For dogs who like to leap and grab objects in mid-air, how can I channel these traits into an interactive game?
Some dogs are particularly fond of jumping and grabbing objects. You can channel these traits into an interactive game by teaching your dog to catch an object like a ball, and then return it to you. This game of catch and return is a version of fetch. It can keep your dog mentally and physically active while satisfying your dog’s urge to jump and grab.
If your dog likes to swim, you can also throw objects into a pool or other accessible and dog-friendly water area and have your dog leap into the water to retrieve the object. This game is particularly good for dog breeds that are known to do very well in water, like Labrador retrievers or many hunting breeds. These dogs love launching off of decks or the side of a pool to splash into the water and retrieve a ball or floatable toy. Dock jumping is even a sport for many dog enthusiasts.
You can also teach your dog to jump over an obstacle. Make the obstacle an appropriate height for your dog so that he or she can comfortable clear the obstacle while still having to jump. Have your dog stand in front of the obstacle and show them a treat. Move the treat over the obstacle to encourage your dog to jump over the obstacle to get to the treat. Repeat this until your dog jumps over the obstacle without any food reward.