Bella’s Favourite Games

We have so much fun together playing different games, a great way to increase mental and physical activities (for both of us!).  I have spent a small fortune on different toys and activities and some have been more successful than others.  But sometimes it can be hard finding inspiration for different games for dogs.

So, I just wanted to share what Bella’s favourite games are (being a Lab, you will notice a food related trend here!):

The Kong Wobbler

This is a great way to keep her entertained. She will happily chase the Wobbler round waiting for it to spit out tasty treats.  And even when it’s empty, she’ll carry on for a bit ‘just to make sure.  You can make it really easy by putting small treats in that will easily fall straight through the hole. Or you can step it up a notch by putting larger goodies in that are more difficult to access.  I go for a mix of both so she doesn’t get bored.

All I need to say to her is ‘do you want to go and wobble?’ (silly I know!), and she goes nuts with excitement.

She also loves playing with her stuffed Kong, but she has mastered her technique so it only keeps her entertained for a maximum of ten minutes.

‘Find It’

This is a great game to play inside or outside and she just loves it. I either use some small treats or a toy.

So, I make her sit and wait in a certain spot where she can’t see me, and then I hide treats (either around the garden or around the living room).  She waits for the ‘find it’ cue, then comes running to seek out her tasty treats.  If we’re using a toy, I’ll get her to sit in the same spot, show her the toy, go off and hide it and then tell her to ‘find it’.  She knows then exactly what she is looking for – such a clever girl!

Chase

Bella absolutely loves to be chased, so if she picks up her football and pushes it into my leg, I know that’s my cue to chase her round the garden! She’s far too fast for me though, so I end up worn out and dizzy after just a few minutes.

Fetch

Now this is kind of an obvious one, but Bella loves chasing her ball, trouble is, excitement sometimes takes over and she doesn’t always want to give it back! I always use a ball on a string rather than just a loose ball as I’ve heard horror stories of dogs getting the ball lodged in their throat if they catch it at speed.  We also play fetch with a variety of toys in our local hydrotherapy pool.  And she loves retrieving her beach ball out of the sea whenever we go to the coast.

Training Time

This is just an excuse for us to have 20 minutes of play time each evening. But when she hears those two words she gets uber excited.  So, we get a handful of kibble and she has to complete a series of commands before she gets a treat.  Every few days we try and introduce a new command for her to learn.  Sometimes it goes better than others, but we have fun all the same!

Food Puzzles

Being very food-orientated we needed to find a way to slow her eating down when she was a pup.  So, as well as her slow-feeding bowl, we also have a couple of food puzzles which she loves.  We just put a little bit of kibble in each compartment and she has to work out how to open it.

Tug of War

She has certain toys that she loves to play tug with, whether it’s with a human or another dog, she really isn’t fussed.

Bath and a Brush

Being such a water baby she loves having a bath or shower, but she seems to like getting dried (I call it her ‘rub-a-dub-dub’) and brushed even more. She loves a good pamper session.

Playing with Pals

Bella doesn’t have any siblings so it’s great to let her have a run around with other dogs whenever possible. They’re much more fun for her to play chase with than me too as they have much more stamina!

A good old tummy rub!

Normally just before bedtime we have to have a little wrestle.  She starts off with a play bow and then roly-poly’s onto her back indicating she wants her belly rubbed and a good old scratch on her back.

We’d love to hear what other ideas you have for games for dogs, let us know in the comments below.

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