Sometimes a simple walk can get old for your pooch. Playing games with your dog is the perfect way to get them the exercise they need.
Step 1: Hide and seek Give your dog the sit and stay command. Then hide in any part of your house. Call out their name once you are hidden and let them find you.
Step 2: Fetch Toss a tennis ball around the yard or at the park and let the dog go get it. Train the dog to get the ball and bring it back so you can throw it again.
TIP: If your dog has a lot of energy to burn, hold onto their collar for about 10 seconds after you've thrown the ball and then let them run after the ball.
Step 3: Jump the hurdle Use two buckets and a broom to create a hurdle. Stand on the opposite side of the broom as your dog, then teach them to jump over the broom to you. Use a treat to lure them over.
Step 4: Tug Play tug-of-war with one of your dog's toys. Pick up the toy and encourage your dog to bite the other end. Tell them "tug," and then "drop it."
TIP: Only play tug-of-war when you initiate it. If you let the dog start the game they may start to tug on things they shouldn't -- like your furniture.
Step 5: Find the treat Hold a small treat in one hand and nothing in the other. Close both your hands into fists and ask your dog which hand the treat is in. They'll be able to sniff both fists and figure out which hand the treat is in.
Step 6: Practice jump, sit, and stay Use an ottoman as a platform and encourage the dog to jump up onto the ottoman. The trick is to get them to sit and stay for five seconds before jumping back off. Repeat until it's time for both of you to play "nap time."
FACT: In 2009, the most popular dog in America was the Labrador retriever.