Dog Play – Fun Games to Play
with Your Dog or Puppy

One of the best ways to turn our dog or puppy into a model citizen, is to play fun games with him.

Dog play will help keep a dog busy, as well as channel his energy into fun and constructive activities, that does not involve any property destruction. Dog play will also help with obedience training, deepen our dog relationship, and establish us as the pack leader.

Here are some important things to remember while playing with a dog:

  1. Establish dog play rules and enforce them consistently.
  2. Remember to have frequent breaks during play, so that our dog can refocus his attention on us. Frequent breaks will prevent him from getting over-excited, and losing control of himself.
  3. Keep sessions short, interesting, and rewarding. Stop playing before our dog gets bored, so that he will always want more.
  4. Cycle through a variety of games. Variety is the spice of life!

Dog Play 1 – Flirt Pole

A flirt pole is a simple pole/handle that is attached to a rope, with a toy at the end. We may create our own flirt pole, or simply buy one.

I made my own flirt pole by attaching some regular rope to a wooden drain-plunger handle. Then, I attached the Premier Tennis Tail dog toy to the end of the rope. This Premier toy works well because my dog absolutely loves chasing the fox-like-tail.

However, it should not be used with a flexible or bungee cord. With a flexible cord, the toy will bounce around more, and the hard tennis ball may hit us or our dog with much greater force. If I am using a flexible cord, I only use a very soft and light toy with my flirt pole, and I do not allow my dog to tug on it during play.

With this game, we may exercise our dog while not having to overly exert ourselves. Flirt poles are used to raise and train prey drive in dogs. As a result, hunting dogs will especially love this game.

Note though, that flirt poles are also used to train fighting dogs, because it increases their prey drive and coordination. Therefore it is important to have strict rules during play.

My flirt pole rules

  • Do not let the dog jump at us.
  • Do not let the dog grab the toy out of our hand.
  • A dog should only be allowed to grab the toyΒ after we give him the command to start play.
  • A dog should be willing to give up the toy when we ask him to, with NO attempt at resource guarding.
  • Have frequent breaks during play to prevent over-excitement.

Always ensure that our dog follows rules and does not misbehave. If he starts to show any kind of dog aggression, stop playing this game.

Dog Play 2 – Water Hose

Just like the flirt pole, we can also use the water-hose to create a fun chasing game.

First, I set my water-hose nozzle so that it shoots out a jet of water. Then, I move the jet around for my dog to chase. The big advantage of this game is that we can use it to give our dog a bath.

My Shiba Inu hates going into the bathtub. He is so stressed, he will not even eat food. However, Shiba loves chasing water, and does not mind getting wet during play.

I make sure that the water force is not too great when I spray it around, and am careful not to hit his face. For the safety of everyone, I usually stand a good distance away from my dog. I stop from time to time for obedience training, and I do not allow my dog to jump on me or the hose during play.

A dog may get a bit obsessed with this game, which has some similarity to the laser dot game. I do not to play the laser dot game with my dog because it may cause behavioral disorders.

The water-hose game is a bit different, however, because the water clearly comes from the hose, and our dog can catch it, feel it, and drink it. The laser dot, on the other hand, can never be caught.

Nevertheless, a dog may still get obsessed with, and want to attack the water-hose. If he exhibits this attacking behavior, then enforce strict play-rules or stop playing the game. The water-hose game is not for everyone. Some dogs may not like water, even when used in play.

Dog Play 3 – Tug of War

Playing tug of war with a dog may sometimes encourage dog biting. Therefore, we want to follow clear tug rules.

In particular, make sure we control the start and end of the game. I start with a command such as Take it or Tug, to indicate that it is fine to grab the toy. I end with a Drop command.

If my dog loses grip of the tug toy during play, I do not let him lunge or bite at it until I give the Take it command again. If he tries to grab the toy, I give a no-mark (Uh-oh), then the Drop command to stop the game. I take a short break or do some obedience commands before restarting.

If my dog accidentally gets his teeth on me during playtime, I give a no-mark (Uh-oh), stop the game right away, and follow-up with a short break.

If my dog fails to drop the toy on a Drop command, then I stop playing with him.

To remove the toy, I hold it still (stationary), close to his muzzle. I am no longer tugging, just holding still. Eventually, it will become very boring, and my dog will drop the toy. If he chooses to bite on my hands instead, I give a strong no-mark (Ack-ack), and a short time-out, if necessary.

This game is not appropriate for dogs who are aggressive or who have resource guarding issues.

I do not play tug-of-war with my Shiba Inu because he gets too excited and reactive, even with stringent rules. He will follow the rules during the tug game, but after play is over, he shows dog aggressive behavior during other activities, such as dog walking. For example, he started leash biting again after playing tug.

If our dog starts to play rough with members of the household after playing, cease tug games altogether.

The best tug playmate for my Shiba is another dog. That way, he knows that rough play is acceptable with another dog, but never acceptable with a human. At the same time, he has an outlet for his rough play desires.

Dog Play 4 – Ball Games

There are a variety of fun ball games we can play with our dog. Which games most appeal to our dog, will partly depend on breed and temperament. Try out a variety of games, and identify the ones that our dog most enjoys.


Throw a small ball to the dog so that he can easily catch it in his mouth. Make sure the ball is small enough to fit in his mouth, but not so small that he can accidentally swallow it.

Once our dog understands the game, we can make the tosses more difficult. We can also play this with a Frisbee, especially if we have a large play space. If he really enjoys playing catch, consider training him for disc dog.


Kick the ball away from our dog and get him to chase after it. Once he gets to it, let him play with it for a bit, then kick or step it away from him again.

Soccer is best played with a larger ball that is not easy to puncture or deflate. Rubber balls are quite durable and can work well for soccer. Pick a larger sized ball, so that it is difficult for our dog to keep the ball in his mouth and chew on it. This also makes it easier for us to tackle the ball away.

Some dogs, like my Siberian Husky, prefer chasing after squeaky balls. We may also dab a small amount of peanut butter on the ball to make it more desirable.


Fetch is a wonderful dog obedience game. However, it can be difficult to teach to a dog.

While teaching our dog to play fetch, go in small, slow steps. Make sure we already have some obedience training commands in hand, including Drop, as well as a mark and a no-mark. A mark (e.g. Yes, Good) indicates that the dog is doing the right thing while a no-mark (e.g. Uh-oh), indicates that he is going in the wrong direction.

I start by giving my dog a toy. Once he holds it in his mouth, I move a few steps away, and call him to me. I give him a lot of encouragement for taking steps toward me, and praise him well for coming. When he gets to me, I give him the Drop command , and give him many treats for giving me the toy.

Once he is comfortable with this exercise, I try throwing the fetch toy a very short distance away. If my dog just ignores the toy, I try using a more interesting squeaky toy, or coax him toward the toy with treats and lots of praise.

If my dog comes back with the toy, then there is a big celebration. However, more often than not, he will run to it and then come back without the toy. He may even take the toy and go play with it somewhere else, or tease me with it.

Have patience and treat with a high priority item every time our dog goes in the right direction. If he comes back without the toy, we can try and give a no-mark (e.g. Uh-oh) as soon as he drops the toy. Then use the Take it command and offer him the toy again. Once he has the toy in his mouth, walk a few steps back, call to him enthusiastically, and make sure to give lots of praise when he moves toward us.

If the dog runs off to play with the toy, or decides to play catch-me-if-you-can with it, then a higher priority treat or item may solve the problem. Alternatively, we may try a lower priority fetch toy. Do not chase after the dog, as that will initiate a chase game and reward him for his running-away behavior.

Not all dogs like playing fetch. Both my dogs will play it sometimes, but it is not one of their favorite games. Listen to our dog, and do not force him to play a game he does not really enjoy.

Dog Play 5 – Dog Sports

Getting a dog involved in dog sports such as agility training, disc dog, flyball, and lure coursing, can be a lot of fun. It is a good way to train a dog to focus on a joint-activity with us, rather than on other dogs or the environment.

For dogs who are more human focused and less dog focused, participating in a sport with us is more fun than going to the dog park. Check the local SPCA for some classes on dog sports. If not, use the Association of Pet Dog Trainers to find a trainer nearby who teaches it.

Choose a sport based on our dog’s temperament and preferences.

My Shiba Inu is a hunting dog, so he is more interested in prey games, e.g. lure coursing. Shiba is totally uninterested in “fetch”, so disc dog and flyball are out. He will do some agility, but only when he feels like it.

Other fun ways to exercise a dog and keep him happy and healthy include dog walking, dog parks, dog daycare, and obedience training.

Remember to always keep dog play fun and upbeat. This will make everyone happy, and enhance our relationship with our dog.

A busy and tired dog, is a good and happy dog!

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  1. Alyssa says

    Wow thank you so much
    I’m working on making my inside dog an outside dog and needed some games to play with my 2 year old German Shepard/lab. That way he feels extra love and attention before I go inside.
    These are perfect! I love the flirt pole and tug of war tips!

  2. Lilly says

    Hi, I have a gorgeous 8 week to 9 week old female shih tzu puppy currently named Puki who has a habit to bite. I do study dogs, but I never found an answer. I am guessing they chew and bite to help with their teeth, but I am still a little confused. My family tries to redirect biting to a toy by giving her a toy but in my eyes that is rewarding. Please reply πŸ™‚

  3. Kate says

    I have two dogs, both labs. One is crazy about water, but she is bored of just chase the hose. What other games can I play with her with water?
    My other lab, on the other hand, hates his ears getting wet but seems to want the rest of his body wet. With chase the hose, his ears always get wet and he runs away. Is there a game I can play with him that he can get wet but not his ears? Aren’t dogs so silly!

  4. Grace v says

    My Aunty has a Bella (Spanish for beautiful ) smoothcolliecross called Bella.She’s suuuuper hyper and I don’t know what to do with her. Do you have any ideas on what I should do?

  5. jig says

    Thank for your reply I’m out so can’t msg back . He good now but as I visited pet sore for food the shop keeper told me that puppy won’t allow to walk on tiles or slippery surface. It will make their rear legs outward is it true or myth ? I m worrying about it and also I give him pedigree puppymilk and chicken from dog
    The food I’m using now is pedigree puppy it contains some cereal ,meat,veg, milk powder some by products . Vet say its OK and breeder say to royal canin can you advice me ?

    I’m very confused about his back leg


    • shibashake says

      With my dogs, I pick kibble with good sources of proteins, with the least amount of filler, that don’t have gluten, and that are grain free. Many dogs are allergic to wheat and corn. My Shiba is allergic to wheat and my Huskies are allergic to wheat and oats.

      I always look very carefully at the ingredient list when picking food for my dog. Here is more on how I pick my dog’s food.

  6. Jig says

    Hello sir, I got a gsd male puppy 1 month ago. He is now 2.5 month old.he is good learner he just learned sit,come,shake,lie down and learning stay. Although he is good but problem is he is biting and vocal barking (at feet and hands ) he is also learning walk on leash but now he got 1st vaccine s so I minimize it.2 problem is he is eating his own poop 3. House training problem 4. Barking when making his food or cooking in kitchen vet recommended to feed him 4 times a day so can you plz give me schedule at what time I need to feed him ?
    My daily routine with him he wake up at 5am morning then go for walk but he don’t have any interest in walk if I free roam him he just run to our home then we feed him then after take him outside for potty. He potty outside but pee inside home. We allowed him to free roam in house but whenever we tug him on leash he just bark very loudly and I don’t like . Can you give me a any tips according to my routine. thank you

  7. EJH says

    Good Article. Thankyou πŸ™‚

    Maybe you could also (if you haven’t already) do a page on:
    Play for a dog on ‘bed rest/confinement for vet. reasons.
    Play with your dog for Humans with limited mobility.

  8. millie says

    my dog loves ball games and frisbee but how do i get her to like water as she doesnt even want to touch it and i dont want to be mean to her any ideas ????

    • shibashake says

      Desensitization exercises may help.

      With my dogs it is also about motivators. My Shiba, for example, doesn’t usually like water. He refuses to go out in the rain, and doesn’t even really like walking on wet grass. However, if water is involved in some kind of chasing game or play with other dogs, then he is totally fine with it.

      My Huskies are the opposite. They don’t usually like playing water type games, but they will go out in pouring rain and that is fine with them. πŸ˜€

    • claudia says

      my dog use to be just like that ill tell you what to do.
      1. firstly hop in the water with ur dog and be near her so she knows you wont get out.

      2. after a while of doing that only go in knee deep, and start throwing toys near the edge of water NOT to far in. so she will get them.

      3. every day when ur throwing the toys slightly go deeper. until you get to the middle where they will be swimming in and out. by this stage you should not be in the water unless you want to.

      do this in days not a day

  9. Natalie says

    I just got a Shiba Inu puppy! Her name is Penny!
    I’ve been using this website to help with training, etc. Your website has been so helpful!
    Penny loves to play with her toys and run around outside. She loves the idea of trying to figure out how to get the treats out of the Kong toy.
    Do you know of any ways to help introduce a puppy to other pets? Such as a cat or another dog?

  10. Kat says

    Hi Shibashake… Preparing for the arrival of our Shiba Pup – due to come home 12/1 ! We are trying to be very vigilant about getting educated & prepared! In watching Ceasar Millan’s dvd’s we feel that we want to get our Shiba “back to her roots’ during her exercise time. Since Shibas were bred to chase/capture wild game, do you find that hide & seek with a ball or toy would be good to simulate this? I read your articles on play time and they are great – thanks! But if you have any personal suggestions from your experience to get her “back to her roots” so to speak, we’d sure appreciate. Thanks!!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your upcoming Shiba pup!

      In terms of games, what worked best with Sephy is to try out a bunch of things, and then gauge his interest in each. Sephy enjoys chasing games most. When he was young he used to create his own chasing games by stealing the t.v. controller and then running around with it. πŸ˜€

      Sephy also likes wrestling with other dogs and playing guard the ball/guard the bone.

      As for Cesar Millan, some of his techniques worked out well for Sephy, and some them had pretty bad results.

    • katalina says

      Thanks so much for your reply regarding playtime games. Good point, each dog is different so I will need to see what she likes first! Great information regarding Cesar’s techniques…I really appreciate your information!!

  11. Christina says

    What can you play with three dogs? Two of them are Dutch Hounds and one is a cross breed of a Poodle and a Youckie Terrier.

    • Ashley says

      Um….maybe you could play fetch to see who’s the fastest? That’s what I do with my three Labradors,cocco,sunny and yoyo

  12. kati p says

    I just got my puppy 2 days ago and he is a month and 2 weeks and I have never really owned a puppy without my parenys geting ride of it or someone taking i t or worse and wanted to know more puppy games? I know a few but want to know a lot more. He likes tug of war and is very well behaved. He is an australian shepard and he doesn’t like walks yet so wanted to know more dog games for inside and out? Thanks

  13. Karnillya says

    I rencently received my puppy pitbull less than a week ago. She is five weeks old. She chews on shoes and the furniture. She also doesn’t like to go outside right now but when I take baths she does show an interest in getting in. She will whine the whole time and just watch the water since she isn’t tall enough to actually stick her paw in. She also like to grab my covers off of me in the morning as if playing tug of war but she wont play with my boyfriend or I. How can I get her to play with her toys and chew on those instead of her chewing on and playing with everything she shouldn’t play with?

    • shibashake says

      It will take a while for a puppy to grow accustomed to a totally new environment, and with totally new people.

      Here is more on how I trained my Husky puppy (starting at 8 weeks old).

      5 weeks is really young for a puppy. Usually, it is best for a puppy to stay with her litter mates and mother until she is at least 8 weeks old. During that time, a puppy learns important social skills, bite inhibition, and social boundaries. Here are a couple of articles that go into this in greater detail-

      Because of these reasons, it is required in some states to wait until a puppy is 7-8 weeks old before he/she is sold.

    • Anonymous says

      To be honest you have to make the game fun for him or her. I have an American bulldog and she loves to play tug of war but that is because I made it fun for her. What I did was use a squeaky toy to get her really excited and found anything that could be used for tug of war. For example I used an old tee shirt. And just continue with it because it will take a few tries for him or her to really enjoy it. But make sure he or she tugs when you give him or her the command because it could turn into a problem when he or she becomes an adult.

  14. Molly says

    Hi I have a Great Dane he is huge he’s 8 months have you any other games I can play with him ? I’m only 11 but I love playin with him he likes the pole game but he hates the hose game cause he hates gettin wet lol

  15. Olivia says

    Hi Shibashake, my puppy chews on everything. I try to get him to chew on toys but he just ends up chewing on the furniture or our clothes. Do you know how I could get him to chew on his toys instead of other things.
    Also when I take him outside he tries to eat all the leaves. Should he do that? I have not had a dog that eats leaves so I was not sure what to do.
    In addition, my puppy always sleeps. Then when he wakes up he plays, goes to the bathroom, eats, then goes back to sleep. He has his own routine. LOL

  16. says

    I have a 1 year old golden retriever.They say that golden retrievers love water. but if i try the Water Horse with him,he will hide! I am gonna try some more games to keep him up for a while,thanks anyway:)

  17. Mireille says

    I have a playful 6 year old dog called Safari or Safi for short, she loves the sound of these games when i told them to her she even nodded her head, (this isn’t the first time she has done that). i have read quite a few comments and they sound swell.

    lots of fried chicken Moomoo25 ;p

  18. says

    Thank you for posting this article! We recently adopted a half pitbull – half lab who was born into foster care and lived there until we adopted her at just under 6 months of age. She is doing very well in her obedience training since she’s been here to live with us, but it has been a challenge as we also have a 15-month-old baby and a barrage of baby toys that seem to follow him everywhere! πŸ˜‰

    Noticing our puppy, Suki’s, great focus and energy, I recently introduced her to frisbee discs but had a minor incident last night with her getting so excited over playing that she got mouthy with me and jumped into my face, splitting my lip. We immediately stopped the game and I was afraid that maybe I shouldn’t encourage the “get it!”, “leave it” type of games with her.

    Do you have any tips on maintaining a smooth, stable energy level throughout the games? I want her to be enticed by the frisbee, but not to the point that she starts focusing on my hand (where the disk comes from) rather than the disk itself. It would be a shame to pass up an activity that I think we would both enjoy, but I would do it to keep her sweet temperament and disposition.

    What are your thoughts on this? Are there some activities that simply should be avoided, or can some of this be attributed to the fact that she just turned six-months-old on May 18th? Thank you, all, for any advice or ideas!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Cherstin,

      One of Sephy’s favorite games is the water hose game. He loves chasing the stream of water around and used to get a bit over-excited. Some things that helped with Sephy-

      1. I put in a lot of play breaks. We would play for a short while, and then have an obedience command break where he focuses on me, and does commands. If he does well, we start playing again.

      2. I also have very strict rules. For example, he is not allowed to attack the hose. He is not allowed to jump on me or near me. He is not allowed to mouth on my hand or on the hose. Sometimes, he accidentally jumps close to me, and when that happens I no-mark and stop the game briefly. We do an obedience command session, then start up for a short time before another break.

      3. I also stay calm throughout the whole play session (no shouting, high voices, or excited energy). Sephy is excited enough for the both of us, so I try to counter-balance that energy.

      What are your thoughts on this? Are there some activities that simply should be avoided,

      It depends. One game that I stopped playing with Sephy is Tug of War. I would have very strict rules and lots of breaks, and he would behave during the game. However, when we went on walks, he would try to start a game of tug by leash biting. Since the game seemed to encourage bad behaviors in other areas, I decided to stop it and play something else. He is allowed to play tug with other dogs but not with people.

      Big hugs to Suki and big hugs to you for giving her a happy home!

  19. Chinchillasaur says

    These games sound like a lot of fun for the pet and the owner! I think I’ll try them out, except for the water hose game. My dog hates to get wet unfortunately, but my Aunts dog loves that game. She’ll never get tired of chasing the water around the yard! When I’m playing with my dog and she comes back to me without her toy I will tell her “Go get you’re toy Lilly!” And she”ll start running around the house trying to find her toy. Once she finally does she”ll bring it back to me and we”ll continue the game. I also taught her to jump through a hoop which is an activity we both enjoy. Thanks so much for the game tips! I appreciate them!

    • shibashake says

      Great ideas!

      I have been thinking of doing the hoop thing with one of my Sibes. She loves jumping so much, I figured we could have a lot of fun doing hoop dances. πŸ˜€

      Lilly sounds absolutely wonderful and super clever! What breed(s) is she?

  20. kayli says

    I really want to try these games with my dog. They sound great and vere fun.

    Thank you for creating a website like this !!!!

    • shibashake says

      Thanks Kayli. Hope your dog has fun with these games.

      Remember to have many safety rules during play, so that everyone has a good time. Take lots of pictures! πŸ˜€

    • shibashake says

      Hello Mitchel,
      Yeah my Shiba Inu really loves this game as well.

      Congratulations on your new puppy. What is his name? Would love to see some pictures of him at play. Do you have pictures of him online?

  21. Alice says

    Hi Shibashake! I have found out that Marcus really likes chasing around tree branches that I wave around (in the few moments that I have his attention, haha), so I think the flirt pole would be a good activity for him! But I am curious, how did you train all your dogs to obey play rules?

    Another dilemma I’m facing is, I need to leave a lot of toys around so Marcus will chew on them instead of the furniture. But if toys are left around left and right, he will go grab one whenever without getting permission from me first, so that some times carries into play time. So should I leave the toys out or not?

    Also, what exercises do you do to prevent resource guarding? Especially since I feel like Marcus may get cautious over me taking things since he loves to snatch up trash on walks (he’s a quick one!) and some times I need to pry it out to avoid an obstruction.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Alice,

      Hahaha, Marcus sounds like such a fun boy!

      But I am curious, how did you train all your dogs to obey play rules?

      With my Shiba, I always ask him to do a Sit before I start any game. If he doesn’t do it, I don’t start the game. Then with the flirt pole, I say “Flirt” and start the game. He is only allowed to bite on the toy at the end of the pole. If he bites on the string I non-mark him and ask him to “Leave-It”. If he does not “Leave-It” I just stop playing with him. The game is only fun when the toy is moving around, so stopping play is a very good way to get Sephy to follow the rules.

      If he jumps on me or mouths on me in any way, I non-mark him. If he continues, I stop the game and ignore him. If he continues, he goes to time-out.

      It depends a lot on the temperament of the individual dog. I am a lot more strict with Sephy because he is more reactive and loses control more easily. My Sibes are a lot more easy going. πŸ˜€

      As for food guarding or toy guarding, these are some of the things I do with all my dogs –

      I do a lot of hand-feeding, add food to their toys, and help them get food out of their toys. I do a lot of this with them when they are puppies, so that they quickly learn that people coming near them means they get more good stuff.

      I also watch puppy like a hawk when we are out on walks so that she doesn’t eat anything she shouldn’t eat. In this way, I don’t have to go in and get the stuff out of her mouth. With Sephy, I did a lot of mouth object removal, and he started guarding his stuff as a result. Luckily, I caught it early, and made sure I stopped him before he got the things in his mouth.

      In this case, prevention is much much better than cure.

      Also, if he tries to get unsanctioned stuff off the ground I tell him to Drop-It, if he does not, I end the walk. He likes his walks, so ending the walk is a really good deterrent. Of course if he does get something dangerous in his mouth I will go in there and remove it, but I try my hardest to keep that to a minimum.

      I also do a lot of object exchanges and food exercises with him.

      Big hugs to Marcus and a nice big cookie! πŸ˜€

  22. jo says

    your website has been so helpful for me. i love my shiba inu, but at times he drives me crazy. He LOVES to fetch. I never intended on him becoming a retriever; since he was a small pup, he would bring back anything that I threw. My problem is that he wants to play fetch ALL the time and with EVERYTHING. He will go up to an hour, tongue hanging, panting….I have to put an end to it because I have other things to do, but he is relentless. He either tosses things at my feet or drops them in my lap and whines and whines. If I don’t throw his toy he is beside himself…I honestly think at times he is having a panic attack. I can put treats in a kong or in a hol-e roller ball thinking he will entertain himself….NO, he wants me to throw them for him. He really isn’t motivated by treats at all. and if I ignore him, he tosses toys at the cat expecting the cat to play…fat chance!!! I cannot bring balls into the house anymore; he becomes obsessed with them. He is still only 9-10 months, but I sure wish he would learn to play by himself.

    • shibashake says

      Wow Jo! That is a pretty amazing Shiba. That makes him very people oriented, which is just awesome for a Shiba. A Shiba like that would be great at obedience and probably can be well trained to walk off-leash. Does he like fetching frisbees as well? It would be fun to play disc dog with such a Shiba!

      My Shiba is totally uninterested in fetching.

      He gets really obsessed about the water hose game though. In the beginning he would try to pull the hose out himself, and he punctured the hose in a few places. What worked well for him is to make sure he follows rules and stays semi-calm πŸ™‚ before I start the game.

      Also, I would only play the game with him very occasionally – when he is in need of a bath or when it is really hot outside.

      if I ignore him, he tosses toys at the cat expecting the cat to play…fat chance!!!


      One thing that may help is to put your Shiba on a brief time-out every time he starts throwing toys at the cat. It may also help to stop playing fetch for a while, and play other games with him so he doesn’t just fixate on one thing.

      My guy likes the flirt pole a lot and hunting lizards during our walks.

      Does he like playing with other dogs? I only do small one-on-one supervised play sessions with my Shiba but he really enjoys those.

      It is very amazing to have a Shiba that fetches though. Once you break his fixation, you can use the game to get him to do whatever you want wherever you go.

    • Colleen says

      We’ve had similar experiences with playing fetch however it has not escalated to what you are experiencing Jo. Reptar, our Shiba, loves playing fetch, only with any form of a ball so far. He doesn’t care too much to fetch regular toys, only if he cannot find his ball will he resort to fetching something else.

      He has an outside football that he is constantly throwing at our feet to play. He’s starting to try to jump and catch it as well. He is pretty good at catching round balls on a bounce so I’m sure in due time he will learn to catch the football. I think come summertime, we will introduce a Frisbee to him. That is a great idea.

      I would love to enroll him in a agility or other play sport class however he needs two sessions of obedience to do so and while he’s doing OK in class, he’s just not that interested. Hopefully he can make it! Fortunately the class is not pass/fail!

  23. Sarah says

    Hi Shibashake,
    Thanks for your email i appreciate it,of course i will send some more pics of Bear for you, I’ll sort a couple out and email them to you.
    This hub and your email has helped very much thanks. Bear now will fetch when he can be bothered or if there is a treat involved bless him.
    Thanks again
    Take Care
    Sarah & Bear
    P.S Bear sends a big sloppy kiss…….I’ve taught him how to give kisses for a treat…it so cute & i know i probably shouldn’t teach him things like this but hey he enjoys it that all that matters.

    • shibashake says

      Hi Sarah,
      So good to hear from you. I am so glad that things are going so well with Bear. He sounds like a real model citizen now thanks you all your hard work πŸ™‚
      Yeah both Shania and Sephy are not big on fetching either – lol. I am thinking that when I get another dog, I’ll get a retriever type dog to see if he can get my other two to fetch as well.
      “P.S Bear sends a big sloppy kiss”
      Hahaha – I love sloppy kisses. I’ll definitely give Bear lots of treats for those πŸ™‚
      “it so cute & i know i probably shouldn’t teach him things like this but hey he enjoys it that all that matters.”
      I think teaching dogs how to give kisses is a very fun thing to do. You can even refine the technique further and teach him to not kiss on the mouth, or to kiss on certain areas on command. It can be a great training exercise that is useful and enjoyable for all πŸ™‚

  24. i love puppyz says

    i think that some of thes games r no good 4 big dog thay can sart 2 bit and it will strath the jor

    • shibashake says

      Hi “i love puppyz”, You bring up a very good point.

      Some games may cause dogs to get too excited and start to jump and bite. That is why it is always important to apply strict play-rules. As soon as my dog starts to get too excited, I stop playing, I do some simple Focus exercises, and some simple obedience commands. Frequent obedience breaks is a must, especially while playing with young dogs.

      If there is any jumping or biting, I stop play at once.

      If we apply rules during game playing, we can teach our dog to be obedient even when they are excited, which will help in other real world situations.

      There are however certain games, like Tug of War, that are dominance based and not good to play with more dominant dogs.

      Also remember that all dog playing sessions should be supervised by an adult who can stop the dog so that things never get out of control.

  25. JPSO138 says

    I do love dogs. Have a pet dog when I was a child. Great suggestions indeed. I am looking forward to reading all your hubs!

    • shibashake says

      Dogs are really quite awesome; but they sure need a lot of time and attention πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting my hubs. Let me know what you think and how I can improve them πŸ™‚

  26. countrywomen says

    I love the ball games. Also our dog loved bread and we would hold it high in the air for the dog to grab it. Dogs are very intelligent and love playing games.

    • shibashake says

      The bread game sounds like a really fun game. It is also great for practicing the accuracy of how your dog uses his teeth. I must add this to my hub.
      Did your dog ever get his teeth on your hand while you were holding the bread?

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