By Aurus Sy
Published: 06/24/2021, edited: 10/04/2022
If your dog’s birthday or adoption day is in the summer, why not celebrate the special occasion with an outdoor party? Of course, no party is complete without games, so here are seven ideas that will keep your pup’s and their friends’ tails wagging throughout the bash. Some of them require active human participation, and we’re sure that dog parents will have fun too!
Find out which human-dog duo works best together in this classic game! But for this dog-friendly version, we’re swapping the eggs for cooked potatoes to avoid any potential messes. Each pup parent holds a potato on a spoon plus their doggo’s leash in one hand. The goal is to make it to the finish line without dropping the potato or letting go of the leash. This requires a lot of cooperation from the canine team members, so partygoers will see which pooch is the best-trained. For more of a challenge, add obstacles like hurdles and weave poles.
This game works just like an Easter egg hunt, but without the eggs. While putting treats in plastic eggs is an option, we don’t want any of our canine guests to hurt themselves in case they bite down too hard. Hide some strong-smelling dog treats around your yard, and let the pups sniff them out. It’s a good idea to keep the participants leashed so that they don’t overeat or squabble over who found a treat first.
In this modified version of the crowd favorite, mats are used instead of chairs to make it more suitable for four-legged players. Every participant but one should have a mat. Place the mats in a circle. With the dogs on leash, canine and human partygoers walk around the outside of the circle while music is playing. When the music stops, each dog must sit on a mat. The canine who didn’t get a mat is out. One mat is removed per round until there is only one dog left. You can also use hula hoops in place of mats.
This is a fun one where dogs who are expert treat catchers can show off their skills. For this game, have all the participating pups sit or stand in a row and their parents stand a few feet in front of them. Each human is given 10 treats, which they will toss to their canine partner one at a time. Whoever catches the most treats wins!
Adapted from the popular children’s game, this canine version is also a good way for pups to brush up on their obedience training. Have the participating dogs and their parents stand in a row or a circle. The person playing the role of Simon then gives out basic instructions such as “Simon says, tell your dog to sit.” Pooches who don’t follow commands are out of the game, and the last dog standing is the winner.
An agility course is a great outdoor party game if you have the space for it. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to set up a course; with a little bit of work and creativity, you can create your own obstacles from common household items. For example, a broomstick with a laundry basket on either end can be used as a hurdle, while cardboard boxes can double as tunnels. And those hula hoops from the musical hoops game can be used for jumping too!
Since it’s the summer, your furry guests will appreciate a game that will allow them to cool off. Fill large bowls or containers with water and toss in some fruits and veggies, then let the dogs have at it! Use pooch-friendly food that floats like apples, banana, and zucchini. Be sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces so that the pups can get them easily. You can throw some dog biscuits into the mix as well. If you have a kiddie pool, you can use that instead of bowls or containers—just be prepared for the water-loving canines to jump right in.
With these game ideas, your dog-friendly outdoor party will surely be a hit among two- and four-legged guests alike!
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