Let’s keep our pups and ourselves active this summer!  Here are some exciting outdoor games for them (and you) to spend quality time together. There’s nothing like enjoying some fresh air with your pup. In addition to providing your dog with exercise and mental stimulation, playing together is a wonderful way to strengthen the human-canine bond.
Dog Treasure Hunt
Keep your pup's senses sharp with a treasure hunt just for them.
Just hide plenty of Farm to Pet treats throughout your backyard, using a range of spaces within reach.  Placing them at different heights too. If your dog is new to this game, look to hide treats that are fairly easy to find at first.
Once you're ready to begin, show your dog to their first treat and continue to encourage them to find the others. A simple "find the treat" command should be sufficient to get your pup’s tail wagging. This is a great way to introduce your dog to the sport of scent work, which involves locating hidden target odors.

Water Games
Many dogs enjoy water games in the backyard.  When the weather gets hot, our furry pups just want to keep cool. A great way to do this is to set up a kid’s sturdy pool in the yard fill with water so they can splash about in.   A sprinkler works great watch your dog run back and forth with happiness as they cool down.  Fill a bucket full of water and let you pup play with a few balls as the take them out of the bucket. *Remember to always supervise your dog around bodies of water.*
 
Training Tug of War
It’s a great game that helps to keep your dog exercised, calm his temper, and teach him some basic impulse control — stay, get it and let go. Before starting the game, you need to set up the basic rule first which is “no mouthing allowed”. Once your dog’s teeth touch your skin, stop the game immediately. Your dog then will learn not to mouth you if he doesn’t want the fun game to stop.
After your dog learns the basic rule, the next step is to teach him the “stay”, “get it”, and “let go” commands. Put the rope toy on the ground and tell your dog to “stay”. Reward your dog for staying. Once he has understood, tell him to “get it”. This will give him the green light to grab the toy and initiate the game.
In the middle of the game, tell him to “let go”. Once your dog releases the toy, reward him with his favorite Farm to Pet treats.  Let go is probably the trickiest command since your dog might get pretty riled up during the tug game. After your dog has understood all of the three commands, you can put them all together in one fell swoop and have fun.

Back Yard Agility
Building your own agility course in the backyard can be a fun way to give your dog some mental and physical exercises. Walk your dog through the course and have him jump through a hula hoop, or hop over one or two rolled-up blankets, or weave through some little mini cones.
Building a backyard agility course doesn’t need to be expensive. You can use everyday objects that you can find around your home. Just be creative, and let your imagination runs wild. Here are some household objects to start with: old blankets, pillows, towels, hula hoop, large open-ended box, kitchen stair, stool, a pole on two boxes, ball, frisbee, and more. American Ninja Pups anyone??!!??

Frisbee Game
Frisbee (check out Farm to Pet’s frisbee) is a great exercise game to keep your dog’s body in shape. It trains your dog’s agility and concentration furthermore it improves the bond between you and your dog.
Introduce him to the game by tossing the frisbee a short distance or rolling it on the ground towards your dog. Once he starts getting it throw it a little higher and further from him.   Your pup will think this is his new favorite game to play with you.

Chasing Bubbles
Many dogs love to chase and pop bubbles. Luckily, there are dog safe bubbles available for pets to play with.  You can even find flavored and scented bubbles in varieties like bacon or peanut butter. Or try making your own dog-safe recipe. If you have kids in your life, this is a great supervised game for them to play with your dog. After all, kids love blowing bubbles as much as dogs love chasing them.

Simon Says
Test your dog’s understanding of basic commands such as sit, stay, down, rollover, jump, wait, heel, come, etc. Mix the order and praise and reward him with his favorite Farm to Pet treats for getting it right.
 
Basketball Game
Teaching your dog to play a basketball game is also one of the most fun activities to do. To start with you need an empty laundry basket or bin, and your dog’s favorite ball.
Bring the ball and drop it into the basket while saying “drop”, Do it several times and make sure your dog is paying attention. Then, ask your dog to get the ball in his mouth and go over to the basket. Once he is in the right position, say “drop” and reward him with praise and treats every time he drops the ball into the basket.

Enjoy a Picnic
Take your pup on a walk at a local park and enjoy a picnic outside.   Bring a blanket big enough for you and your dog, and don’t forget to pack their favorite Farm to Pet treats.  A long walk will help to relax your dog while you eat.
 
Sitting on the Patio
Research has found spending time outdoors with your dogs has really increased the bond between the two.  We are also healthier for being active outdoors and enjoying the summertime weather.  After being active, take some time relaxing on the deck or patio with your pup enjoying a cool drink of your favorite refreshments and a Elk Antler dog chew
Treat you Gaming Great Danes next week. 

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