Have you ever played hide-and-seek with your dog? I have and it is the best fun ever. Playing hide-and-seek with your dog does not mean your dog hides and you find him. (Don’t you hate it when you look all over the house for your dog and call his name only to find that he is sleeping soundly under the bed?) Playing hide-and-seek with your dog is where you hide and your dog finds you.
How To Play The Game
When your dog is not paying attention, go into another room and hide behind the door. Then call your dog’s name in a happy voice. Keep quiet and still as your dog looks around and if it seems he is way off base, call his name again. When he eventually finds you, praise him as lavishly as possible. You can reward with treats if you want or just tell him what a good dog he is over and over again as you give him lots of belly rubs or other generous petting.
If your dog is not interested in coming to find you, try bribing him with treats or a special toy. Have him sit and stay in a place where he can see you get his treats or toy. Then go hide. When your are hidden, give his release command for coming out of stay and call his name.
How The Game Helps With Training
This game is not only fun for both you and your dog, but it may also help with training and bonding. By praising and rewarding your dog when they find you during a hide-and-seek game, they learn that coming when they are called is a really fun thing. And they are more likely to come when called more often.
How The Game Helps With Bonding
Playing any game with your dog is a good way to build a bonding relationship. Hide-and-seek helps your dog learn that being around you and paying attention to you is fun. If you want that dog who is excited to see you when you get home from work, try playing the hide-and-seek game.
I was surprised to learn that playing hide-and-seek with my long since gone dog, Smokey, had helped to teach him to stick by my side when we were out hiking. I never had to worry about him running off after other animals when we went on our hiking trip. The hide-and-seek games we played when he was young definitely helped with both his training and our bonding.