Dog Games and Exercise - Teach Your Dog Agility When Having Fun Playing Games

  • 02/11/2010

Helping your dog stay healthy is not only important but it adds an important component to your relationship. There are a number of ways you can find to help your dog stay healthy. I believe the starting point for a healthy dog is to understand proper nutrition. Although I will be discussing fun games that you can play with your dog I believe that understanding dog nutrition is also a very crucial part of your dog's health. Studies have shown that dog obesity can take two to three years off of your dog's life.

I am not a dog owner just to own a dog. I am a dog owner because I love spending time with my dog and I understand that keeping my dog active is crucial to its health. I have found along the way some great fun games that you can play with your dog that can also teach agility and strengthen obedience commands such as stop, sit and stay.

Now depending on your yard situation you may have to scale these games a little differently. The three games that I will share with you are The Jump and Sit, The Tightrope Tease and then the Circus Act. After every game be sure to give your dog a lot of praise and a healthy drink of water

The Jump and Sit.

The Jump and Sit is a great way for your dog to strengthen its leg muscles. Depending on the size of your canine friend you need to find a few things that will be easy to jump over. With this exercise starting low or small is always best because you will find that your dog will be a little hesitant at first.

Once you have found a few things to jump over such as a milk crate or cardboard box lay them out in a circle in your yard. First show your dog what you would like it to do, watch out it may just follow you. Now that you have shown your dog what to do, start by leading the dog over the jump with a leash. When you have your dog over the jump be sure to praise your dog and give a favorite treat. Eventually you can work up to the dog jumping over the object, stop and sit and then proceed to the next jump on your command.

The Tightrope Tease

The Tightrope Tease can be played on anything that the dog can walk on. I happen to use a couple of six foot long 4 x 4 posts. I lay them on the ground and then have my dog walk along the post, just like a balance beam. If my dog slips off or decides to step off before getting to the end we go back for another try. I call it the Tightrope Tease because the reward is not giving until we accomplish this exercise five times without stepping off.

When playing this game I like to reinforce the command Stay. As my dog comes to the end of the beam I command her to stop and stay until I give her the command to go. Also to add a little variety to this game you can place the objects used in the Jump and Sit and place them between your tight-rope. If you do not have anything for your dog to walk on you can also use some rope or string and create an outline or narrow path that you have your dog walk through.

The Circus Act

The Circus Act can be a really fun game. If you want to play this game with your dog it requires you to get a little dirty. You start with either Hula Hoops or big cardboard boxes which you can pick up from any local appliance store or electronics store like Best Buy. You set up these items in such a way that you will be crawling through them.

At first your dog may be a little hesitant to crawl through a big box or the hula hoops if you have draped something over them but eventually your dog should over come this. The key is to make it very playful. You may even find yourself playing a game of hide and seek if you are using the boxes. Spending time with your dog exercising and having fun is rewarding for both you and your best friend. You will be surprised how much these exercises will benefit your relationship and also improve obedience in a fun way.

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