It’s no surprise that many people want to bond with their new pup as well as teaching them new things as soon as they bring them home. It’s also no surprise that most pups have tonnes of energy and love to play and learn too! This can be where some great learning games come in to play. If this sounds like you or you’re preparing for a new puppy, or even have an older new dog that you think could benefit, keep reading for the best learning games for puppies!
Best Learning Games for Puppies
- Name response games- ‘come back’
- Hide and Seek
- New tricks
- Name the toy
- Puzzle games
How can Learning Games Help?
Learning games can actually serve a number of purposes and benefit both you and your new pup! One thing that a lot of games achieve is increasing focus on you which will help with obedience and training as they grow up.
Learning games can also really help to improve the bond between you and your new puppy! They make sure you spend lots of quality time together and make you learn more about your new pup and their personality.
Categories of Learning Games
- Games to increase their focus such as different members of the family calling them from different locations
- Obedience games to help with training such as hide and seek
- Brain games such as learning new tricks, name the toy and puzzle games and toys
Learning Games to Increase Focus:
Games to increase focus are a great way to make sure your dog responds to you and will be able to follow future instructions and play more games in future.
Brain games are a great way to increase focus as well as your pup’s memory of new commands and improve their problem solving too!
Games to Improve Obedience:
Some games can help to increase your dog’s obedience while also keeping their focus on you to help with their training and playing games in future!
Name Response Games
This is another simple learning game that can really benefit you and your dog. Getting them used to their name is essential to your pup’s training and can especially help you with future games. This can be as simple as calling their name and giving them lots of praise when they come to you so they know they got it right and to associate them coming back to you when you call their name with praise.
You can also make this more interesting for your pup and make it fun for the whole family by getting different people in the family to call their names
Hide and Seek
This is always a game people seem to forget about but is a brilliant one for your and your pup to increase obedience.
How to play:
- Tell your dog to sit and stay, or alternatively get someone to hold them
- Find a good hiding spot- don’t make this too difficult and make sure you’re in a safe environment for your puppy to explore and find you
- Call your dog’s name and let them come and find you!
- If they are struggling to find you, keep calling their name until they do
- When they find you, give them lots of praise to let them know they did it right!
Now this one might seem simple, but lots of people forget that teaching your pup new tricks can be a great learning game for them! Not only does it help them learn to keep their focus on you and what you are saying, but also challenges them to remember what different commands or hand gestures mean.
Try simple commands and tricks at first. Some good ones to establish first are the classics- sit, stay and come back. These can be some of the most imporant when you’re out and about. But after that, try adding even more tricks and commands to keep them learning! Keep practicing all the old ones to make sure they don’t forget them but continuing to challenge their brains will keep them focussed and learning even more new things. Soon you’ll have a pup who is focussed on you and can learn plenty of tricks!
Name the Toy
This game is a great way to increase your dog’s focus on you and your commands while also challenging them intellectually! Name the toy games pretty much do what they say on the tin. Take one of their favourite toys and give it a name- something simple and distinct from other words you commonly use with them so they can easily tell this one apart but that isn’t too complicated! You can also completely control how tricky this particular game is by adding new toys if your pup gets the hang of it quickly! Here’s how to play:
How to play:
- Select of of your pup’s favourite toys and choose a suitable name (one they can easily distinguish from other words but that is still simple!)
- Get your dog’s attention and draw it towards the toy (like waving it in front of them signifying that you want to play)
- Give them the toy or throw it for them, to fetch, clearly saying the name you have given the toy or saying something along the lines of ‘go and get (insert toy name here)’
- Repeat this a number of times on different occasions so they get used to the toy and the word together
- When you think they might be getting it, have the toy placed nearby and instruct them to get the toy, using the name you’ve chosen. Make sure to use a happy and playful tone to keep them engaged!
- When they go and get the right toy, give them lots of praise to let them know that it was the right one!
- Keep practicing! If in time your pup gets the hang of this well, try adding more toys one by one with different names. You might be surprised how many they can remember as they get older!
Puzzle toys come in a huge variety and it is easy to see why they are so popular with pups and their owners alike! These are not only great for when you are in the house with them but can also help to keep them amused when you’re not home. Remember not to leave puppies alone for too long and always ask your vet for advice on how long to leave your puppy!
These can be simple treat dispensers or more complex ones depending on how easy it seems to be for your pup! The great thing about these toys is that in come cases you can increase the difficulty or just invest in a more challenging toy to suit your dog!
These are a great way of increasing your new puppy’s concentration and focus which encouraging them to use problem and puzzle solving skills!
Learning games can be a great way to help your puppy to learn new things, learn to focus on you as well as have great fun and some quality time with you!
Learning games could concentrate on their focus, their obedience or their puzzle solving abilities. Regardless of what they focus on, learning games are great for your new puppy or even a new dog that isn’t a puppy to help them learn! You’ll soon find the games that your dog likes best and they can be great fun for you both!