6-9 March 2025, The NEC Birmingham

Games to play with your dog

Family, happily running with dog

There’s very little on earth that your dog wants as much as your praise and undivided attention. One way of giving this to them is by playing games together. It’s everything your dog loves all bundled up together - stimulation, competition and of course, quality time with you. There are plenty of games you can play with your dog to keep them active and entertained, both indoors and outdoors. Keep this list handy next time you’re stuck for ideas of what to do on a rainy day.  

Hide and Seek

Did you know you could play hide and seek with your dog? First, you need them to be trained to ‘sit and stay’. Get them to stay put while you find a hiding spot. When you’re ready, call out to them. If you can, choose a spot where you can watch them come and find you. At first, start off with an easy spot. Your dog will love it.  


You can put a fun twist on this game by hiding some of their favourite treats around the house. Then accompany them as they hunt around looking for them. Hours of entertainment.

Tug of War

This classic game is a great way to bond with your dog. Dogs can be really good at this game, digging their feet in and really using their muscles to stand their ground. Set the ground rules to avoid your dog from getting too aggressive or rough. If things are getting too much, let them win and stop the game while they calm down.


Another classic that feels instinctive for most dogs. If you’re playing inside, use soft toys or balls to avoid things getting knocked over or broken in the house. If you have a long hallway, that’s perfect. Of course, if you have a garden, that’s even better.

Which hand?

This is a fun, simple game that your dog will love. Grab a treat and let your dog see that you are putting it in one of your hands. Now say the command ‘which hand?’ and hold out both hands in front of your dog for them to choose. If they choose the right one, give them the treat. If they don’t, give them a second chance to make the right choice. Make a big fuss of them when they get it right. 

Puzzle Toys

These toys are designed to challenge your dog's mind and can keep them entertained for hours. Kongs are also a great choice, as they reward your dog’s persistence with treats. 

Outdoor activities 

Dogs love being outdoors, so there are plenty of options. Dogs love going for a walk. Why not jump in the car and head out into nature? Don’t forget to take their lead and plenty of water to keep them hydrated. A game of fetch or frisbee is also a fun way to keep them active while outside.


If you have a garden and a bit of time up your sleeve, why not try setting up your own agility course at home? You can use items like cones, tunnels, and jumps. This is a great way to train your dog and keep them active at the same time.

Splashing about

If your dog is confident in the water, why not head to a lake and play fetch with a tennis ball? It’s great exercise and they’ll love jumping in and out. For smaller dogs, or if you’re in your backyard, you can try this with a child’s paddling pool, or even a large bowl of water instead.

Finding treats

While out in your garden, why not throw a treat somewhere in your garden, and then let your dog go and hunt for it. Another twist on this idea is to grab a small paddling pool or even a cardboard box, fill it with children's soft play balls, and then throw treats in there for your dog to go and find.  

Remember your dog may be having so much fun that they might forget to rest or take a drink, so be sure to have regular breaks and keep fresh water handy.