Physical and mental exercise is very vital for your dog’s health, but what do you do when you don’t have time to go outside? You can simply try some fun indoor games which we will be showing you here.
But before that, you need to note that when dogs don’t get enough exercise, they tend to devise ways to entertain themselves, and most times they end up with mischievous behaviors.
Understandably, the short days of rainy spring and winter might put your and your dog at risk of getting cabin fever, especially if you live in regions with super cold temps. You may not be able to take those long walks with your furry friend.
That’s more reason you need to learn about some fun indoor games for dogs. This way, you can keep your dog happy always and prevent boredom.
Without much ado, check out these fun indoor games for dogs:
1. Tug of War
Tug of War is a great way to get your dog to exercise and play meaningfully. But before you start this game, ensure your dog is well trained to obey the simple “leave it,” or “drop it” command.
However, you should stop the game if your dog starts mouthing you or gets extra rowdy. And don’t accept the popular belief that letting your dog win promotes dominance.
In fact, studies have shown that allowing your dog to win the tug of war just shows that you’re really fun to be with and encourages them to choose you as their play partner always.
2. Find the Treats
You can choose your dog’s favorite treat or bits of kibble for this game. Let your dog stay calm while you go hide the treats around the home.
Don’t be too discrete it’s the first time your dog is playing the game. In this case, you can simply place the treats in plain sight to help your dog get used to the idea. This helps them learn how not to rely heavily on visual cues alone, so they tend to improve on their excellent sniffing ability.
After a few rounds with your dog, you can make it more challenging by hiding the treats in a place that’s tough to find.
3. Put your toys away
Dogs love to play this game a lot because most times it comes with awesome praise the moment they’re well cleaned up.
You can start by having your dog pick any toy of their choice near where they are normally stored. Then let them drop it while standing over the toy box.
Your dog may take some time to fully grasp this idea, but it will surely get it. Just ensure you praise them whenever they do the cleanup and you can be sure to have a dog that can save you the stress of cleaning up every time.
4. The “which hand game”
This game works very well for dogs that are not used to nose work. Start by taking a dog treat or piece of kibble and hold in your hands. Stretch both of your hands towards your dog in a fist and let them decide and pick which hand the treat is in.
If your dog mouths you, or doesn’t play nicely, maybe you need to first practice some basic impulse control before repeating the game.
5. Hide and Seek
This dog is not only meant for humans. Yeah, it’s also a fun indoor game for dogs. But it’s much easier if your dog knows how to stay. However, if your dog doesn’t know how to stay, you can get a human helper to keep them still while you go hide somewhere in the house.
This is a simple game, and it’s filled with so much fun as your dog works hard to find your hiding spot.
6. Free shaping games
This game helps you train a new behavior in your dog without physical corrections. It encourages your dog’s natural ability to learn.
You can start by using a prop like a box. Have your dog touch the box without helping them with any signals. Grab your clicker and treats and wait for your dog to touch the box. The moment they touch the box in any way, give them praise.
You can then build on that behavior. Maybe next you can work on having your dog put their foot in the box after holding it out.
7. Treat dispensers and frozen treats inside toys
By using a treat dispenser, you can entertain your dog and help them out of boredom. Treat-dispensing toys come in varieties, but you have to be careful with destructible toys, especially when your dog loves to chew.
A good way to use this toy is to freeze the treats inside the toys first before giving your dog. This works well when your dog is already used to treat dispensers.
8. Learning the names of toys
Dogs are intelligent creatures. In fact, studies show that they have the same intelligence as a 2-year old child. Yeah, dogs can learn over 200 words without forgetting them.
A good way to maximize your dog’s brain capacity is to teach them the names of their toys. You can start with their preferred toy and use a name for it. As you call the name repeatedly while they’re playing with it, they’ll start to pick up on the name you’re calling.
After much practice with a few different toys, you can try to send them out to go get their red ball or any name you’re sure they’ve registered in their head.
9. The three-cup game
This is another interesting fun indoor game for dogs. It helps to train your dog’s nose.
You can start by lining three cups in front of your dog. Place a treat under one of the cups while your dog is watching. Then give them the go-ahead to pick the right cup containing the treat. If they choose correctly, praise them by allowing them to have the treat.
You can up the game to be more challenging by mixing the cups randomly after putting the treat in one of them. This entertains your dog and works as great nose work.
10. Puzzle and interactive dog toys
You can get many interactive dog toys in the market- there are toys to chew, toys to chase, and puzzles to figure out things.
If you observe your dog to like chasing, you can make your chase toy by tying a toy to one end of a rope and attaching it onto a stick. After that, you can wave the toy around for your dog to chase.
However, when making a chase toy, using a bungee as the rope is better for the sake of your dog’s neck when they catch the toy.
You can also use some tennis balls, a muffin tin, and a few treats to create your puzzle toy. Start by placing the treats in the tin and cover it up with tennis balls. This way, you’ve got yourself a dog puzzle.
You don’t have to outdoors before exercising or entertaining your dog. The above-listed fun indoor games for dogs are excellent options to keep your dog happy and free from boredom.
You have no excuse anymore. Get your furry friend active and bond with them through fun indoor games.