Free Consultation


Work and Play: Job-Inspired Games for Working Dogs

Work and Play: Job-Inspired Games for Working Dogs

Unleashing Your Dog’s Inner Talent

As a lifelong dog lover, I’ve always been amazed by the incredible capabilities of our canine companions. From guide dogs assisting the visually impaired to search-and-rescue pups saving lives, our four-legged friends possess an astounding array of skills. But what about the everyday pups who don’t have an official “job” – how can we help them exercise their natural talents and stave off boredom?

That’s where job-inspired games come in. These playful activities tap into a dog’s instinctual drives, whether it’s herding, hunting, or guarding, and channel that energy into mentally stimulating playtime. And trust me, your furry friend will be wagging their tail with excitement.

Bringing Out the Best in Your Pup

Let’s start with one of the most common working dog roles – herding. Breeds like border collies, Australian shepherds, and Welsh corgis have an innate herding instinct that yearns to be put to use. You can recreate this by setting up a “flock” of objects, like plastic milk jugs or plush toys, and using your dog’s natural herding behaviors to round them up.

As one Redditor suggested, you can even incorporate commands like “come by” and “away to me” to guide your pup’s movements. The key is to let them take the lead and problem-solve how to herd the “flock” effectively. It’s a great way to tap into their herding heritage while providing a brain-boosting workout.

For the hunting enthusiasts, the classic game of “Find It” is a surefire hit. Start by having your dog watch as you hide a tasty treat or their favorite toy in a nearby room. Then, release them with the command “Find it!” and let their impressive sniffing abilities take over as they track down the hidden object. You can gradually increase the difficulty by hiding the item in more challenging spots or even around the entire house.

Not only does this exercise their natural hunting drive, but it also reinforces important obedience skills like staying and waiting patiently. And the best part? Your dog gets to enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the rewarding treat or playtime at the end.

Guarding and Protecting with Play

Of course, no discussion of working dog skills would be complete without the noble role of guarding and protecting. Breeds like German shepherds, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers possess a fierce loyalty and watchful nature that can be channeled into engaging games.

One fun option is to set up a “intruder” scenario, where you have a family member or friend (who your dog is comfortable with) pretend to break into your home. As the “intruder” approaches, give your pup the command to “guard” or “protect,” and let them spring into action, barking and deterring the “threat.” Remember to always keep it playful and reward their efforts with praise and treats.

As one Quora user shared, finding joy in your work is essential – and the same goes for our canine companions. By tapping into their natural inclinations and giving them a “job” to do, you’re not only providing mental stimulation but also fostering a deeper sense of purpose and confidence.

Enriching the Bond Between You and Your Pup

At the end of the day, the true reward of these job-inspired games isn’t just a tired, well-exercised dog. It’s the strengthening of the bond between you and your furry friend. By engaging their instincts and letting them take the lead, you’re showing them that you value their unique abilities and want to work together as a team.

And who knows, you might just discover a hidden talent that could lead to your pup’s own “dream job” – whether it’s competing in agility trials, herding sheep, or even becoming a therapy dog. The possibilities are endless when you unlock the full potential of your four-legged partner.

So why not head over to to find some inspiration and get started on your dog’s new “career”? With a little creativity and a whole lot of love, you can transform playtime into a rewarding, enriching experience for both of you.

Tags :
Share This :

Get Updates with our



Join our passionate community of dog lovers. Embrace the journey of companionship with Ihavedogs, where every dog gets the best of care and love.