Playing games with your dog provides you both with exercise, enjoyment, and bonding. Golden Retrievers love to play fetch. You will tire of this game long before your Golden does. To keep it interesting for both of you, play other games with your golden. Once you have taught the basic “fetch” or “retrieve” game, you can make the game more interesting by teaching your Golden to retrieve specific items.
One way to teach specific names of things is to begin with a familiar item, such as a ball. When playing fetch, show your dog the ball, while you say the word “ball.” After throwing the ball , release with the command “Go get the ball.” Praise your dog lavishly upon their return with the ball. Do this several times. Then add another toy into the mix. Place toys near the ball, then release with the same command- ” Get the ball.” Again, lavish praise when the dog successfully brings the ball. Take the item without comment if it is not a ball. Keep repeating until your dog is successful many times.
This game can be repeated and expanded by teaching your dog the different names of objects such as leash, keys, phone, purse, or shoes. Imagine how impressed your friends will be when you ask your dog to bring you your keys, and he does!
Golden Retrievers can be taught other games as well. Many Goldens enjoy playing hide and seek. One way to play is to give the sit and stay commands. Once you have hidden, use the “come” command.
Another way to play is to begin by teaching another family member’s name. Then, have the person hide and your tell your Golden to “Find brother.” Again, praise is the key to success.
Tug of war can be a fun game to play with your Golden. Keep in mind to use a specific toy for tugging. You do not want to accidentally create a bad habit! If your Golden is young, you may notice a few teeth missing after a game of tug of war. Don’t be alarmed! Dogs have “baby teeth” just like people do. It is normal for your dog to lose teeth beginning around five months old.
Golden Retrievers are great swimmers. They will enjoy retrieving items from water. Swimming is great exercise for your energetic dog. Some games previously mentioned can be even more fun and challenging in the water!
– Scott Hall