Activities For Basketball Players With Dogs

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Introduction

Basketball is a widely popular sport all over the world. It was invented by James Naismith, a gym teacher, in 1891. Over the many years, the sport has evolved into what it is today. Many people are huge fans of the sport, ranging from little league to the professionals. If you are a basketball lover who also enjoys dogs, it is easy to incorporate the sport into your and your dog's daily activities. There are games and activities you can enjoy together that have similar characteristics of the sport.

Obedience Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Harness
Activity description
The game of basketball takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation. Obedience training does, too! It is important to have a dog that listens and is respectful to you, the owner. Many obedience classes teach dogs to do the basic commands, such as "no", "sit", "stay", "down", and "come".  Dogs also learn other skills, such as how to walk properly on a leash without pulling and recall. The trainer of the course teaches dog owners how to correctly say the commands and how to follow up with praise. Having a well-behaved dog that listens gives you more opportunities to do fun things together and also allows for more human socialization, especially with guests that visit.
Step
1
Find a class
In order to find a class that is best suited to you and your dog, you can look online, ask your veterinarian, or ask a friend. Some obedience classes teach more than the basic commands, and some go above and beyond. If this is your dog's first class, the basic class is what you would need to find.
Step
2
Contact the trainer
Once you have a trainer in mind, contact the facility and schedule an appointment. You may wish to go watch a class first so you can get an idea of what will happen. You may also choose to jump right in and start. Once you speak with the course instructor, you will have a better idea of what you would like to do and what your pup will be most comfortable with.
Step
3
Attend class
Be sure to attend every class. This is important for consistency. Also, practice what you both have learned in each session at home. Think of it as your dog's homework! You will begin to feel more comfortable with commands and your pup will get the hang of it before you know it!
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Bucketball

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Bucket
Ball
Activity description
For this activity, you will train your dog how to play a version of your favorite sport! Bucketball is played by having your little basketball player take a ball in his mouth and drop it in a bucket! This is the basic level of bucketball with your dog, and there are several ways to make the game more challenging. Either way, it is a great activity for mental stimulation, and if you have your companion run after the ball first, it can also be a good physical workout. This game can be played in your living room, den, hallway, or anywhere else inside. It can also be played in your yard!
Step
1
Purchase items
Purchase a bucket, such as a utility bucket or round tub. A basket without the handles can work as well. Just be sure the bucket or basket is not too tall for your dog. If you have a small dog, you can use a round container, such as a plastic flower pot or large plastic bowl. A round laundry basket will also work! For the ball, it needs to be squishy enough and the right size for your dog to hold in their mouth, and to fit in the bucket or tub.
Step
2
Drop and release
To teach your dog to drop the ball in the bucket, put the bucket close to your pup, and have your dog take the ball. Bring the bucket up to your furry friend's chest area and guide your dog to "let go" or "release" the ball into the bucket. This action will have to be done several times and will need to be practiced in multiple sessions. Be sure to cheer and give praise every time the ball is released into the bucket, even if you have to guide the process physically. Don't give up. Over time and with lots of practice, your pup will get it!
Step
3
Make it more challenging
Now that your basketball pup has put the ball in the bucket independently, move the bucket farther away. This may also take practice. If your companion gets it right, see if you can actually roll the ball to your dog, watch the ball being picked up, and then your teammate will take the ball up to the bucket and put it in! That is the ultimate goal!
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Jump Through the Hoop

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Any Day
Cheap
Hard
30 min
Items needed
Hula Hoop
Toy or Treat
Activity description
Just like the basketball court has a hoop, your dog will, too! This activity can be done inside or out, which makes it a versatile and easy to set-up activity. All you need is a hula hoop and either a toy or treat. This game may be a little easier on the both of you if your dog has had obedience training. This activity may be quite challenging for your pup at first, and it will take several play sessions to train your hoop-jumper to do the trick. Don't give up! Once your furry friend is successful, this will be one of your go-to games.
Step
1
Purchase supplies
All you will need for this game is a hula hoop and either a toy your dog will go after, or treats. Be sure the hula hoop is large enough for your pup to jump through. A striped one may be best because it will be easily seen, but any will do. Hula hoops of many sizes can be purchased at big box stores or online.
Step
2
Train your dog
Training your dog for this activity will take time and patience, but you can do it! Hold the standing hoop, but have it touch the ground or floor. Do this in front of your pup. Take a treat or toy and toss it lightly so it will land right on the other side. The dog will need to step through the hoop to get it. Give lots of praise. Continue to do this multiple times. Then, gradually raise the circle little by little. Eventually, your furry friend will need to jump through it. If your dog tries to walk around it, redirect and try again.
Step
3
Have fun!
Holding the hoop about one foot off the ground, toss a treat or toy through it. See if this is successful; if not, go back to the first step. This game takes patience and time, but it can be done. In time, you will be able to hold the hoop a little farther away and up a little higher.
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More Fun Ideas...

The Kong

It is always nice to take a break and do a less physical activity. The Kong is a hard rubber toy with a center that you can put dog-safe peanut butter or cheese in (or another treat!). While less physically challenging, it is still a mentally stimulating activity.

Classic Fetch

Playing a good game of fetch in the backyard is a pleasant diversion for a basketball player with an energetic pup . It is a classic, go-to game for a reason! Use a ball, throw it, and have your dog grab it and bring it back to you.

Conclusion

Other than taking your dog with you to games or sitting with you on the couch while you cheer on your favorite team, there are ways to incorporate basketball into your lives. Hoops, balls, running, and stamina-related activities are always basketball players' favorite things to do. These activities will provide a touch of the sport and will be enjoyed over and over again!