It’s a freezing day in winter, a rainy afternoon or simply past dark, and your dog has energy to spare. They need some entertainment, and unfortunately, that can’t come in the form of a walk outside. It’s time for some indoor games. Here are a few ideas:
Training and a game in one, a search and sniff session can provide lots of entertainment for you and your dog. Have your dog sit and stay while you go around the house hiding small dog treats. Or, if they haven’t quite mastered the sit-and-stay when there’s something as serious as treats on the line, keep your dog in a room with the door closed while you quickly hide treats behind the bookcase, between sofa cushions, inside their toy bin and other tricky spots. Then let your dog get to work and enjoy the sight of your pooch sniffing their way to a delicious reward.
A classic game, play tug of war inside at any time of day. You can get down on the ground with your dog for some up-close play, or take the more relaxed route and pull on a Tug Toy – like the ‘Tea Bea,’ the ‘Drop the Mic,’ or the ‘Hide-N-Go-Zeke’ toys – while you watch TV. Throw it across the room when you win the game, and repeat.
Challenge your pooch to a brain teaser of a game by introducing them to a Puzzle Toy (say, the ‘Casino Dog Puzzle’ or the ‘Dog Brick Puzzle’). Combining dog treats – the ultimate motivator – with challenging thinking games, Puzzle Toys are a great way for your dog to spend a rainy afternoon inside. They’ll exercise their brain as well as their jaws once they finally reach their favorite bites.
Dog toys everywhere? No problem. You can spend some time together bonding with your dog as you train them to clean up after themselves while still having fun. It’s like the “clean up” game for kids, minus the group singing (lucky you). First, you’ll have to train your dog to follow a command such as “pick up” or “put away,” so that they know how to bring their toys back to their bin or basket. This will take up time on its own, making for a great indoor activity. After that, scatter your dog’s toys around the house and set them loose to begin the cleanup.
Test your dog’s sniffing skills by playing “Which hand?” Have your dog sit in front of you and show them a treat. Then put your hands behind your back and hold onto the treat. Put both fists in front of your dog again and have them sniff out which hand is holding the treat. It’s a great beginner sniffing game, and one they won’t get bored of too quickly. These are treats, after all.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a shortcut every once in a while. Before you start on any of the above games, take a Super Chewer Toy – like ‘Carla the Gnarly Cardinal’ – and fill it up with peanut butter. Make it an even longer game by throwing the toy in the freezer for an hour. Just don’t expect your dog to pay any attention to you until they’re done!