Having a dog and being a responsible pet owner can be a very rewarding experience. When you have children, your dog can be more than a pet – it can be a playmate and a furry family member. Your dog needs exercise, fresh air and fun just like your kids do. With a well-trained dog and children who love and respect the animal, you can supervise a variety of fun games that everyone will enjoy.
Dog training may not be your personal specialty, but simple basic obedience training is all your dog will need to learn to play with your kids safely under your supervision. Linda Cole has shared 8 positive dog training tips that work to help you get started!
Not only are games for kids and dogs fun, but they can help improve the health and fitness of your progeny and your pet. Exercise, agility, hand-eye coordination and a good, healthy sense of fun are great for your kids; playing with the family dog can prepare them for many types of sports and activities as they get older. Your dog may not need paw-eye coordination, but games can also improve their overall coordination as well as all the other high points mentioned above.
Once your dog is trained to bring items back to you and follow commands, you can easily teach your kids how to play a simple game of fetch. They can throw a toy, stick, Frisbee or ball and have the dog bring it back to them. Even if your dog isn’t a star athlete, you can still teach him the fun of catching, running, fetching and playing with your kids. Langley Cornwell has some great tips for teaching your dog to play Frisbee, which will work with other items as well!
Most dogs like to pull and tug on things; this exercises their jaws and as long as your child knows the proper amount of pulling to use it’s safe for their teeth. No matter how big or small your dog is, they will put their whole body into a game of tug-of-war that will keep you and the kids giggling and your dog very happy. The appropriate rope or toy for tug-of-war with a dog is one which is made for dogs. While any old rope with knots in it gives your canine something to pull on, these can also break and unravel causing damage to your dog’s teeth and becoming a choking hazard.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a game that all kids love. Using a dog toy that holds treats, children can hide the toy and have fun helping the dog follow his nose to find it. This is a great way to have your kids play with the dog indoors, too. The reward of a tasty Bakery Snacks treat from CANIDAE will only be part of the fun for your dog!
Watching your kids and dog play together is one of the best parts of having a family dog. These tried-and-true favorite games are fun for dogs and kids of all ages.
Top photo by Julie Corsi
Middle photo by Liz West
Bottom photo by Tony Crescibene
Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie