Group Obedience Games: Fun for You, Fun for Fido

At our last monthly meeting we played one of my favorite dog obedience games: tic tac toe!  If you haven’t ever played it with a bunch of puppies and dogs, it is a riot. And that got me thinking about what other games there are out there that might be fun for any dog get togethers that you or your friends might be having.  Especially with the coming holiday season, we all want to show off how well behaved OUR dog is, right?!  What better way than kicking some serious booty at tic tac toe!

Tic Tac Toe

 Group Obedience Games: Fun for You, Fun for Fido

First, you need to divide the group into two teams.  You will need at least 10 dogs, 5 on each team for a real good game.  All puppies 5 months and under are allowed to have the handler stand in the square with them as they do a sit stay or a down stay.  They are allowed three times to break the stay and after the third break, they are out and their square is open again.  Dogs 6 months and older must be in the square alone.  They, too, are permitted to break three times.

 Group Obedience Games: Fun for You, Fun for Fido

As you can see from the above photo, if you have some good dogs, it is easy to come to a draw!  Now, if you want to see the whole game in action, I do have a video:


Red Light Green Light

At there are quite a few games listed.  These instructions are adapted from those on the website.  Red Light Green Light sounded like one that could be most able to be used in a group like my monthy Southeastern Guide Dog meetings. In this game, like the childhood game, you begin by having a leader (Red Light).  Red Light turns his/her back to the group and shouts “Green Light!” Each dog and handler then walks with a loose leash towards the Red Light until he/she shouts “Red Light 1-2-3!” and then turns around to see whose dog is not sitting.

When handlers hear “Red Light 1-2-3!” they must stop moving and have their dog sit. Anyone Red Light sees whose dog is not sitting when he/she turns around must return to the starting line. Repeat until someone crosses the line that Red Light is standing on.

At this point, you can either make this person the new Red Light and begin again or play another game.

Musical Hoops

I liked this site because it had a whole list of different games.  Evidently, they had a doggie Olympics and had a bunch of different games for dogs and owners to play, with prizes as well.  Check out the website for more great ideas.  I have seen this game of musical hoops done with chairs, but I liked their take on it better, because the dog was the one that was doing the work.  In their version, “handlers heel their dogs around a row of hula hoops. When the music stops, handlers tell their dogs to “sit” (or “down”) so that at least two of their paws are in a hoop. Any dogs without two paws in a hoop are excused. One hoop is then removed and the game continues until only three dogs remain.” (

Additional Suggestions:

Karla on the German Shepard forum had two suggestions:

  1. For dogs who can do a down on recall, the leader puts $5 in the middle of the circle. If you can drop your dog’s chest on the $5, it’s yours. (Nobody was able to do that one.)
  2. Another good one for the down on recall is to say a nonsense word instead of saying “down”. A nonsense word is a two or three syllable word like banana or bingo. If your dog is really listening for the command, he/she should continue coming into you. Some aren’t listening for the command; but drop because they hear your voice.

So, good luck!  May your puppy, kick some butt and take some names.

This entry was posted in Dog Information and tagged , , , by Cheryl. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cheryl

I am a high school librarian and guide dog puppy raiser. My husband and I thought raising guide dog puppies for Southeastern Guide Dogs for the blind would fill that empty place when having children was not an option for us. Having a guide dog puppy with us at all times changed our lives. Our blog The McLean Puppy Chronicles tells the story of how sometimes when you start a project where you think you will be giving back, you end up receiving so much more in return. We are now on our fourth guide dog puppy. We first raised Bingo, then HRH Berkeley, Jam and now we are raising Coach. visit our blog and see what Coach is up to. 8-)

7 thoughts on “Group Obedience Games: Fun for You, Fun for Fido

  1. (This is an excerpt from a blog post of mine called “Wiener Games”.  It sort of shows the rate of failure my 6 Wieners would probably display playing Tic Tac Toe.  But then, you never know.)

    ……. ” I’ve tried to play ” Find It!” with them, too.  This involves calling out suddenly “Let’s play Find It!”, and when they all come running, I tell them to get up on the couch and sit.  Some of them actually do it.  Izzy loves this game, and knows all the strategies, the first one of which is to not get up on the couch.  I sternly order him up, but he hops down again right away.  This is because he knows a treat is going to be hidden under a big blanket on the floor, and if he’s on the floor already when I say “GO!”, he’ll have a better shot at it.  Eventually I do get them all on the couch and tell them to stay while I hide the treat under the blanket.  Then I give the word and 6 Dachshunds descend on the blanket in a frenzy of nosing and scratching.  Izzy always wins.  It’s like he expects a trophy.  By the third round, though, Izzy is so worked up he insists on bouncing off the couch seconds before I say “Go”, and nothing I can do stops him.  At this point either the other dogs lose interest and walk away in disgust, or they all get so fired up I have to stop the game before the knives comes out.  It’s like having a little Kindergarten class of sociopaths who all want to bite each other. “

  2. WoW, I have never heared of these games before but what a great idea. I love them not only do they train your dogs but it is fun for them and there pet owner.

    • When we play tic tac toe at our meetings, it is our best attended meetings and I think the most fun meetings.  Now that we have some more games to add to our repertoire, I think we can up the fun ante! 8-)

  3. Thanks for the details on tic tac toe! I have tried this game with one of my advanced classes and the giggles were worth it!
    I love training games and often use them in my classes.
    I have one or two that I would like to share….
    first is one I call ‘speedy pup’ – it is a bit like red light/green light but focuses on the recall skills. It is best played with a group of about 6 like sized dogs – ie putting a german shepherd against a yorkie is just unfair!! all dogs are handed to someone (or two someones) to hold….the owners give the wait command and then leave the dogs to a predefined point approximately 30 paces away. On command they turn and call their dogs – the last dog to arrive is eliminated. This continues until there is a last dog standing – this dog is then crowned the ‘speedy pup’ of the day. The distance can be increased every time the dogs are called. I also include distractions like toys or food bowls. I get a little creative depending on the dogs and how the game is going.
    Another game we like to play is ‘marco polo’ Owner must put a blindfold on and set the dog up for a ‘wait’ – leave the dog and walk to a predefined hula hoop or chair – they then call their dog and make them sit before rewarding them. This can be done as individuals or in teams as a relay game. First team to get all dogs over the finish line wins.
    We also have a favourite game that we play over christmas – this is a team relay game – have a big bag with a variety of hats, scarves, socks and gloves for each team – an agility tunnel – and a jump. Each team member races out with their dog to the bag, chooses two items from the bag – one for the dog and one for themselves, they get dressed – go down the chimney(tunnel) and over the jump and tap the next team-mate. Winning team is the first to get all their dogs home.
    This is a fun game which lets the owners relax but still teach their dogs the fun of agility.
    Hope you get some use out of these games we like to play.
    I have several more if anyone wants some more.

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