9 fun bonding activities for dawgs and kids

These games are great fun for the whole family no matter the weather! Let us know what you think once you’ve tried them or what other ideas you have by commenting below.  

  • Blowing bubbles—take time to laugh and enjoy the different reactions your pup might have to bubbles. Talk about curiosity and what it would be like to be a dawg learning what bubbles are to build empathy.

  • Hide and seek with treats/toys—stimulate the brains of your pups AND your kiddos in planning fun scavenger hunts inside or out!

  • Treat trails—have your kiddos create a trail of treats while the dawg stays in a sit or maybe is held back on a leash. Once the treats are all set out, have the kids practice releasing the dawg and encouraging his successful finds with lots of praise! (To make this harder, try putting treats under tables or over couches!).

  • Teaching new tricks—practice assertiveness skills and proper praise/reinforcement patterns.

  • Dog bowling—arrange empty bottles in a triangle in a hallway and take turns calling the dog for treats or toys. This game introduces fun competition and brings up a way to talk about self-control and taking perspectives.

  • Soccer—fun for boundaries and appreciating physical space.

  • Making healthy dawg treats—this is fun for the whole family and helps open conversations about eating habits and proper nutrition.

  • Dawg dance party—get everyone up and moving on a rainy day.

  • Calming signal Bingo or I-Spy!—for reviewing nonverbal communication and social skills.

Remember: Don’t force anything! Be aware of what both human and furry children are feeling and saying. A dawg should never be pushed or pulled into doing something he doesn’t want to. If the dog seems confused or resistant, or is giving off a lot of calming signals, try to make the challenges easier. Make sure to advocate for all participants and step in as soon as you see that they need your help.