Winter is coming and Christmas is around the corner which means your dog will have a lot of idle time at home a.k.a bored. And there is nothing worse than a bored dog. A bored dog without a way to release his pent-up energy can be sure to give you a constant headache by chewing up your shoes, clothes, and curtain.
The solution? Getting your dog to stay active even during stormy weather or winter season is a proven way to burn off some of that excess energy and relieve boredom.
To help you out, here I’ve put a list of 10 fun indoor games that you can play with your dog right away.
1. Tug of War Game
This is a classic game that I played often with my dog during my childhood. It’s perfect to play indoor since the game doesn’t require a lot of room to play in. It exercises your dog mentally and physically and as an added bonus, playing this game with your dog regularly can enhance the bond between you and your dog. All you need to play this game is a tough rope or sturdy tug toy, your pawsome dog and you are ready to play.
2. Hide and Seek
Hide and seek game is quite simple and easy to play. You don’t need any toy or treat to play the game. You can play it yourself, or with multiple family members or friends. The game starts with the basic stay command. Tell your dog to stay while you go and hide. If your dog still follows you so you can’t hide, you can ask someone to help by holding your dog while you go hide.
3. Find The Treats
Find the treats is a fun game to train your dog’s nose. You can start out simple by using bits of kibble or your dog’s favorite treats. Grab some of your dog’s favorite treats then let him watch as you place them somewhere around the room. Ask him to find the hidden treats and praise them every time he finds one. After a few rounds, you can make the game more challenging by hiding them in a place where he has to sniff out such as under a blanket, sheet, pillow, or rug. As your dog gets used to the game, you can gradually use more difficult objects such as his favorite toy, money, watch, etc.
4. Which Hand Game
“Which hand game” is the most basic guessing game that you can teach to your dog early. The only things that you need are his favorite treats and your hands. Start out by placing a treat in one of your hands. Close your fist and encourage your dog to choose which hand it’s in. When he chooses the correct hand, praise him and give him the treat. If he chooses the wrong hand, tell him to try again. It might take a few rounds until your dog gets the hang of the game.
5. Three Cup Game
Three cup game is the same game that you often see in a magic show. To start let your dog watch as you put his favorite treat under one of three cups. Ask him to choose which one is the right cup. When he chooses the right cup, praise and let him have the treat. Do it several rounds until your dog gets the hang of it. After a few rounds, you can make the game more challenging by shuffling the cups around.
5. StairMaster Game
Stairmaster game is a great game to stimulate your dog physically and burn off some of his excess energy. To start the game, you throw the ball up the stairs and let your dog run to retrieve and return it to you at the bottom of the steps. You can entice him more by praising and rewarding him with his favorite treat every time he successfully returns the ball to you.
6. Hall Ball Game
If you have a long straight hallway in your home, you can try to play a hall ball game. It’s a great game to play and have fun with your dog. The basic idea of the game is similar to a fetch game. You take a ball and roll it down a long hallway and encourage your dog to fetch and retrieve it.
7. Teach Your Dog New Tricks
You can either reinforce the tricks that they have already learned or teach the new ones. It’s a great way to spend quality time with your dog indoors. There are almost endless tricks that you can teach from the basic tricks such as sit, wait, lay down, handshake, and recall to the more advanced tricks such as rollover, play dead, spin, and more.
8. Mini Obstacle Course
You can turn your living room into a mini obstacle course for your dog. You can use any item from around your home such as small boxes, mini-cons, pillow, sturdy chairs, and use your imagination to build a simple but challenging game for your dog. It’s a great game to get your dog up and moving around.
9. Free Shaping Game
Free Shaping is a great game to mentally stimulate your dog. You can use any object such as a box, water bottle, ring and more, and a clicker. For our example, we will use a box. You place a box on the ground and let him investigate and decided what to do. Then, you choose a goal for your interaction with the box for example ‘front feet only in the box’. Now, click and give him a treat for any move he makes that is closer to the end goal. If your dog tries the wrong thing, just be patient and don’t do anything. Eventually, he will second guess what is it you want him to do and try something else to try to get the praise and treats.
10. The Name Game
Teaching your dog to name his toys could make your dog quite popular among children in your neighborhood. You can start by holding one of his favorite toys and naming it. Let’s say the name is Bear, hold Bear in one hand, and say “Bear”, let your dog grab Bear and give him a reward. Repeat the process again 20 to 30 times. Then test your dog by asking him to pick Bear out among his other toys.