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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

What makes a happy dog life? In general, this question is easy to answer, even if the preferences vary from dog to dog. Basically you can say that a physically and mentally exhausted, always cared for and above all loved dog is definitely happy. If you are interested in activities for dogs, TOBALIE would like to give you some refreshing ideas on how to play with your dog in a meaningful and species-appropriate way.

Basic rules for the activity with your dog

  • First and foremost, it should be fun for your darling. With coercion you achieve very little and your dog will quickly lose the desire for the cause. Always be patient with your best friend.
  • Pay attention to the individual preferences of your dog. For some dogs, treats are the ultimate reward, others prefer their favourite toy as an incentive. The type of activity is also individual. For example, hunting dog breeds prefer games in which they can live out this instinct, other breeds again prefer search games or brain games.
  • Always pay attention to the welfare of your animal! If your dog’s sick or hurt, it’s to spare him. On hot days or after great exertion, a quiet day is also called for.  
  • Positive conditioning: Rewards such as treats, your favourite toy or an honest “Yes, you did well” motivate and strengthen your dog.  
  • Stop when it’s best: avoid overstraining your pet, so you can be sure that your darling doesn’t overstrain himself and that the chosen game remains exciting.  
  • Choose appropriate and high quality toys as well as healthy delicacies.
  • Variety is the best way. Intelligent animals, like our dogs, get bored very quickly.  
  • Never play after eating, the danger of a stomach twist is too great.
  • Clean up after playing: the always available toy can become boring in the long run.  

Fun and games

The programme should not only include daily outdoor exercise, intensive cuddling sessions and social contact with other animals of the same species. Dogs also want to be mentally occupied, so that boredom cannot arise at all. A bored dog looks for his own occupation, which you may not find good. Then they bite into a shoe or the litter bucket is knocked over and the contents thoroughly searched and distributed throughout the apartment.

If you are looking for suitable activities for your dog, how about that?  

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Outdoor activities for dogs

  • Dog agility: This is an obstacle course where not only your dog’s body is challenged, but also his head has to work hard. Agility definitely brings more fun and movement into your dog’s life and it also promotes the human-animal relationship. A course can also be set up inside the apartment.  
  • Jagility/Mobility: The difference to normal agility is that the course does not have to be mastered as quickly as possible, but the focus is on skill and brains.  
  • Search games: Searching and finding is quite attractive for most dogs, because in the end there is always a great reward waiting for them. Particularly suitable in bad weather when the walk was a bit shorter. How about hiding some treats or toys for your darling in the apartment, for example in boxes, snack balls or similar? Outside, trees are also a good hiding place. However, pay attention to the daily food ration, otherwise your darling could quickly get a little too heavy.
  • Retrieve: Almost every dog is suitable for bringing things, especially hunting dogs have a lot of fun. It promotes your dog’s self-confidence and strengthens your relationship.  
  • Mantrailing: Here your animal learns to find hidden/lost persons or animals. Already after a few trails your dog will sleep content. Because nose work is exhausting and makes happy.  
  • Water games: Many dogs just like to splash around. You can swim balls filled with treats on the water or have things retrieved from the cool water.

Indoor activities for dogs

  • Intelligence toys: Stimulates the ability to think and concentrate.
  • Ever heard of DogDance? Not only does your four-legged friend have a lot of fun. Tricks and steps to the music are learned.  
  • Dog yoga is also very trendy. If you want to work out together with your dog, you’ve come to the right sport.
  • A trick:  Commands like seat and space are no longer a problem? Then it might be time to learn something new to your dog. Dogs are very curious and inquisitive, you will be surprised how many tricks a dog can learn. 
  • Make your own toys: Any roll of toilet paper, old socks or newspaper can be reused as a dog toy. Be careful with small parts, these can be swallowed (some dogs eat the handicraft material, then you should fall back on conventional toys).
  • Thought around the corner: You can increase the difficulty level by only allowing the dog to get access to the food via aids: Cartons, armchairs or a low couch are good hiding places. Another option would be to attach the food or toy to a rope or a piece of fabric. The dog will only get his reward if he pulls on the aid.

There are no limits as long as your dog enjoys it. Don’t forget your darling should rest 15-20 hours a day. Don’t force him to practice. Most people quickly realize how much fun it is and come by themselves. If you notice that your dog becomes less concentrated, end the training with a positive conclusion. Our trainers will be happy to help you find the right activity for you.

Hund schnüffelt


Play and fun are just as much a part of a happy dog’s life as the everyday walk, coat care and intimate cuddling units. There are many different ways to use your favorite physically, like mentally. When choosing the activity with your dog, however, some things should be considered. TOBALIE wishes you lots of fun trying it out and playful hours.