halfway down the hall to the end.  The race is run in heats.  The handlers start at one end of the hall and race to the lines of choc drops with their dogs.  The dog that eats its own line of choc drops and can race back to the start with their handler wins the heat.  Handlers cannot eat the chocolate themselves.

The Sausage Race

This is really funny and you have to have rather stupid dogs to win. The race is run as a relay so you need to have the dogs and handlers in teams.  Each team lines up at the start while a sausage for each of the first dogs is placed at the other end of the hall.  The first dogs and handlers race to fetch the sausage.  The dogs must carry the sausages all the way back to the start.  Another line of sausages is placed ready for the second dogs. When the first dogs reach the start the second dogs go and the first dogs must give the sausage to the handler.  When all the teams have finished, the team with the most sausages left wins the sausage race.  My dogs were always wise to this one and swallowed the sausages whole.  Sometimes the winning team only has half a sausage from all of their dogs but it’s great fun.

The Potato and Spoon Race

This game is run in heats.  Chairs are placed a little way away from the wall at one end of the hall while the handlers and their dogs line up at the other end.  Each handler is given a spoon in which they have to carry a potato.  The spoon can only be carried in the hand that is holding the dog’s lead.  Handlers have to race from to the far end of the hall, go round the chair and back to the start.  If they drop the potato they have to stop while they put it back in the spoon.

Simon Says

All the handlers form a circle with their dogs while someone stands in the middle to give the command Simon says.  The handlers walk round with their dogs until “Simon” gives one of the commands “Simon says sit, down or stand.” The last dog to do whatever Simon says drops out and the game continues until a winner is left.  Dogs can get very excited during this game as their handlers suddenly become very animated in their commands.  You’ll need several judges to prevent arguments breaking out as to which dog was the slowest.
Musical Mats

You need a radio or CD player for this that can be turned down or switched off quickly.  You will also need a number of mats which can be spread out around the hall.  There should be one less mat than there are dogs.  If there are loads of dogs and not enough mats you can play this in two heats.  The handlers and dogs walk around the hall while the music is playing but when it stops the dog must sit on one of the mats.  The one without a mat drops out and a mat is taken away.  The game continues until you are left with a winner.
The Biscuit Eating Game

For this you need several biscuits, a long pole and some string.  Soft biscuits are best with a hole in the middle.  The biscuits are tied loosely to the string and suspended from the pole.  They need to be at suitable lengths for the size of the dogs.  You need a person at each end of the pole and a judge.  The dogs run in heats and race from one end of the hall to the suspended biscuits.  The one that eats the biscuit first is the winner of the heat.  This is usually won by a Labrador.  Other breeds have no chance!

(Don’t) pass the parcel is a fun game that can be played with one dog or more. The idea is very much the same as human pass the parcel; you wrap up a tasty treat or fun toy (something squeaky will work wonders) under several layers of wrapping. Keep your dog(s) interested by leaving some of their favorite kibble under each different layer. Sit back and watch while they go crazy trying to get through all of the layers!

Doggy treasure hunting is a fun way to engage your dog and also work on some scent exercises. Use some particularly yummy smelling treats, especially if this is your dog’s first time. Fill boxes, bags or parcels with the tasty morsels and hide them around the garden or house. Then let your dog go to work and see how many delicious treasures he can find!

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