It is great fun to play with a puppy but their are some games that can actually help pup to develop as they grow.
The game of fetch is a favorite for many dogs. Besides being great fun for your canine friend to chase and object, it allows them to run, exercise and get a lot of pent up energy out. It also allows them to develop their scenting ability.
To teach him how to fetch have pup come, sit and then toss a balled up sock or small ball or bumper just a short distance. Get him excited about chasing the object and picking it up in his mouth. If he does not come back immediately gently tug on his leash and he will gradually come back your way as you praise him.
As he heads back to you call his name in and excited voice and make sure pup is having fun. Be careful not to overdo the enthusiasm or repetitions.
When he brings it back to you dont be too quick to take it from him but let him play with it a bit.
Teaching put to find and object is another great game that will get pup using his nose and analyzing ability. This is great prep work for a future in tracking. Name his favorite toy and hold it in your hand.
As he looks at you holding it shake it and then hide it a short distance away and give the command seek or find. When he finds it praise him and give him a treat then repeat. Gradually increase the distance and difficulty. With enough repetition and persistence gradually introduce new objects and after awhile you will be able to get him to find a number of different objects.
The game of tug-on-the rope offers pup hours of fun over time and gives you the opportunity to release and object or toy on command. Get pup to bite onto a favorite rope toy and tug lightly acting like your pulling hard hell be excited but be sure to make him obey when you tell him to drop or release the tow.
If he does not lift him from underneath his chest he will usually release it. As he lets go repeat the give or drop command. Never allow him to continue to bit or chew on the rope. Do not allow him to continue chewing or biting after the command is given or he will think that is the game and the bigger he gets the harder it will be to get an object from his mouth. Kibble treats with the command will encourage pup to release when given the command.
Finally teaching pup agility games is another way to get energy out and develop critical thinking skills and help with his coordination. Pup will get very excited about the different challenges he will be given in an agility course. They will love succeeding in the challenges put before them and receiving the praise that you will give him as he grows in his abilities.
You can develop a small agility course in doors and use food treats to entice pup to go through the obstacles. Give him lots of praise as he is successful. Eventuall graduate to an outside course if you are so inclined. Pup will love you for it and you both will have a great time perfecting this course. Who knows the two of you may even want to enter some agility competitions.
As always be patient, consistent and make sure both of you keep having fun together.