Dog Games: the Froot of Happiness

There aren’t a lot of games that my dogs can play together.  It’s true that when they go to the dog park, they all run around and play chase…but when we’re home, it’s not like everyone can sit down to a game of Yahtzee.

Waldo is so much bigger than the other four dogs, that they are intimidated by his size and speed. If the yellow ball is in motion, no matter who is chasing it; they defer to the Big Guy. He ends up hogging it while everybody else watches.

Games of tug are one-on-one, and Taco and Lammy Lamb aren’t equipped for that. Taco’s teeth are too small, and Lammy Lamb barely has any teeth left to tug with. Maria and Rocket Boy can usually get a good game going, but again, that’s only two dogs, while three others sit watching.

Last night we discovered a new game that everyone can play. Froot Loop Catch. All the dogs circle around and one of us flings Froot Loops at their faces. My dogs love Froot Loops. Everybody stands in the circle and watches their buddies snatch the tiny donuts of dry cereal out of the air, and waits for their turn to try their skill. It’s a true group game, because the dogs that are waiting their turn know that every throw means a potential miss, and the possibility of an extra treat landing at their feet.

When we started playing last night, only Waldo and Taco were adept at catching the flying cereal. Waldo gets so excited that he barks between throws. Maria has never been taught to catch flying treats, but it didn’t take her long to catch on.  She’s not very good at it yet, but she gets props for effort.  Lammy Lamb is a little slow on the snap, (slow reflexes? Aging eyesight?) but still manages to catch about half of those thrown her way.

Rocket Boy is a different story. Always a little slower to learn things (it took more than a year to housetrain him), he wants the Froot Loops but doesn’t grasp the “catching” part. He doesn’t even open his mouth; he just lets them hit him between the eyes, then, he picks them up off the floor. He’s playing, but his game is more aptly called “Hit me in the face with some Froot Loops, please.”

Poor Rocket…he’s a little out of the loop.

About yelodoggie

Ariel C. Wulff is an author, artist and animal advocate. They have been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-five years. They have written two books about their true-life adventures living with an ever-changing house full of pets: Born Without a Tail, and Circling the Waggins, and a guide to animal advocacy using the Internet as a tool: How to Change the World in 30 Seconds". Wulff also wrote a pet column and book review column for the Examiner, and was a contributing editor for They attribute their love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.
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9 Responses to Dog Games: the Froot of Happiness

  1. nancy5vic says:

    I’m just sitting here laughing! I play Scatter Cheerios with Cooper. When he’s begging at the table and making us crazy, I have him “sit” and then throw a handful of cheerios on the floor and watch him go to town. So, I know, I’m positively reinforcing the negative behavior of begging…want me to list the ways I’ve ruined my kids, too?!
    I have to try Flying Cheerios next…


  2. Hilarious, Ariel! I have my own feline version of this: I throw the treats across the room and my fattest (greediest) cat chases after them. It’s usually the only exercise she ever gets, but her enthusiasm is such that we play it every day.


  3. Katy K says:

    Very cute!….have to try the Froot Loops! (we like to do this with popcorn)


  4. ouacstowohio says:

    Really cute and great photo!!!!!!


  5. Wazeau says:

    hehe, “hit me in the face with Fruit Loops, please”. Some dogs are just a bit slow but what’s not to love there.


  6. Cat Crazy Alice says:

    Loved your well-written, hilarious description of the Fruit Loops “game”. I have a feline version whereby I throw handfuls of treats across the floor and let the cats search for them (an adaptation of the feline “hunting their prey” instinct).


  7. D says:

    Ariel, Another one of your great ones. When my kids were young practically every game evolved our family dog. He took messages to other family members, he played hide the bone, find the human child, and many more games, even held still while his girls painted his toe nails pink. His most important role was that of a hankie, as he caught young tears from his girls as they grew up and hugged him and told him the bad parts of their days.


  8. Barb says:

    When I pet sit for friends w/ 3 dogs, bringing my own along, after a long hard walk we play catch with ice cubes. The lab/ golden is the best, but she only catches them, chomps and drops slivers. The austrailian Shepherd mix loves the game, the Cocker rescue is still learning to play after living in a backyard for 5 years, and my timid terrier mix watches the whole thing in bewilderment.


  9. Pingback: Insisting on Proper Prosecution for WV Animal Abuser | Up on the Woof

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