Your dog is like your kid, and so obviously your reading this because you care about them and want them to be happy! Now, not all of these ideas will be make your chonk happy, but my hope is that you try and find some ideas on how to not only entertain but make your dog the happiest dog in the world!
Check out our 10 ways to make your dog happy!
1. Play Tug of War With Your Dog’s Tug Toy
Of my two dogs only one will play tug with me. He gets all excited, he play growls and wags his tail like a kid on Christmas!
I let him win and chase him around. He let’s me get the toy and we go for round two. It’s a lot of fun and burns a ton of his energy!
Not everyone might like this option but it works for us and him. He’s not much of a “fetch toy” kind of dog like our Annie was, so this is the next best thing in our eyes.
2. Belly Rubs for Your Dog
Dogs love belly rubs! Chief isn’t the most lovey-dovey dog and sometimes even acts more like a cat than a dog. But man, does this dog enjoy belly rubs!
There’s more to dog belly rubs, too. By exposing his belly, Chief is telling me that he is comfortable recognizes me as the alpha. Exposing his belly is also a sign of trust and it feels good for him to be able to trust me as well!
3. Play Hide & Seek with Your Dog
Hide and seek is a fun game and a workout for your dog, both mental stimulation and physical exercise. It is also a great way to stimulate their natural instincts and keep them out of trouble. Think of the game as a playful way to make your bond even stronger.
Chief love hide and seek. Some times I hide from him and other times I use treats and toys! He’s got quite the sniffer, so he loves a challenge!
4. Go on Hikes and Walks
Chief is a high energy rescue dog. One way we try to burn off his energy while having fun is going on hikes and walks. It’s great stimulus with all the noise and action going on around him, whether it’s in your neighborhood or in the hiking trail nearby.
There’s never a walk he doesn’t come back from happy and exhausted!
5. Find a Place to Go Off Leash with Your Dog
We have a good sized fenced in yard, so we can let Chief run off leash like a wild hooligan. But sometimes an open field or a dog park allows him to really open it up and go full speed.
Chief isn’t super friendly with other dogs, so an isolated field where we can play long range fetch and just run works wonders.
Our other dog Annie was ultra social, so dog parks were on the table for her to not only exercise but be social with other dogs in an open setting.
6. Get Him a Dog Puzzle Toy
Puzzle dog toys stimulate and challenge your dog. These interactive dog toys tie in problem-solving skills and keeps Chief busy for hours.
Treat dispensing dog toys reward him for solving puzzles and keep him active physically and mentally while you are away. This helps with positive reinforcement and can help cut back on bad behavior.
7. Give Your Dog a Special Treat
When we get ice cream, we never forget about Chief. We always bring him home a pup cup (basically frozen peanut butter)! We take outside on the deck and let him crush his frozen treat.
Sometimes it’s a small thing, but your dog loves being rewarded. Find what treat your dog loves and reward him or her. Positive reinforcement is a very effective way to train dogs. This means means adding something immediately after a behavior occurs that makes the frequency of the behavior increase.
8. Dog Massages for Days
Chief has a bit of anxiety with a lot of things. Thunderstorms, crowds, smoke detectors. He also over exerts himself running around sometimes. Best thing for him to relax? A dog massage! Sometimes hands-on contact will calm him down and relax him.
And likewise, if he is running around like a buffoon and is sore or tired from running all day, a dog can help alleviate his discomfort.
9. Cuddle Time on the Couch
An end of day routine that is great for both of you is to unwind cuddling on the couch together. While Chief isn’t the cuddler our Annie was, he knows when it’s time to cuddle on the couch. Every night he lays between my legs (he’s doing this as I’m typing this!) and I give him pets and lovin’. When we cuddle on the couch, it’s time to calm down for the day and is a great way to get ready for bed.
It’s also great bonding time with him. We are all busy with life, family, and work during our days. So, for us to have some quality time is important to have.
In the end, there are probably hundreds of ways to make your dog happy. These are some ways I make Chief happy. You can try these ideas or use them as inspiration for other ways to make your dogs happy. The point is you have to try different things to find out what he or she enjoys.