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5 Games To Play With Dogs That Don’t Play Fetch

FIDO 's friend and guest blogger Rainier Fuclan shared these great tips with us - ENJOY!

My dog does not play fetch.   We’ve tried. Well, I’ve tried. I’ll throw her Kong or squeaky tennis ball.  She looks at it go flying, then turns her head and looks at me.  In fact, she didn’t play with any of her toys the first couple of months I had her. I was distraught. “My dog is broken,” I’d complain to my friends.  The only thing she found remotely interesting was her crate: Not in a good way, in an “I’m-going-to-eat-my-way-out-this” kind of way. It wasn’t pretty.  Eventually, she warmed up to her toys, and the longer I had her, the more I picked up on things she likes to do.  It’s all about figuring out your dog’s personality. Some people like going to bars; some people like reading. Dogs are the same way. 

Here are 5 things that worked for me to play with a dog that doesn’t play fetch.

Pillow Wrestling

I don’t know what it is, but some dogs love to burrow. In everything. Couch cushions. Comforters, Laundry.  They also love to wrestle. With Peanut being only 20 pounds, I can’t go full nelson on him, but she loves to fight pillows. I’ll get one of my couch pillows and nuzzle that into her snout. She opens her mouth and starts growling at it, and running around in circles. She usually ends up on her back with the pillow in her face, having the time of her life.

Tug of War

A classic. Even if your dog doesn’t play fetch, she probably loves to chew. Hopefully on existing toys that she has and not your shoes. The rope or braided toys are pretty standard for tug of war, but get her favorite plush toy, and it’s bound to get her attention if she thinks you’re taking it away from her.

(Image by dailydoesofjoshy on Flickr)

I got my dog one of Kong’s plush toys, and that thing hasn’t fallen apart in more than two years.

Hide and Seek With Treats.  

You’ve probably seen those interactive dog toys where you hide a treat in them and they have to shuffle the lid to the side to uncover the treat.  I’m all for smart games that help with my dog’s mental development, but I’m also cheap: I will not spend $20 on this thing when you can make one at home.  All you need is a muffin tin and some tennis balls. Take your muffin tin — I used 12x12 —and put treats in a few of the cups. Then cover the cups with the treats with tennis balls, but leave one uncovered. Your dog will get the one that’s uncovered and realize moving the balls will uncover more treats.


Fact: Dogs love to run. They love it even more when they’re running after or running away from something. For us, it’s not really tag because I’m always “it” but the concept still stands true. Anytime I even remotely make a sudden movement toward her, she darts off in the opposite direction. When I don’t follow her, she peers her head around the door frame of my room, making sure I saw where she was going.   She always wants me to follow me. She just never wants to be caught.

Catching Treats

If your house is anything like mine, you have to spell the T word if you’re not actually going to give them one. Otherwise, things get ugly. Fast!  She knows the standard, sit, down, roll over but I’ve started to see how high she can jump with those little legs by throwing the treat up in the air. She’ll leap for it, sometimes she’ll miss, but it’s always entertaining. For me at least; she probably hates it.

Or you know, maybe your dog is just so resourceful, they can just entertain themselves!



Author Bio: Rainier Fuclan is an animal lover and health nut. He feeds his dog, Peanut wholesome pet food since he believes if you give your pet good food, they will be happier and live longer lives.

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