I hope all of you are well during this crazy time in our lives, where nothing is for sure from day to day and we have no normal in anything we do right now. I decided to write about having fun with our dogs since many of us are home with our dogs more than normal.

There are lots of ways to have fun with our dogs, probably more ideas then I have room to list or even know of! So, I will take a few minutes to talk about the most common ways I have fun with my dogs.

My most favorite way to have fun with my dog, is to take one or two with me when I go horse back riding, they love to go out exploring running through the brush following their noses. One thing that is really important for your dog to have down before you take a dog out on a trail ride is, they must have a good recall! It is unsafe to go out with a horse and a dog if you can’t call your dog back to you. Once your dog has gone with you a few times he will learn to come back and check in with you every now and then and then you don’t have to be as worried about them wondering away and not knowing where you are.

Hiking is another fun activity you can do with your dog, and this can be done even if you are still teaching a solid recall as you can have them on a long line and work on recall as you are hiking. We have lots of places around here that you can hike/walk that you would rarely see another dog on. Which is nice it you have an unfriendly dog.

Then there are games you can just do in your back yard. Some of those things are fetch, you can use a ball, a stick or a frisbee. If your dog is not good about bringing it back then you can put them on a long line so that you can pull your dog back to you once they have picked up the object. You can also play ‘Find it”, hide some thing your dog really likes, maybe the ball, or frisbee and then say ‘Find it’ at first you might have to walk closer and closer to it until your dog finds it, one thing that can help teach this is to put a trail of little smelly treats leading up to the object, this can be very helpful when you first start teaching this. Always praise and reward your dog as soon as your dog finds the object! ?

Some of the games you can play in the house that are a lot of fun are “Tug O War”, you can make a tug with an old sock or rag with a coupe of knots tied in it. Start by dragging it on the floor to get your dogs attention. And you can always play fetch in the house with a ball. You can also play “find it” in the house to.

 I hope these ides help you find a way to have fun and enjoy the extra time you have to spend with your dog right now. Our dogs can be great stress relievers, so relax and have some fun.