If you've ever had a puppy in your home, you know how much energy they can have! And if you've never had a puppy but are preparing to bring one home... well, get ready. Because puppies are so young, they not only have boundless energy, but they also haven't learned when to turn it "off." Plus, since their sleep patterns can be all over the place, they might want to play at the most inconvenient times. Thankfully, we can help your puppy playtime stress by suggesting some ideas that will be good for you and tiny Fido.
Tug and Release
This game is fun for them and good for them! Instead of simply playing tug-o-war, play "tug and release." This game is a great way to begin to teach your puppy words, as well as instill good habits in them. Tug against the toy, and then release the pressure on your end while placing your hand on the back of their head. Leave it there until they get the point and then release on their end. After they get used to this, add in the command of "release" or "drop it," in order to get them to release the toy when you ask them to.
Fun for puppy and owner! Taking your puppy with you to stores that are pet-friendly is a great way to entertain your pup while still having fun yourself, or getting chores done. With many new smells and sounds around them, your puppy will be very excited, so just be prepared to have a tight leash on them! After meeting so many people and sniffing so many things, they'll probably be ready for a big nap afterwards.
Fun with Bubbles
If you want to just sit back and chill while your puppy plays, make use of bubbles! Non-toxic bubbles are a great way to entertain your puppy, inside or outside. The motion of the bubbles is fun for puppies to try to follow, and it's even more fun when they can catch them. If you do play inside, just make sure to clean up any slippery spots left on the floor afterwards.
There are tons of puzzle games out there for puppies. These types of games uses treats as motivation and reward in order to encourage them to solve the puzzle. All of these games help strengthen your pup's problem-solving skills, which can make training a tad easier later on. Many companies have staggered toys that go up in difficulty as your puppy advances in their skills. Your puppy will love trying to figure these games out, and especially love the reward at the end.
And, of course, a good old-fashioned game of ball is sure to entertain your puppy as long as you arm doesn't get tired! Throwing a tennis ball, Kong ball, or anything else they can easily grab gives them ample exercise and hopefully teaches them to bring it back to you. Whether you're in your backyard throwing a ball around with your pup or you're simply rolling it on the ground for your dog, you'll have fun with your pup.
What are you waiting for? Go play with that pup and maybe he'll actually sleep through the night this time!