During the 2016 Olympic games, Kindred Spirits Dog Training in Vista, CA decided to host a canine Olympic games so local dogs and their owners could have fun and enjoy the Olympic spirit. Use these suggestions, or incorporate favorite dog tricks and games of your own, to create an Olympic games for your favorite pups.
Bobbing for Biscuits
To play Bobbing for Biscuits you will need a wide bowl, water to keep the bowl full, and a box or two of dog biscuits. You will also need a watch or stop watch to time the game for 30 seconds. When the dog is ready to play the game, drop a handful of biscuits in the water.
The goal of the game is for the dog to reach into the water and pick up one biscuit at a time. The owner then asks for the biscuit. The biscuit is not counted until it is in the owner’s hand. The dog who gets the most biscuits in 30 seconds is the winner.
The owner is a part of this game too, and can tell the dog to get the biscuit and to drop it in her hand. She can also cheer on the dog all she wants. In one game, Sisko, an Australian Shepherd, was able to grab 20 biscuits in 30 seconds!
Other than a watch or stop watch, no equipment is needed for this game, although training treats make the game easier.
The goal of the game is for the dog to perform as many push ups as possible in 30 seconds. A push up begins with the dog sitting, then lying down, and coming back up to a sit. Each sit counts as one push up. The owner can ask the dog to sit, lie down, and sit as well as cheer him on. The owner can also give hands signals. The owner cannot drag the dog into position with the leash.
Walter, a Poodle mix, was able to do 15 push ups in 30 seconds, with his ears flying and head bobbing to add some extra flare.
The come races are a fun test of training. They can be played with dogs off leash for those ready for it and with dogs on leash who need a bit more help.
A group of dogs are asked to sit side by side. At the start of the game, the owners are asked to step away from their dogs. For the dogs off leash, the owners can walk 10, 20, or even 30 feet away depending on the dogs’ level of training. For dogs on leash, the owners can step to the end of their dog’s leash.
When told to call their dogs, the owners call their dogs and when the dog reaches the owner, the dog is to sit. The first dog to sit wins. Spotters can help watch the dogs.
The number of dogs competing depends on the dogs involved, how many dogs the spotters can keep an eye on, and how comfortable the owners are with their dog’s training.
In the races in the photos above, the winner was Qwill. His owner, Kate, says she thinks he was extra fast so the larger dogs wouldn’t run over him.
Hurdles or Jumps
Jumping games can be great fun and don’t require a lot of equipment. Hurdles or jumps used in a confidence course (such as the hurdles in the photo), or jumps from either an obedience, agility, or flyball course are fine.
If hurdles are set up, such as three in a row, the game becomes how quickly the dog can run the distance and jump all three hurdles. High jump contests can also be held using the obedience broad jump, and long jump competitions are fun too.
No matter what kind of jumping contest you set up, make sure the surface is cushioned to protect the dogs as they land. There also needs to be good traction. Keep the contests fun and safe.
Long Down Stays
The only equipment needed for Long Down Stays is a watch or stop watch. It can be played on leash or off leash.
Groups of dogs can be made up of any number of dogs. Well trained dogs can be off leash in a large group in close proximity while younger dogs can be on leash in a smaller group with more distance between dogs.
The time can also vary. Five minutes is the longest as you still want to keep some fun in the game. Younger dogs might be asked to hold the down stay for just one minute.
Once the game starts and the owners step away from their dogs, if a dog moves from the down position, the owner needs to step in and pull him away from the group without disturbing the other dogs. In the photo, fifteen dogs are doing a long down stay for five minutes. Amazingly, all fifteen dogs completed the game, so all were declared winners!
Remember to Have Fun!
When playing any of these games, remember to have fun! Don’t get so caught up in the competition that you get upset when you and your dog don’t win. This is all about enjoying the games with your dog.
(All photos by Liz Palika.)