A Fun Game for Older Dogs

Just because your dog is older, doesn't mean he can't have any fun. Here is a low-impact activity for your aging pet.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
1-minute read

"What is a good game to play with an older dog? My dog is 12 and it’s a little harder for her to get around nowadays."

The most ridiculously easy game to play with older dogs is to scatter dry dog food on the floor or in the backyard. It is so simple and obvious that it almost never occurs to humans to do, mainly, I suspect, because we’d be bored by it. Dogs, not so much. Most dogs will happily pick food up off the floor for what feels like hours.

Believe it or not, though, your dog may need a bit of training. A dog who’s not used to hunting up her food may give up if she can’t find it all right away, especially if you’re starting outdoors. Make it easy for her at first by tossing a few pieces of food at a time, right in front of her. As she develops skill and confidence, you can scatter the pieces more widely. I know trainers who deliver all of their dog’s dry food by tossing handfuls into the backyard.


Want to raise a happy dog who loves to play and cuddle -- but still comes when called and doesn't chew up your favorite shoes?

Then check out The Dog Trainer’s Complete Guide to a Happy, Well-Behaved Pet!


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).