Playing is important for dogs. It helps them combat boredom and keeps their minds sharp. Plus, it makes them happy to spend time with their owners doing something they love. It's also a bonus if they get some cookies (aka treats) out of the game. We like to use these cookies for Jazzy. They are small, tasty and low-calorie. Sometimes we even break them in half to make them last longer.
Here are a few games we play with Jazzy to help stimulate her mind and keep her entertained:
Hide and Seek
Jazzy loves this game! We have her sit and stay in the living room. Then we go hide somewhere else in the house. Once we make it to our hiding place, we yell "Free!" to Jazzy and she comes running to look for us. We'll usually call out her name if she can't find us right away to give her a little hint. Once she finds us, we make a big deal about it. We'll tell her what a "good girl" she is and give her a cookie. Then, we'll walk her back to the living room and repeat the process. We haven't figured out a way to make Jazzy hide yet. Maybe one of these days. She is pretty smart, after all.
The Muffin Tin Game
This is also a favorite of Jazzy's. All that's needed is a muffin tin, some cookies and some toys or balls to cover up the treats. First, we show Jazzy that we put a cookie in the muffin tin. Then, we cover up the cookie with a tennis ball or one of her toys. We tell her "Free," and she has to use her doggy problem-solving skills to get to the treat. When she eventually gets to the treat, we make a big deal about it.
I remember the first time she was able to get the tennis ball out of the muffin tin. We were so proud of Jazzy! I looked over at Adam and told him this must be how parents feel when their kid walks for the first time.
Try these games out with your pooch! I promise you'll end up having just as much fun as they will.