Dog Games To Play When Stuck Indoors

Posted by Michael Shine

When taking your dog outside for playtime is too challenging, they still need to burn off energy and relieve boredom. Indoor games are a good idea to keep both their body and their head entertained.

Your dog needs to do more than sit around the house or sleep the bad weather away, the same way you do. Here are fun indoor games you can play with your dog.

Scent work with hidden treats

Let your dog use his nose to sniff out prizes and treats. Teaching your dog to discover rewards using only his nose is an excellent game for the body and mind. While all dogs have a great sense of smell, sometimes they have to be reminded to use it, and this exercise can get your dog excited about solving the problem of the hidden prize.

Set up a bunch of boxes or opaque containers (start with at least four or five) upside-down next to each other and, without your dog seeing you hide it, place a prize (a favorite toy, a bone, a treat, whatever works) under one of the containers.

Scent work with hidden treats

Next, encourage your dog to smell the boxes and, as he (hopefully) pauses at the one with the prize, lift the box and enthusiastically congratulate him on his discovery. Let him eat the treat, fetch the toy, or indulge in whatever reward your dog found.

Soon, your dog will know during this game and be excited to sniff out the prize. Keep adding more boxes and space them at farther intervals to increase the challenge as your dog's scent work improves.

Tug Games

Tug of War

In small spaces where mobile games are not possible, you can still play tug games with your dog. Get a couple of sturdy tug toys in a size that's appropriate for your particular dog.

Tug toys are suitable for indoor play because they are small enough to throw across the room to fetch and retrieve, and do not bounce and hit things the way balls can.

For an inexpensive version of a tug toy, tear an old T-shirt into strips. Tie the pieces together to create a multi-tentacled octopus type toy that is easy for both you and your dog to grab. They are lightweight, easy to throw, and easy to wash.

Hide and Seek

Whether you are hiding a treat, a favorite toy, or in another area of the house yourself, dogs enjoy the fun of the hunt. Start with something simple by hiding a toy or treat under a blanket, sheet, or pillows, and see how long it takes your dog to find it. Make it more of a challenge by altering the hiding place or wrapping the object in layers.

Hide and Seek Dogs

If you are hiding, or have multiple human family members that can play, make it a hunt for each person that is disappearing. If your dog follows you so you can't hide, the advantage of having at least one other player is that someone can hold your dog while you vanish, and then give the command to find you once hidden.

Obstacle Course

Even if you don't have a large house, you can still create an obstacle course for your dog. Try using items from around your home to build a simple but challenging way that will provide plenty of doggy entertainment. For example, pillows, sturdy chairs, and boxes are easy to use and clean up after playtime.

Use a few Canidae Treats to motivate your dog to jump over objects or maneuver around or under barriers. An obstacle course is a great way to get your dog up and moving around, even in a small space. Be creative and vary the course to keep it interesting for your dog.

Training Games

If you are trying to train your dog to obey commands, take advantage of the restrictions of indoor space to practice some of the basic rules such as Sit, Come, Shake, or Roll Over. If you make it a game instead of a task, your dog may take to it better and will learn commands quicker.

Patience, praise, and rewards work wonders when you are teaching new skills to your dog or trying to reinforce the ones they have already learned. You can also use training cues in any of the indoor games to help enhance their learning.

Puzzle Challenges

There is a large selection of puzzle type toys available that will challenge your dog as he works to retrieve the treat hidden inside. Some require rolling and active movement for the dog to get the food out of the toy. Others are for stationary play.

The lure of the hidden treat will entice your dog to spend time trying to retrieve the treasure, which takes concentration and focus. It keeps the dog entertained and offers a tasty reward at the end for accomplishing the task.

Keeping your dog active and entertained when they're stuck inside is not just suitable for physical exercise and stimulating their brain. It is also an excellent way for you to bond with your canine companion.

Your dog loves spending time with you. Indoor games can make your time together with healthy, fun, educational, and bonding.

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