Activities For Dog Birthday Parties

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Introduction

Is it almost your tail-wagger’s special day? Want to throw them the most fantastic and fun birthday paw-ty? Then dig out your running shoes because it’s time to show your furry companion and all their friends just how important they are to you. The good thing about poochy paw-ties, is that all the fur-balls can be kept both physically and mentally active while having fun and spending that all-important bonding time with their owners, as well as socializing with other canines. With a range of versatile activities that are suitable for all types of weather, is it any wonder that both owner and companion will have a great day?  These ideas give you more time to work on some delicious and wholesome birthday treats!

Agility Competition

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hour
Items needed
Rope or Ribbon for finish line
Plastic see-saw (or similar)
Hula Hoop
Stop Watch
Rewards (rosettes, badges, treats, toys)
Cones
Tunnel
Rope
Optional: paddling pool
Activity description

 An agility obstacle-style course is a great way to keep pooches active at a birthday paw-ty.  You can use the materials you have lying around the house, so it can be free, or at least inexpensive. This type of course will help challenge your furry friend both mentally and physically.  The good thing about this activity is its versatility. Although you will need space in your yard or party venue, your course can be long or short, and it can also be adapted to suit the weather conditions.  You also choose the difficulty level. On a hot day, you could add a paddling pool with cool water for the canines to run through. Setting up the course can initially take time and effort, but your best friend is worth it, right?  The timing of this activity really depends on how many doggie friends attend the event, and also the length of your obstacle course and your presentation ceremony at the end.  If you don’t have things you can use in the home, you can pick up agility equipment quite cheaply online. There’s one thing for certain, this activity guarantees fun, bonding time, and exercise for your treasured ones.

Step
1
Set up your agility course
Choose an adequate space in your yard or at your venue. Place the see-saw, or something similar, at the start of the course, ensuring that it's suitable for your furry guests to walk along. On the floor in front of this, make a circle shape with rope. The aim here is for the owner to get their canine pal to sit within the rope for 10 seconds. Place the cones in a row, leaving a gap in between, for the dashing dog to zig-zag through, and then they can head through the tunnel. Finally, place the hula hoop a short distance away so furry pal and owner can run to the hoop and the owner can pick this up, and encourage their buddy to jump through. Finally, you need a finish line. You can draw this, lay rope, or tie up ribbon to run through.
Step
2
Take your turn
Each canine can then take part in the course, one at a time. To start, the owner guides their leashed or unleashed pooch along the see-saw. The well-behaved canine then needs to sit and stay inside the circle made from rope, for ten seconds on their owner’s instruction. They can then zig-zag through the cones, then run through the tunnel, before running to the hoop. The owner needs to lift the hoop, depending on their furry friend’s size and ability, but they should encourage their little tykes to jump through the hoop before heading over the finish line.
Step
3
Step 3: Competition finale
Each cuddly companion should get a small, delicious and nutritious treat for completing the course. A time will be noted against the name of each four-legged friend to enable you to determine the three winners. You can then have a presentation ceremony after everyone has completed the course and prizes can be given to the agility athletes that are first, second and third. You can reward this with a homemade badge, a rosette, or even a small doggie gift. You could even have certificates ready to recognize each participant.
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Doggie Musical Bumps

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 minutes
Items needed
Prizes
Music and Music player
Activity description

This is a relatively easy game and if your pup is young or isn’t trained in tricks or agility, they can still excel at this game.  All your pooch needs to be able to do is have fun and sit when instructed.  Each canine friend should be on-leash for this game and be with their owners.  This is a great social activity that is also athletic and challenges your buddy mentally, using basic training techniques.  It does test behavior and obedience, as in order to be rewarded, the dog must listen to their owner and act quickly when instructed. If you want to increase the difficulty of the game, you can change it to be more like musical chairs.  To do this, place mats on the floor, and have the dog sit on the mats rather than the ground.  You should remove a mat before you repeat steps 1 and 2.  For this game, the dog unable to sit on a mat will leave the game.  

Step
1
Start moving
Get all the little canine tykes in a space and start the music. The owner will lead their best buddy around, either dancing, playing or running. This will get your canine moving and exercising while in the company of other people and dogs. This is a great way to socialize your pet, which is important for their social development and additionally, exercise is a key way to keep your loyal buddy fit and healthy.
Step
2
Stop, stay and sit
The person controlling the music will pause the song, and when the music stops, all canines must sit down as quickly as they can (their owner may instruct them to sit). The last furry pal to sit down is out of the game. This is a great way to test the behavior and obedience of your best buddy as one moment you are physically moving and having fun, but suddenly your dog has to stop and sit on demand. Steps 1 and 2 should be repeated until only one four-legged friend remains.
Step
3
Winning a prize
The last pooch remaining in the game after steps 1 and 2 have been repeated several times is the winner and will win a prize. Repeating this task again tests obedience and behavior, because repetitiveness can create boredom. Winning a prize at the end, especially if this is a delicious treat, will reward the winner and show the winning dog and the others that their obedient behavior is often rewarded. This is a great example of positive reinforcement.
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Hide, Howl and Seek

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Any Day
Cheap
Hard
15 minutes
Items needed
Ribbon
Squares of material
Dog Treats
Activity description

Hide, howl and seek is a great way to develop the finding and retrieving skills of a dog.  Some canines, like retrievers and terriers, already tend to excel in find and retrieve.  Find and retrieve games can be fun and not only do they challenge your buddy physically, you can also build on those skills further to improve obedience and behavior. As this task initially involves running, it’s the perfect way to increase the dog’s heart rate which is excellent for their health and well being. They then have to use their nose and learn to trust their own instincts.  This is difficult for the canine who is not used to completing activities of this sort, but still it can be a fun and interesting challenge.   

Step
1
Prepare the treats
Prepare your treat parcels in advance. Put some treats in the center of a material square and bundle it into a parcel before tying it with a ribbon. Have your hiding places planned in advance so you know where you are hiding each parcel. If you are going for a competition style game, then make around one parcel per four participants, but you can make a parcel for each, if you would prefer. Hide the parcels but keep the final one for the dogs to sniff before the set off and have the helper hide that last of all.
Step
2
Get ready
Line up all the furry paw-ty pals and keep them on their leash, with their owner. Each pooch should have a sniff of the final parcel before the helper rushes off to hide it. Once the final parcel is hidden, the helper can howl for the race to begin. This is a great way to get your buddy ready, telling them things like ‘find’, ‘fetch’, or ‘go see’, could certainly fire them up for the finding part of this activity.
Step
3
Go, go, go
There are two options for playing this game and this depends on your preference. Either the owner can lead the pooch on the leash and search with them, or you can opt to set them free to search for a parcel with supervision. It’s best to think about what could happen if two of your four-legged friends get the scent of one parcel. If this is a concern, then it’s probably best for this step to be completed by both owner and doggie pal.
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More Fun Ideas...

Doggie-pic Booth

Why not dress your best friend up and take memorable pictures?  Picture booths are popular at birthdays and weddings so why not capture memories by having a booth at your little buddy's paw-ty?  Having a doggie dressing up box and a good back drop or sign will be great fun when snapping those pics. Hats and wigs can certainly make for humorous pictures too.  

Tug of War

Tug of war can be great to strengthen teeth.  Separate your canine pals into two teams and have one buddy verse another.  Try to match the canines in size and weight so that it’s fair.  You do need to be cautious with this game and watch that the little treasures don’t get annoyed with one another.  If you are worried about this game, if you prefer, the furry friend can have a tug of war with their owner instead and the owners of the other dogs watching can be the judges, giving them marks out of ten. In this case, note down the scores, and the highest score wins. 

Swimming

Swimming is a fantastic exercise for anyone, especially in hot weather.  So, if you have a swimming pool already, or have space for a temporary tub or pool, then they would make a great addition to any event.  Swimming and hydrotherapy can also prevent certain illnesses in dogs like arthritis, joint stiffness and can certainly help to reduce weight as it's great cardio exercise.  Just remember, not every canine is able to swim, but there are swimming aides available online, or maybe a canine swimming instructor could attend the party.

Fetch

A simple game of fetch is effective too.  You can use a ball or Frisbee for your furry friend to catch or chase.  Fetch is a great physical exercise.  Your pooch sprints and sometimes jumps to retrieve the item, then uses their teeth to return the item back. Actions like retrieving, returning the thrown item, and dropping the item demonstrate your pal’s ability to follow instructions and obedience.

Conclusion

There are certainly many activities to spice up your pal’s party and if you include lots of activities, it can improve your canine’s health and well being as a whole.  It can be really important to socialize your four-legged friend, so hosting or even attending can be a vital way to enhance your dog’s social skills, especially if your best pal is woof n' ready.  Everyone knows that destructive behavior often occurs in pets because they are bored but taking part in these activities is a great way to exercise and challenge your buddies both physically and mentally.  A paw-ty is a celebration and certainly isn’t boring.  It should be a howl for both pooch and owner.