Many of my readers have multiple dogs in their home, and this is a fun activity that can include all of the dogs, as long as you’ve got one handler per dog. You’ll want to practice with your dogs individually for a bit so that they understand what to do, and so that they will be ready to play. If you don’t own more than one dog, think about friends, neighbors or family members who have dogs, and invite them to come over for some fun play.
The sky is the limit on what you can create for these races! You can do almost anything that your dogs will enjoy, so these games will give you an opportunity to be creative and just have fun together. This is a great activity to include kids in play, and it will help them have better handling skills with the family pet as well as teach them great and safe ways of interacting with their dogs.
To have best success and ease of play, I highly recommend that you put your dogs on leash, so you’ll have a little control. Set a specific start and finish line, and clearly mark them. One thing that works nicely, is to use regular ordinary kitchen flour. You can shake it from a cup to create your start and finish line, and it won’t harm anything.
- With your dogs at your side in Heel position, walk toward the finish line, and see who can get there keeping their dog in position the entire way, but without tugging on the leash at all! To start teaching this game to your dog, you might try walking with your dog using a tasty treat to encourage him to stay by your side. After you’ve had some practice, try to do this race with just speaking some encouragement to your dog instead of treats and see how well he will listen and respond to his handler.
- With your dogs at your side in Heel position, give each handler a plastic cup filled completely to the top with water. They’ll carry the cup in their left hand so that they can’t correct their dogs. Start walking toward the finish line, and see who has the most water left in their cup by the time they finish the race!
- To make it fun for small kids, you can use plastic teacups and water….like a tea party!
Game 3…Advanced Play:
- This is a variation of Game 2. Try playing this race with hard boiled eggs on a spoon. You’ll want to be sure that you have a dog who won’t jump up to steal the food, and keep in mind that if the egg falls off the spoon, your dog will likely quickly grab it and scarf it down. This is a game for calm dogs who walk well on leash and don’t jump up on people. It would also be good if your dog knows “Leave It” so that you can possibly snatch the egg up before he grabs it!
Don’t be discouraged if you feel like your dog needs some work. These games are designed for fun, but you can also practice useful skills all at the same time! All dogs can improve with time and practice, so don’t give up and keep trying. And even if you only have one dog, and if he has has social issues like Rugby does, you can play all by yourself, and it will give you the added challenge of sharpening your own leash and handling skills! The bottom line is….have FUN with your dog!!