Play Time With Your Puppy

December 15, 2018

You love dogs.

You may have always wanted one…or two. You search “small dogs for sale near me,” online and you make the life-enriching choice of getting a dog. Your home life has changed and you’re all in with your new dog! You’re ready to let the fun begin and we’re gonna show how to amp it up a bit. Here are some fun games you can play with your new puppy while also teaching him some special skills.


Fetch is a favorite and very common game. You see it all of the time, but just in case you haven’t, it’s the process of teaching your dog to retrieve an item. Your dog learns to come when called and to get the toy or item you ask. The goal is to get your puppy to come to you, sit and stay, while you throw a toy, and he is then encouraged to get it. Keep some treats handy and always praise him when he brings it back. Go all out and over-the-top with your praise so that he knows this is the intended goal. Once he’s back to you with the item, tell him “drop it” and then praise him all over again when he does! The two of you will have tons o’ fun doing this. (BTW, this is a good form of exercise for your dog, as well. We call this a win-win situation!)


Just as with fetching, agility games are ways to get your dog moving and thinking. Perhaps you didn’t think that searching “small dogs for sale near me” could potentially mean that you’d be teaching a dog agility tricks. The sky really is the limit, whether your dog is small or large. Puppies in general love jumping and navigating obstacles. They’ll do this on their own by sprinting around the house or in a particular room just for fun. Why not make it a little more challenging and rewarding?

Did you know that you don’t need a large yard to create an obstacle course? You can do this right in your home with blankets and chairs and treats. Use the treats to lure your pup as he follows the course. Reward him when he conquers the obstacles and, you’ve got it, start the praising! As he gets used to it, you can branch out and start making other obstacles, both inside and outside, if you have space. You’ll be surprised at how fast your pup picks up on this game and just how enjoyable it is.


Tug-of-War is another popular game and believe it or not, you can teach your puppy commands with this game as well. They’ll learn how to drop a toy and when to pull or not. Here’s how it goes. Hold on to your pup’s favorite toy and offer it to him until he grabs it. Start tugging it back and forth, pulling harder and harder (within reason). Every once in a while, let your pup “win” by letting it go. You know what’s next…praise! Only praise him when he “wins,” and you can also give him a treat. Be careful not to reward behavior that includes biting or grabbing on anything other than the toy that you’re using. You can incorporate the “drop it” command and give your puppy a treat if he listens to you. The next time you play the game and he “wins”, he’ll be anticipating a treat. But guess what, you’ve actually “won,” too because Googling “small dogs for sale near me” has proven to be rewarding.