Puppy games are a great way to entertain your puppy and yourself, while subliminally teaching lessons in the course of having fun. Put your puppy's sense of adventure to good use and play some puppy training games. These are all lots of fun and they give you a solid foundation in basic training that you can build on when your dog is older and ready for more complex training.
Puppy catch-me is a game that helps to teach the come command. With two people sitting on the floor about 10 or 15 feet apart, one person holds and pets the pup while the other calls him, "Puppy, puppy, come!" in a happy voice. When your puppy comes running, lavish him with big hugs and give him a tasty treat. Repeat back and forth several times, but don't overdo it. The heel and come commands should be given only on-leash until the dog understands the commands.
You can add a ball or toy and toss it back and forth for puppy to retrieve. When he picks it up, praise and hug some more, give him a goodie to release the toy, then toss it back to person number two. Repeat as above.
Hide-and-seek also teaches the pup to come. This childhood game isn't just reserved for the human kids. Your pup can partake in the fun, too. Find one of your dog's favorite toys or grab a handful of treats. Have your dog sit and stay in one room. Then, go and hide in another. Once you've situated yourself in a good hiding place, call your dog. When she finds you, reward her enthusiastically with treats and praise. This game will work both her brains and her senses.
Automatic check-in. Take a walk with the puppy on leash and let her explore. Every time she glances back at you, praise and give her a treat, then let her go back to what she was doing. If she doesn't look at you, say her name or make an interesting sound.
It's not uncommon for a puppy to catch on quickly and start walking next to you with her eyes glued to your face or hands. If that happens, give her a steady stream of treats for as long as she'll stay next to you.
Tug-of-war is the best game to play with your dog. It burns off energy and builds focus. Encourage your puppy to grab a toy from you and tug on it. Teach her the "take it" cue when she grabs it, and the "drop it" cue – hold up a treat while she's tugging and when she releases the toy for the treat, tell her to drop it.
In addition to training the brain, you can do many things to train the body as well, and most are probably familiar to you. Lay different surfaces on the floor or in the yard so Star can practice walking on different surfaces. Use ground poles or a ladder on the ground so she can learn how to place her rear feet.
Play like a dog. All dogs love to run and chase things. One game I like to play: Tie a string to the end of a long stick, then tie a soft stuffed animal onto the string. Dangle it in front of your dog to catch their eye contact and attention. To make it even more interesting, stuff it with a treat or rub it with the scent of a treat or food. Instead of moving it frantically, which is our natural human inclination, move it slowly, stopping and starting again. This encourages the dog to focus the excitement and leave you in control – the faster you go, the more you drain their physical energy; the slower you go, the more you challenge their mind. Additionally, it nurtures their natural prey drive in a focused, disciplined way that is fun for them and you.