It is often quite simple to come up with game ideas when you have one dog. However, things get a little more complicated when you are trying to get two dogs or a group of dogs play together.
With multiple dogs, it is important to ensure that one dog doesn’t just dominate the game. It is also important to avoid any fighting or disagreements over the toy or getting your attention.
Many games that you can play with one dog can also work with two or more dogs with a little modification. These are some ideas for games to play with two or a group of dogs:-
Playing fetch with your dog is a great way to burn up pent up energy quickly and test their agility. This can be a little more difficult with two dogs. One dog may be quicker and always win the race. Or there may be disagreements over the ball.
If one dog is faster, try holding them by the collar as you throw the ball. Once the other dog has a descent head start you can release them. The dog who ends up with the ball will often get chased by the other dog to try to get it themselves.
Call them over and have them drop the ball. Remember to give them both praise and reward. There is no winner or loser in this game – just fun. It is probably a good idea to have two balls so you can toss the dog that didn’t get the ball the extra ball.
Use a handheld ball launcher to maximize the benefit of the game. Obviously, the further you can throw the ball the more your dog has to run.
They also make life easier for you as the long handle lets you pick up a ball without having to bend over to the ground. It also prevents you from having to touch a slobbery ball.
The best quality and well-known brand are the Chuckit. These are also extremely inexpensive and well worth having. Check out the Chuckit ball thrower on Amazon.
A great alternative to just plain fetch with a ball. Most dogs can chase and catch a ball. But a Frisbee requires a little bit more skill, coordination, and timing. Many dogs look spectacular playing this due to their agility.
Roll the Frisbee on the ground towards your dog. They will instinctually want to grab it in his mouth. Once you’ve accomplished this, try tossing it at a very low level first to your dog. If you feel like your dog is ready to go to the next level, toss the disc a little higher and further. Great energy burner and you may be amazed at your dog’s agility and acrobatic skill.
Tug of war for two
Tug of war is also a great energy burner and helps strengthen your dog’s core and rear end. Use a tug toy or rope toy that is big enough for each dog to grab one end each.
If one dog is much stronger than the other you can even things out a bit by helping to hold their end of the rope. Beware if one of the dogs is trying to shake to hard as they may hurt the other dog, especially if there is a difference in size and power between the two.
If you have two dogs that are both herding breed, playing herding games is an excellent way to cater to their natural herding instinct. If you don’t have any sheep or cows handy, which you probably don’t, herding balls are a great alternative.
Herding balls are an excellent way for herding dog breeds to burn off energy while catering to their natural herding instinct. It is like cattle or sheep herding without the cattle or sheep and is similar to the herding dog sport Treiball.
These breeds were bred to chase and control moving objects. Teaching your dog to play herding games will actually reduce their desire to herd people and other dogs as herding breeds often do.
Recommended Herding Balls
The Jolly Ball was the original herding ball for dogs and is inexpensive. It is made from hard plastic and is virtually indestructible. However, some dogs are able to scratch the surface with their teeth or claws which can leave sharp ridges on the toy. Can also be filled with water or sand to add weight to give more resistance to the workout.
View Jolly Balls on Amazon
The Jolly ball also comes in a range of sizes from 4 1/2 inches to 14 inches so you can choose the size that is best suited to your particular dog. A further option is the Jolly Soccer Ball if you want to be able to kick it yourself. This ball floats on water and will not puncture.
The Virtually Indestructible Ball is super tough and is slightly more expensive. It also comes in a range of sizes to suit your particular dog.
Recall games are a great way to really master your dog coming on command. Coming on command is not a signal that it is the end of the interaction. It is just the start of the fun. This can include activities such as going through your legs or to circle around you.
If your dog’s are very obedient, you can have one dog stay in a down position while you work with the other one. However, if your dog’s aren’t quite at this level you can call them both. This will create competition to get to your quickly, especially if there is a reward waiting. A great way to reinforce the recall for both dogs.
Watch the video below for ideas on how this game works.
This game can keep your dogs entertained for a while, especially if you do a good job of hiding the treasure. Use something quite smelly like a Kong stuffed with their favorite treats or a favorite old toy. Have your dogs “stay” or put them in a separate area while you go and hide the items. Then tell them to go and find it.
It is a good idea to hide several items so each dog can be sucessful in finding the prize.
A Flirt pole is like a giant cat tickler for dogs. It has a long handle with a bungy type rope with a lure or toy attached to the end. You simply move the lure along the ground around in circles or in different directions as your dog chases it. It works directly with their natural prey instinct.
Be sure they have a good “leave it” command and don’t allow them to destroy the toy. This game is excellent for burning up that pent-up energy in a short amount of time.
It is important to keep this a controlled activity to avoid any disagreements with both dogs going for the lure.
View Flirt Poles on Amazon.
For a guide to using a flirt pole see here.
Water game with a hose
Some dogs love to chase the stream of water flying out of the end of the hose. If they do like this it is a great game, especially in hotter weather. Other dogs won’t go anywhere near a hose. Maybe it reminds them of bath time.
Chasing bubbles is a great game for two dogs or even a group of dogs. Some dogs will be fascinated by the bubbles and do it anyway. Other dogs may need you to show them what to do.
Start by blowing one or two bubbles. If your dog doesn’t show any interest, point at the bubble and make a big deal of it. If they still are not sure what to do catch the bubble yourself. You can even get bacon-flavored bubble mix just for dogs. Usually, if a dog’s nose is interested in something they will be curious.
Using balloons is similar to the bubble game. Blow up some balloons for your dogs to chase around the room. If your one or both your dogs is timid and likely to be frightened by a balloon popping this game may not suit them.
Hide and Seek
A fun game that can be played with one dog that can be just as much, or more fun, with two dogs.
Put your dog in a sit stay or have someone hold them while you hide. Then let your dog find you. Stay very still and quiet so as not to give away your hiding place and allow them to figure it out for themselves.
As your dog gets more skilled at finding you, hide in more difficult places like under a blanket or behind a curtain. Give your dog lots of praise when they are successful.
Hopefully, you have come across so new ideas for ways to keep two or more dogs occupied, provide so mental stimulation, and burn off a little extra energy in this list.