Let's face it. Sometimes puppies can be a little crazy, especially when they are chasing and nipping your kids! Dog trainers often tell parents to try and keep kids and puppies from playing too rough together, but then the question becomes: How CAN my kids play with the puppy? Here are 5 games that are super-fun for kids and puppies to play together!
1) Hide and Seek. Someone holds the puppy while a child hides (somewhere easy to start) with some treats in their hand. Once they are hidden, they call out the puppy's name. As soon as the puppy find them, they give the puppy treats and the game starts over! The hiding places can get harder and harder as the puppy catches onto the idea of the game.
2) Find the Treat. Similar to hide and seek, in this game the puppy is looking for a treat! A child can hide a few treats in a room or in the yard. The first time, the treats should be hidden easily and visible. After the puppy gets the hang of the game, the hiding places can get more difficult!
3) Fetch. Some dogs really love fetch, and some need to be taught. If your puppy doesn't understand how fetch works, practice by throwing a ball only a couple feet away (while he is on the leash and harness so he can't take it too far away!) When he picks it up, call him back. As he heads back toward you, show him a treat. Exchange the ball with the treat. Most puppies catch onto this game pretty quickly!
4) Puzzle games. Kids can get really creative with this one! Try setting up a puzzle for the puppy including things like overturned plastic bowls and cups, boxes, and anything else the puppy can easily move. Hide treats under each item and encourage the puppy to find a way to get the treat out!
5) Basic training. If treats are involved, this will feel like a game to a puppy! Kids can work with the puppy on the basics like sit, down, and go to bed. Check out our training classes for the basics as well as tricks that kids can teach their pup!