April Fools' Day

Father and young daughter laughing with a dog, in a list of April Fools pranks for dogs
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15 Sweet April Fool’s Dog Pranks To Pull On Your Pup

Your dog probably doesn’t suspect much of anything in general, tbh.

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Even though they can't read a calendar, there's no reason you can't pull a (very gently, good-natured) prank on your dog this April Fools’ Day. Sure, playing a joke on a creature who can't return the gesture might be a little low, but there's nothing wrong with a little lighthearted fun — your four-legged best friend can take it.

Most of these silly April Fools’ ideas for dogs are super easy if you know their personalities, because every pup is afraid of or disturbed by something. For instance, my dog can't tell the difference between a real fight and a fake one, so he jumps to my defense whenever one of my family members pretends to wrestle me or hugs me a little tighter than he's comfortable with. (Isn't it great to know chivalry isn't dead?) Each doggo has actions that upset or rile them up, so the more time you spend with your pooch, the easier it will be to have a little fun with them.

However, you want to be sure you aren't playing any practical jokes that lead your dog to believe they can't trust you. Be sure you're having fun with them, not hurting them, and not messing with them regularly. There are some tried and true pranks any dog owner can pull to get a rise out of their furry friend. Read on for 13 of the best pup pranks, and start plotting ASAP. Just make sure to give them extra treats and cuddles when you’re done so they know you love them and you’re just playing. Happy pranking!


Tennis ball, waterfall, pups think they know it all

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The key to this prank is to get as many tennis balls as possible. Get on the roof, and start slowly dropping the neon bouncers into the lawn where your dog plays. Then when your pup least expects it, drop as many balls as you can into their play space. Watch as they wrestle with joy and confusion. Plus, you won't have to get a new supply of toys anytime soon.


"What the fluff" challenge

This particular prank went viral a while ago, with videos of confused puppers popping up all over the internet. The trick is simple: You hold up a blanket in front of you, poke your head over so your dog knows you're behind it, then lift it up and sprint off before the blanket falls. Chaos ensues as your doggo tries to understand your disappearing act.


Wrap the toilet

Does your dog love drinking out of the toilet? Get your revenge by putting clear plastic over your seat on April Fools’ Day, and try not to laugh too loud when your dog confusedly tries to shove their face into it. Don't leave your dog unsupervised with the plastic though — you don't want them ingesting any of it. And hey, this might be the best way to train them not to continue this bad hydrating habit.


Get them a robot toy

Pooches who aren't used to animatronic toys will flip if you introduce them to one. Simply press go and watch your pooch lose it at this mysterious robot who has infiltrated their home. You can also pull this one off with a Roomba or really any robot vaccum of your choice.


Laser pointer play time

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Kitties are well-known for freaking out when they see the glow from a laser pointer, but dogs will also go into a frenzy when they can’t catch that little red dot. Just be sure not to shine it into your pup's eye because dogs are even more sensitive to light than humans, so the bright light can permanently damage their vision.


Paper towel roll voice-over

My dog loses his mind when I use a paper towel roll as a makeshift megaphone, barking at me like crazy whenever the cardboard tube distorts my voice. Collect a bunch of rolls and get your whole family to call for your pup through the tubes. They'll either love the attention, hate the octave change, or not even notice a difference.


Mask mayhem

Dogs, like people, get spooked by masks, especially because they don't understand what they are. Get a cheap mask from your local party store, and your dog will be freaked — at the very least curious — for sure. Maybe wait to do this one until after you've taken them on their morning walk though you don't want to have to clean up an unexpected accident.


Make them think there’s a phantom dog

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All you need for this prank is a recording of a dog bark on your phone. Put your device in your pocket, press play on the sound effect, and bask in the glory of your pupper trying to find the source of the mystery bark.


Fake toss

It's a classic for a reason. Take your pup to the park, and have hours of fun as your pretend to throw their favorite ball. Make sure your faux toss is convincing, and be sure to actually throw the ball eventually. Your pup deserves it.


Puppy versus the mirror

If you've got a puppy who hasn't faced a mirror yet, place a full length one in front of one of your pup's favorite play spots, and have a laugh as the dog takes on his greatest enemy: himself.


Make their favorite treat disappear

Got any close-up magic skills? Instead of making a coin disappear this April Fools’ Day, make some kibble or doggy treat vanish before your pup's very eyes. Make sure to give the good boy the treat after you're done pranking, though.


Make the bone just out of reach

This prank is great if you have a two-story home. Attach a dog bone to a string, and dangle it over the bannister as your pup walks by. When they try to jump up to reach it, yank it out of reach. Put up baby gates to make the joke extra intense, and make sure you give your pup the bone after a few minutes of fun. You don't want to totally lose her trust.


Rise from the depths

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This joke relies on your dog’s inability to fully comprehend bodies of water. Have your pup sit on the edge of a lake, go underwater, and then resurface right next to them. They're all but guaranteed to be spooked by your apparent teleportation.


It’s a wrap

Put all your leftover holiday wrapping paper to good use and wrap your pup’s favorite toys when he’s not looking. Not only will he be totally confused, he’ll probably pass lots of time trying to free his toys from the paper.


Lettuce for dinner

When it’s feeding time, act like you’re about to pour food into your dog’s bowl — then, at the last second, switch it for a head of lettuce. Watch your dog sniff quizzically at this very new kind of dinner (but be sure to switch it out for his real food before he gets too hungry).

Whatever trick you decide to do, make sure it's all in good fun and don't leave your pup hanging afterwards. Give him or her lots of love for being the good sport that they are.

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