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Dog Friendly Games

I came across a great blog on today about games the whole family can play with the dog.  August is frequently refered to as the dog-days of summer, so make the most of it and get outdoors for some fun in the sun.  These ideas come from a book called 101 Fun Things to Do With Your Dog, by Allison Smith, a catalog of extensive games, activities and challenges that can be done indoors & outdoors, some aimed at specific breeds that enjoy certain kinds of tasks.  There are many pictures and instructions that make the book easy to follow and fun to use.  Do you and your pet have a favorite game?  Please post ideas below!

Here are two great games to get everyone active:

Doggy Baseball
For this game, you need at least three human players, a Wiffle-type ball and your dog. You also need to set up bases, which can be easily done with any kind of colorful objects, such as upside-down buckets. One person is a batter, while another pitches. Everyone else -- including your dog -- is a fielder. “The aim of the game is for the batter to hit the ball as far as he can and try to get ’round all of the bases without being out,” explains Smith.

Your additional job is to encourage your dog to go after the ball and bring it back to you. Most dogs instinctively do this, but you might have to work a bit to get your dog to return the ball to you. Yelling “Fetch” and bringing along treats can help.

Tag for Dogs
Just like the human game of tag, someone has to be “it,” giving other players -- including your dog -- a 10- to 15-second head start to run away before “it” can begin to chase others in a defined area. The first player tagged then becomes “it.” “Part of the fun is darting around and avoiding the dreaded ‘tag’: the point at which the person chasing touches another person or dog, making them ‘it’ in turn,” says Smith. Time the game in one-minute sessions, stopping play by yelling or blowing a whistle. The “it” individual at that point “must sit out until a new game starts,” she instructs. “The aim is to have one winner at the end of all the games.”