How to play Dodgy Dogs

How to play Dodgy Dogs

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2 – 5 players use one pack.

For more than 5 players, use two packs shuffled together.


In each round the aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards before everyone else, with the maximum score. The winner of the game is the person with the most points after 5 rounds.

Dealing the cards

7 cards are dealt to each player. After dealing, the remaining cards are placed face down at the centre of the table. This is the Stockpile. The top card of the Stockpile is then turned face up to start the Discard Pile. If the top card is a Special Card, a new card is turned over until a Dodgy Dog is on top of the Discard Pile.


Players discard by matching Size or Behaviour with the top card of the Discard Pile, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. If a player is unable to match the Size or Behaviour of the top card of the Discard Pile, or if they do not have a Special Card, they must draw a card from the top of the Stockpile, until they do have a playable card. They will draw a maximum of three cards. If, after drawing three cards they still have no playable cards, play passes to the player to their left, who must attempt to match either the Size or Behaviour of the card at the top of the Discard Pile or play a Special Card. When matching a Behaviour card, a player may choose to play all cards of that same Behaviour that they hold in their hand.

Special cards


The Dog Whisperer allows you to declare a new Behaviour eg Barking, Chasing, Fighting etc. This must be whispered to the player on their left (so that the other players cannot hear). If the player does not have that Behaviour in their hand, they pick a card from the Stockpile.  Play passes to the next player, who then guesses the Behaviour. If correct, they play a card of that Behaviour. If incorrect they pick up a card from the Stockpile and play passes to the next player.  This continues until someone guesses correctly or it comes back to the original Dog Whisperer who plays. The Dog Whisperer card can be played at any time, except for on top of another Special Card.


There are four Leaders of the Pack in each pack – Small, Medium, Large and Massive. Leaders of the Pack cards can only be played on top of a card of the same Size - Small, Medium, Large, Massive. The person who plays a Leader of the Pack card places it on the Discard pile and can then discard all the cards of the same Size in their hand. Play then passes to their left and follows the top card on the Discard pile.


The Wild Card causes total chaos. When played, everyone must swap their cards with the player next to them. The person who plays the Wild Card can decide which direction the swap goes – to the left or to the right. After playing the Wild Card, the player to the left may play any card they choose to begin play again. The Wild Card can be played at any time except on top of a Special Card.


These cards make the next player pick up the corresponding number of cards from the Stockpile. The only way to avoid picking up those extra cards is if you have a Pick Up Puppies card of your own. You can then play that, and the next player must pick up the combined number of cards indicated by the two Pick Up cards (unless of course they can player their own Pick Up card). Once all of the cards have been picked up, the player who picked them up may place down any card from their hand to begin play again. The Pick Up Puppies cards can be played at any time, except for on top another Special Card.


The Crafty Cat card is set to disrupt all the Dodgy Dogs. The person playing this card shouts ‘meow’ and slams their hand on the card.  All players must do the same shouting ‘woof’. The last person to shout ‘woof’ and place their hand on the card picks up the Crafty Cat which is removed from play and set aside for scoring. The Crafty Cat can be played at any time, including on top of a Special Card

In summary, what can you do when it's your turn?

  • Match a Behaviour.
  • Match a Size.
  • Play a Special Card.
  • Draw up to 3 cards from the stockpile until you can play, or pass.

What happens if there is no stockpile remaining

If there are no cards left in the Stockpile, the Discard Pile is turned over to make a new Stockpile (leaving the top card on the Discard pile).

Winning & scoring

If a player gets rid of all their cards, that player has won that round.

Every player then counts up his or her score.

The winner of a round scores 10 points.

Any Dodgy Dogs remaining in your hand score minus 1 point

Special Cards score minus 5 points, except wild cards, which score minus 10 points.

A Crafty Cat held after someone played it during the game, it scores minus 10 points.

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