Dog-Themed Party Games

Puppy face painting
Image ©Christine Gauvreau

Calling all puppy party guests! Wag your tails over to the play space for some fun puppy party games!

Bone Hunt

Like a scavenger hunt, this kids’ party game has players searching for dog bones that are hidden around the party space. You can use a box of real dog bones, use toy bones or cut the shapes of dog bones out of colored paper. Since dogs tend to bury their bones, you may want to hide some of the bones under things (such as under the rug if the party is indoors or under patio chair cushions in the yard).



Once all of the bones are hidden, divide players into two teams. Give each team a list of bones they must find. For instance, if you used colored paper, the list might instruct them to find three yellow, two blue and five red bones. A simpler option is to just instruct each team to find a certain number of bones. The first team to collect all of their dog bones wins the game.

Four Legged Races

The concept of this game is simple enough: have players race on all fours to the finish line. You can do this as one-on-one races or divide players into teams and have a four-legged relay race. Another variation is have them crawl like dogs through an obstacle course.

Doggie Dessert Race

This game can get messy, so have kids sit around a table covered in a disposable tablecloth and keep plenty of napkins and wet wipes on hand. Place a dog bowl in front of each player and fill the bowls with soft cake or ice cream.

Kids must sit on their hands and clean out their bowls using only their mouths. The first player to lick his bowl clean wins.

Musical Dog Beds

Play this game just like the traditional game of musical chairs, but instead of chairs, place pillows on the floor. These are the dog beds. Have kids circle the line of pillows, on all fours, as music plays.

When the music stops, the “dogs” must roll over onto a bed and pretend to take a puppy nap. The player left without a bed is out of the game, a pillow is removed, the music begins again and play continues until only one puppy is left on a pillow.

Bark Along

To play this puppy party game, have kids gather in the middle of the room. Play a song they will all know well and ask them to bark along instead of singing along to the lyrics. Have someone stop the song at random intervals. When the music stops, the barking must stop as well. The last kid to stop barking is out of the game, the music restarts and the kids once again bark along until the song is stopped. Song suggestions for this game include: How Much is that Doggie in the Window? and .

Retriever Relay

To play this game, divide players into two teams and have each team line up in front of a dog’s bed. Several feet from the dog’s beds, place two sets of clean dog toys. Teams must race, relay style, to retrieve the dog toys from the piles and place them in the beds. To continue with the dog party theme, have them race on all fours and carry the toys back in their mouths. The first team to have all of their toys in their bed wins the race.

Fetch

To play this backyard party game, have two players stand side-by-side behind a designated line. Give each player a different colored rubber ball. On the “go!” command, each player must throw their ball as far as they can. They must then go and “fetch” the balls and bring them back to the starting line. The challenge is that each player must retrieve the ball that was thrown by her opponent. The first player to return with the ball wins.

Dog Walk Race

Divide players into two teams. Set up a course with several stopping points around the yard. Have two players from each team stay at the starting line. Of the remaining players, have one from each team stand at each of the points in the course. Give a harness and leash to each of the teams at the starting line. One player will have to wear the harness and leash, get on all fours and be “walked” by his teammate.

When the players are ready, they will walk their “dogs” to the first stopping point. Here, the players who are the dogs will switch places with the waiting players at the stop. The new dog will then be walked to the next point, where once again, a switch will be made. The first team to have all of their “dogs” walked from one point to the next wins.

Dog Show

Give the kids a bunch of puppy ears, tails and some face paint. Let them dress each other up as show dogs (or have adults help if they are very young), and then strut their stuff on a doggie runway. They can perform tricks, show off their best doggie sweaters or even howl a tune for talent. Award prizes for categories such as silliest trick, most-fashionable pup and best talent performance. Be sure to make up enough categories so that every dog wins a prize.

One fun idea for awards is to bake cookies in the shape of dog bones or make a batch of people puppy chow to serve as “treats” to the winners.

Decorate a Dog House

Remove the lid from a large cardboard box, turn it upside down and cut a hole where a dog house entrance should be. Give the kids paint, colored markers, dog-themed stickers, glue and dog bones that they can use to decorate their very own doghouse.