Games for Pugs

Games for Pugs: More Than Just a Good Time

Puppy with Mom

Having fun and finding games for Pugs is an essential part of caring for our Pugs.  We all understand that walks, grooming, nail clipping, and veterinarian visits keep our Pugs healthy.  What about the physical and mental activity?  Pugs start playing as soon as they can move around in the litter.  And for their health, it shouldn’t stop once they become adult Pug dog.

Pug Puppies Need their Mates

Of course, we all want our puppies now! If you find a breeder willing to give up her pups at six weeks, understand this is not good for your Pug puppy. It is so essential that your puppy has that time to play is with the puppy’s littermates. Many breeders will wait until ten weeks before you can pick up your puppy. 

Puppies should not be taken from their littermates before eight weeks. As adults, they may have behavior problems, be more fearful or anxious.

Being with Mom and brothers and sisters teach a puppy a lot about life. 

Play starts in the litter between 2 and 4 weeks of age. Puppies play with each other and their mothers. They learn social skills as they play fight, biting one another and their mother. When a bite is too hard, someone yelps. If the pup that did the biting refuses to stop, the Pug puppy that just got bite will refuse to play. This way, Pug puppies learn to control their biting. 

In the litter Pug puppies, learn to restrain their aggression. They learn to submit to others and cooperate. They are overall friendlier and more socially adjusted. 

Games for Pugs with people are essential for Pug puppies.  They are more social and fun to have around when they become adults.

Pugs Need to Play with Humans

Games for Pugs

Dogs need to play. We need to get off our butts and have a good time. It’s time to learn about games for Pugs.

We, humans, tend to forget about the importance of having a good time.

I grew up in a time when kids went outside for hours at a time, into the fields and the woods. I would take my mutt dog with me, and we would have fun. We would play with sticks, “hunt” pheasants, walk in the creek, and pretend play in the woods. He was my trusted pal. Playing like that was the best thing for both of us.

How Games for Pugs Helps Them

  • Games challenge your Pug dog mentally, emotionally, and physically.
  • Keeps your Pug calm and well-behaved at home.
  • These Pug dogs whine less and jump on people less.
  • They also experience less aggression and anxiety.
  • Games for Pugs help to build confidence in shy Pugs.
  • It wards off boredom.
  • Play helps to build social skills.
  • Play strengthens the bond between you and your Pug.
  • Games for Pugs helps to eliminate stress from your life and your Pug’s life.
  • It makes you happy. It makes your Pug so happy!!!

Teach your Pug the “Find It” Game

There are many games for Pugs.  The “Find It” game is fun for both of you.  Have her start in a stay position, toss a treat, and say, “Find it.” 

Continue to do this a few times, throwing the treat farther away and in different directions. Each time do this using the “Find it” cue in a very excited voice. 

Once your Pug gets what’s going on, hide the treat, but make sure your Pug can see you hiding it. For example, hide it behind a table leg while you are in plain view of your Pug. Again say “Find it” in a very excited voice. Once she’s successful with this, hide the treat again, but use your body to block your Pug’s View. If your Pug is treat driven, which most Pugs are, she will find the treat pretty quickly.

Now put the treat in a nearby room and say find it. If your Pug doesn’t understand what’s going on, coax your Pug into the other room. 

You can walk in the general area of the treat, but do not point it out to him. It could make her dependent on you to find the treat. She will learn to wait for you to find it for her.

The “Find it” game can be a super fun game for your Pug. Who doesn’t like treats? She also has to use her brain to get it.

This is one of my favorite of the games for Pugs.

Man on Beach with Pug

Running Games for Pugs

Dogs love to run. 

Even our flat-faced little Pugs love to run and play. Mimi and Lulu love to go in the fenced back yard and go after each other. First, Lulu is chasing Mimi, and then they seem to switch naturally. 

Lulu often gets the Zoomies while Mimi and I look on. It is so fun to watch her run around the house in glee.

One running game that is easy and rewarding is to have Mimi and Lulu sit and stay. I go on the other side of the yard. I call them to come, and they come tearing across the yard. 

This usually ends in lots of petting and praise. Sometimes I mix it up with a treat, just to keep it interesting.

Running games for Pugs are easy to make up on your own.

Chasing Games for Pugs

A straightforward game for exercise is “Gimme that.”

Throw one of your Pug’s favorite toys and start to chase. Let your Pug know that this is a game by using a friendly, excited voice saying, “Gimme that.”

When you see your Pug, start to pant, take a break. If you’ve taught your Pug “drop it” or “give,” use this command, so he knows it’s break time.

I will sometimes use a treat to switch out the toy to the treat. It is always followed by “Go get a drink.”

You can start up again when your Pug has fully recovered, and there is no panting. Make sure you give her that recovery time.

With our Pugs, let’s keep our games for Pugs very short.  Chasing is fun exercise, and it keeps them in good cardio shape.

Tug Games for Pugs

  1. Tug is one of the fun games for Pugs when played correctly. Some people don’t like the Tug game. They feel it may harm their Pug dog’s mouth but follow these instructions, and you shouldn’t have any problems.
  2. Let your Pug dog take one side of the rope toy or whatever you have decided to use. 
  3. Be sure you can get the toy back by using the “Give it” command. You may need to say “Give it” and switch out with a treat until your Pug learns she needs to let go of it when you request it.
  4. Let your Pug dog pull on the toy and move it gently from side to side. Do not jerk the toy up and down as this could cause spinal injury. Do not move the toy vigorously. They’re a toy breed. It may be easy to forget how small they are when they’re growling away. Don’t let children play this game with your Pug without supervision. They need to be old enough to understand that it is only to be played with gentle movements. Pugs love this game and let them growl away like the big dogs they think they are!
  5. When you decide the game is over or see your Pug starting to breathe heavily, get the toy back by saying, “Give it.” As stated before, sometimes you need to switch out the toy with a treat.

Mind Games for Pugs

Mental exercise is good for Pugs of all ages. It is especially good for senior Pugs who may be bored and less able to be physically active.

Mind games are great games for Pugs.  They create confidence and strengthen his relationship with you. You and your Pug as you work together (work as a team).

It’s a great way to have fun with your Pug. He gets a mental work-out keeping him mentally fit. Playing the game with you is a rewarding experience. He gets to show off and sharpen his excellent problem-solving.

Try a Bob-A-Lot. Fill the food with is dinner. This is a little difficult, but you’ll get the hang of it. This is for feeding his entire meal. Not only will it keep him mentally active, but it will slow down his eating. Many Pugs have problems with gulping their food.

There are plenty of interactive dog toys on Amazon. Check them out and read the reviews to see which one might be best for your Pug dog.

The Shell Games for Pugs

The shell game is a fun game for mental activity. You’ve probably seen people do this very quickly with coins. With Pugs, they use treats. They are not actually following the treat by sight as a human would with a coin. It’s probably more smell than anything else. But it does help with their problem-solving skills. 

Steps to Play the Shell Game with your Pug

  1. Use 3 cups and some great smelling treats
  2. Put a treat under one of the three cups while your Pug dog watches
  3. Shuffle the cups around
  4. Be patient as your Pug dog tries to find the cup with the treat underneath
  5. When she selects the right cup, she gets to eat the treat
Jump Pug

Jumping Games for Pugs

Yes, our Pugs can jump. 

I’ve seen Mimi make some wild moves when we’re on walks.

Teaching your Pug to jump over things will build muscles and confidence. Even if your Pug never wins first place on the agility team, this trick will be a lot of fun.

Make it fun. Don’t rush her if she is afraid.

STEP 1. Put the broom or stick on the ground. Put a treat on the stick and let her eat it.

STEP 2. Place a treat on the far side of the stick, so your Pug dog has to step over it to get the treat. If he tries to go around the stick, pick up the treat. Again, put the treat back down until he steps over the object to get it.

Be sure to use a lot of verbal praise when he accomplishes this.

Repeat this several times.

STEP 3. When your Pug understands what’s going on, use the cue “jump” before walking across the object. Continue with one treat each time he crosses over the stick.

STEP 4. Use a book on each end and raise the stick one inch high. Practice until he is comfortable going over that height.

STEP 5. Repeat going over two inches. Before moving up an inch, be sure your Pug dog is comfortable crossing over at that height.

STEP 6. Eventually, your Pug dog will have to jump to get over the stick and get his treat. Get the stick to the highest limit that your Pug can jump over.

STEP 7. Practice! When your Pug is solid with this trick, try having him jump over other objects. Keep it safe and fun!

There are many different jumping games for Pugs.  Just use your creativity.

How to Not Play with Your Pug

Standing Up

There are so many games for Pugs, but as always, you and I don’t want to reinforce those unwanted behaviors. If you’ve taught your Pug that it’s not okay for him to jump up, be certain you do not reward this behavior in play.

Your Pug may get very excited while playing games for Pugs. You may be having too much fun to notice that he’s jumping on you. You reward the behavior by your happy voice and continuing to have fun.

Instead, remember to use whatever verbal cue you have taught (down, stop, etc.) and move away. Other behaviors include nipping, biting, grabbing things out of your hands, running away.

You may have running away as part of a game, but make sure your Pug knows the difference. He only gets to run away when you request it. For example, he cannot run away when he gets in the laundry basket and gets your socks. He is allowed to run away when you throw a ball in the backyard, playing “Gimme that.”

Our games for Pugs and his games for Pugs are entirely different.  Let’s stick to our rules!

If you don’t allow your Pugs in a specific room, do not allow him to run in there during play. Don’t rough house or let your children rough house with your Pug. 

Pugs are sturdy little dogs, so we don’t have to worry so much about rough-housing. But you don’t want your Pug dog to learn that a good way to start play is to body slam you.

Watch his body language. Make sure he’s having a good time. 

If ears are pulled back, he’s not making eye contact or gives you that general “I’m not having a good time” look, stop. Stop that game. There are many games to play; there’s no need to stick to that one that makes him uncomfortable.

You can try again later with the original game but take it more slowly.



The great thing about games for Pugs is they are little dogs who don’t need a lot of exercise. 

We all get busy and tired. It’s so much easier to come home and just chill with our Pugs. Pugs need minimal exercise. Picking one of these games a couple of times a day keeps our Pugs physically and mentally active.

A chase game is only going to be 20 minutes, max. This includes breaks, so your Pug dog does not get overheated.

A game of tug can be played after dinner while you have the TV on.

A jumping game can keep him mentally and physically active. And what a cool trick to show your friends when they come over. A trick is always much more entertaining when a Pug does it.

Now get off the couch and go play a game with your Pug!