Fun for the Dog Who’s Already Having Plenty

How do you play with a dog who just isn't interested in toys or games like Fetch?

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA,
June 26, 2013

Fun for the Dog Who’s Already Having Plenty

I got a wonderful question from Lori, a listener whose dog already seems to enjoy a rich, full life, with long walks in the woods – “I take her as often as possible,” Lori says.  “The rest of the time she's content to lie on the floor near me, wherever I am.” But Lori would like to play more with her dog, who isn’t much interested in toys or fetch. What can she do?

There’s a delightful book by Christina Sondermann, Playtime for Your Dog: Keep Him Busy Throughout the Day, with a ton of suggestions for unusual and entertaining interactive games. I recommend it to almost all my clients, and if your dog isn’t interested in Fetch or Tug but you’d like to incorporate even more fun into her life, I think you’ll love it.

Another possibility for a dog who isn’t interested in what we usually think of as games is a daily spell of teaching tricks. All my dogs have been just as eager to spend 10 minutes in clicker training as they are for any other kind of play. Clicker training might be the equivalent of a crossword puzzle or a sudoku. Body games and brain games – they’re all fun, for humans and for dogs.

Clicker Training image from Shutterstock