5 Indoor Games to Play with Your Dog
If your dog is used to taking long walks outside and playing in the park, she’s likely to start exhibiting signs of cabin fever after just a couple of days inside. As you probably know, dog daycare is a fantastic way for your pup to release pent up energy and socialize with other animals. To give your dog extra mental and physical stimulation at home, here are a few indoor games you can play as we ride out “Chiberia: Round Two.”
1. Hide and seek Playing hide and seek is a great way to stimulate your dog both mentally and physically. Simply show your dog a bone or toy and then put her somewhere she can’t see you. Hide the item, and then tell your pup to go find it. As your dog catches on to the game, you’ll have to get more creative with your hiding places!
2. Staircase drills If you have a staircase in your home, making a game out of running up and down it is a wonderful way for your dog to burn some serious energy. Have your dog sit and stay, and throw a toy from the bottom of the stairs to the top landing. Your dog will dash to the top to retrieve the prize, and should descend the staircase at his own pace to prevent injury. He’ll be pooped out after about 10 throws.
3. Use your nose Your dog has a great sense of smell. It’s time to let him use it! Set up a few boxes or opaque containers upside down, and hide a treat beneath one of them. Encourage your pup to smell each box. When he pauses at the one with the treat inside, reveal the prize and offer him praise for his discovery.
4. Obstacle course This game requires a bit more space, but it’s worth it! Set up a variety of obstacles (a chair, stool, crate, hoop, etc.) and instruct your dog to jump over or crawl under each item. Reward your pup every time she completes a maneuver successfully. You can continue the fun by allowing your dog to get creative and come up with her own ideas for how to interact with each obstacle.
5. Learn a new trick This one is pretty self-explanatory. Teach your dog new trick, like “shake,” “roll over,” or “play dead.” If your dog has trouble focusing on you, try playing “touch.” In a seated position, have your dog tap your left hand with his nose and immediately reward him with a treat from your right hand. Repeat.
Taking your pup to dog daycare and alternating between a few of these indoor games will keep your dog physically fit and mentally stimulated all winter. Before long, spring will arrive and you and your dog can resume your favorite outdoor activities once again. Do you and your pup play any indoor games we haven’t listed here? If so, feel free to share with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!