Whether you are throwing a party for a dog or having a party with doggie guests being prepared with fun games adds sparkle to the occasion.
Your imagination is the limit when it comes to reformatting human games for canine players. We’re describing six games below to get you started.
Don’t forget to have a pile of prizes to distribute. These can be treats for dogs, rolls of poop bags, dog toys, collar bling or books about dogs, just as a sample.
So roll out the games:
Pin the tail on the cat (or bunny, zebra, piglet, etc.)
Find or make a poster with the animal of your choice. Glue it to a piece of poster board so that it stays stretched out flat. Set the poster on a low easel or cardboard box leaning against a wall. It’s helpful if the poster can be raised or lowered for large and small dogs.
Each dog and human approaches the poster. The human asks the dog to touch or points to where the creature’s tail should be. A tiny Post-It note with the dog’s name goes where the dog’s nose touched. The dog that gets the closest to where the tail would be wins.
(If you’re crafty, you could draw and cut-out paper tails with each canine guest’s name. Then the tails can be pinned to the board where the dog’s nose touches.)
Collect half a dozen or so cardboard boxes. They don’t have to be identical or fancy; mailing boxes from Amazon work fine. (If you have little dogs coming to the party be sure the boxes are low enough they can get their heads inside the box.)
Clearly mark one box “food.” This box is the only one that will ever contain the food treasure the dogs are hunting. The “treasure” should be something really delectable like chopped up turkey or roast beef slices, baloney or some other favorite treat. Arrange the boxes in a clear space (randomly scattered or in a line — it’s your choice.)
In pairs — one human and one dog on leash — approach a starting line. The timekeeper tells them when to begin and they walk around the boxes letting the dog sniff until he or she finds the hidden food and eats it.
The food box is replenished. The boxes are shuffled and then the next dog-human pair tries it. Every dog gets an instant reward when they find the food.
Bobbing for hot dogs.
Even if water restrictions come to pass, this game won’t break the bank and is great fun to watch. Some breeds are much better at it than others. Some dogs take a little longer to learn to stick their noses in the water. It’s wonderful on a hot day.
Take a package of hot dogs and slice them into rounds. Get a plastic bin (clear ones make it easier to see what the dog is doing). You may need more than one bin in different sizes if you have doggie guests that are a wide range of sizes. Fill it partially full of water. You’ll need to experiment with how much water to put in. If it’s too shallow, it’s too easy to get the hot dog. If it’s too deep a dog may not be willing to dive for the hot dog.
One at a time the dogs should have a chance to dive for the hot dog pieces. If a dog is reluctant, try holding the hot dog piece closer to the surface of the water so they get used to the idea.
Dogs and humans again pair up to compete as a team. Set out one less chair than you have teams. For example, if you have six people and six dogs — a total of six teams — set out five chairs. It’s best to arrange the chairs back-to-back so the teams can circle the chairs.
With everyone standing up, play a party song as people and dogs circle the chairs. When the music stops, people and dogs have to sit. Anyone who can’t or doesn’t sit loses and can’t compete in the next round.
To begin the next round, a chair is removed and the game starts over again. Play as many repeats as needed until only one team is sitting. They are the winners.
Cheese Ball Relay.
Get a big container of those radioactive orange crunchy cheese balls. Divide it into two portions. Divide the players into two teams. Dogs (on leash) are paired with a human for this game. Across the playing area, is an empty bowl for each team.
Each team is given a serving spoon. In turn, the human member of each dog-human pair takes the spoon, scoops up as many cheeseballs as possible and walks them to the empty bowl with his or her dog following along.
The team that empties its bowl of cheeseballs into the bowl on the other side first wins.
A prize for every dog.
No one should leave a party without a prize. Set up categories — most handsome dog, best-dressed dog, quietest dog, goofiest dog or whatever strikes your fancy. Create a ballot for each of your guests listing the categories with space for the guest to write in his or her choice for the winner of each category. After the ballots are counted, distribute prizes to each winner.