What To Do When Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Play

Can You Help Your Dog Become More Interested in Fetch, Frisbee, & Other Games?


This video is funny — for the owner. For the dog… not so much.

From the dog’s point of view, he is minding his own business, and his owner keeps chucking this weird plastic thing at him. Why? Why??¬†And where is the food?

Just like humans, some dogs simply do not enjoy certain games. Not every dog is a born frisbee catcher. This dog doesn’t even seem remotely into it — he’s just flinching (closed eyes, moving head away) as the frisbee approaches, then watching it land.

How to encourage your dog to play

What could we do to change this? It is possible to encourage a dog to be more interested in frisbees:

  • You could associate the frisbee with pleasant things like food or petting.
  • You could try playing tug with the frisbee instead of throwing it — the dog might find the fast movement intimidating and want to start “smaller”.
  • Also, some dogs do not like to bite into hard plastic frisbees, but will happily grab soft fabric discs — you could try a different toy altogether!

However, it is important to respect your dog’s boundaries. Just as you might not want to listen to classical music, or do synchronized swimming, your dog may simply not want to play frisbee.

With patience and the right approach, you can help your dog develop positive associations with tons of different games and activities.

Fortunately, there are LOTS of great games you can play with your dog — try some new games and find the one he loves just as much as you do!

What games does your dog love the most? Share them in the comments to help inspire other dog owners!