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One of the best parts of having dogs is getting to play and have fun with them! Backyard games to play with your dog are a fantastic way to bond and burn off extra energy.
As I’m sure you know, tired dogs are happy dogs!
Keep yourself from wondering if your dog is bored with these fun backyard ideas for dogs to play.
Read on for great ways to make the most of the outdoor play time with entertaining pet games for dogs and for you to enjoy as well.
These ideas will keep you from wondering how to play with dogs in your yard and provide all kinds of fun for your fur family!
Best Backyard Activities For Dogs
Play Chase With Your Dog
Playing chase is always a fun, simple game to play with dogs in your backyard! It’s so easy to just run around and chase each other.
Roxy usually starts the game by grabbing her favorite Kong Jumbler ball, then I’ll run after her and she’ll play keep-away. Rico joins in by going the opposite direction from me and we try to catch her.
We all have a blast and it’s great for them to get some dog exercise in.
Having a few dog activity toys that are specifically outdoor dog toys keeps Roxy & Rico from getting bored and losing interest in the toys.
They’re always excited to see them and play with them in the yard!
Set Up An Agility Course For Your Dog
Agility courses have a bit of a learning curve, but it can provide endless fun for your dog! Start small with easy to master course in their dog play area, perfect for building up your dog’s skills and confidence.
As they learn, you can add on new aspects to your home course. A great book on teaching your dog agility is “The Beginner’s Guide to Dog Agility” by Laurie Leach.
There are even ways to keep your course budget-friendly by DIY-ing it! Use hula hoops for leaping through, PVC sticks for weaving, and boxes for crawling through.
Handy with construction tools? Consider building your own! This book has all the details you need.
Looking for something a little more professional looking? There are a TON of options on Amazon! Outward Hound makes a great, affordable set with a hoop, weaves, and a tunnel!
Take a Dip in A Pool
A perfect way to chill outside is to jump in the pool! Not lucky enough to have a giant swimming pool? Give a kiddie pool a shot! Let your dog splash around and have fun. There are even some made a little more durable for pups here.
For an extra good time, throw some pool toys inside so they can fish them out.
Nighttime Laser Pointer Chase
We only get to play this game during the fall and winter, with our 19 hour Alaska summer days making it a bit impossible during the summer. It’s definitely at the top of R&R’s list of favorite backyard games, though!
It’s such a simple game, and all you need is a small laser pointer. Keep it aimed toward the ground and watch your pup zoom around trying to catch it.
Roxy dashes over anytime she hears the clink of her laser pointer and gets SO excited!
Sometimes, if we’re hanging out in the hot tub, I’ll bring the laser pointer so they can play while we relax.
Treat Your Dog To Frozen Snack Time
Everyone loves a nice, cool treat on a warm day, including your pupper! Prepare some snacks to keep in the freezer for them so you’re always prepared.
Make an ice pop with chicken broth and drop in some small chicken chunks, bits of carrot or peas, or any other food your dog likes. Freeze it into cute little molds ( I love this one on Amazon!) and pop into your dog’s bowl for a chilly snack.
Freeze for an hour or two, then serve to your dog. The chill will stretch out the time it takes to get everything out, so they’ll get to work a little harder and have more fun.
Toss The Frisbee Around
If your dog is good at bringing things back, a frisbee can be a ton of fun! It’s one of the cheapest ways to get your dog moving and chasing things.
Playing frisbee is also super simple, as long as they do understand the concept of bringing it back so you can throw it again.
Classic Fetch Fun
This is the most classic game for dogs, and for good reason! Many dogs absolutely love a simple game of fetch.
You can toss a ball, stick, tree branch, whatever your dog prefers. Then have them bring it back to you, and you can throw it again and again and again!
Set Up a Dog Puzzle Play Area
Puzzles are a great way to work your dog’s brain while providing beneficial mental stimulation. They’re our favorite form of dog enrichment toys!
Why not bring them outside to enjoy the fresh air while figuring out their puzzles? Fill up their favorite puzzle with treats or dry food and set it in an area with limited distractions. Then hang out with them and watch their brains work it out!
Teach Your Dog Toy Names
Make backyard time a fun learning experience by teaching your dog their toy’s names! We sort of stumbled into this one with Roxy when she started picking up on the names we’d use for her toys.
We built on that by taking them outside and telling her to get specific toys.
We’d say “go get Red Ball!” and get super excited when she’d grab the correct toy! Now she’s learned the names of Monkey, Dragon, and Purple Stick, among others (we’re not super creative with our names around here lol).
She’s also learned the difference between inside toys and outside toys to keep dogs busy, even though she really wants soft, fluffy Monkey to go with her everywhere, including rainy potty breaks!
Sniff ‘N Search
Bring out the smelly treats and let your dog work their nose. Sprinkle some smelly treats on the ground around you, and let your dog forage for them by using their nose.
If your dog is a bit picky about eating snacks in the dirt, you can place a snuffle mat down first, then hide the treats in the mat.
What’s a snuffle mat? It’s a mat made of soft fleece with a rubber backing. The fleece provides a great hiding spot for treats so your dog has to use their nose and brain to sniff out all the treats.
Hide and Seek
If you have various obstacles like trees, bushes, or furniture in your yard, make use of them while playing hide and seek with your dog.
Have someone distract them while you hide behind something. Then they get told to go find you, and they can wander the yard hunting for you!
This is an especially fun option of puppy dog games, because everything is so new and exciting to them.
Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles!
Bubbles are a blast for humans and dogs alike! The way they float through the air is enticing for many dogs to try and pop them.
And who doesn’t like blowing bubbles?! Just make sure you get a non-toxic bubble solution to keep your dog safe.
You could also get this bubble-blowing machine that blows BACON-SCENTED bubbles! This is going on Rico’s wish list for sure because bacon is his love language and absolute favorite high-value treat.