With everyone staying home except those with jobs considered essential, we are sure you are trying to find more ways to keep your dog having fun. I’m sure your dog is begging to play and stay active. If you dog typically goes to daycare or you have a small yard, indoor games and activities can be so beneficial.
I am often rotating games I play with my dogs and typically pick a different game for each dog of mine. Sometimes only doing 15 minutes might not sound like a lot of time to play with your dog but with the right games, it can be plenty for them. Each dog is different, but whether you have 10 minutes or hours to spend with your dog, they’ll be delighted to spend the time with you. Playtime is great for mental stimulation too.
1. Find the Toy
The game of “find the toy” is much like hide and seek except they aren’t looking for you or another dog, they are searching for a toy that you hid somewhere. This game is fun because they get to work their brain and use their sense of smell to sniff out the toy. Only a few rounds in and your dog should start getting mentally tired.
To begin, you will need to hide the toy in an obvious spot such as partially under a table or couch. Play along and tell your dog to “find it” and the first few rounds while they learn you can help them. After a few times, they should have an idea of what “find it” means and you can slowly increase the difficulty of hiding spots for the toy. As they figure out the game, have your dog stay in a room while you hide the toy in another spot and then ask them to “find it”. You’ll see hem use their nose to sniff out the toy you hid.
Something to keep in mind is the size of the toy. The bigger the toy, the easier it’ll be to find. So consider using the smallest but safest toy for the size of your dog. Some good spots can be under pillows, on a bookshelf, or even in a basket under something else. I like using the ZippyPaws Skinny pelts because I can roll them up. Another item I’ve used are tennis balls or chuckit balls.
I’ve been told that tug-of-war can show aggression in dogs but I’ve yet to find that to be true. I also tend to use a few rules when playing that are easy for my dog to follow and understand.
- The dog waits to take the toy until it’s presented
- Release the toy when asked
- Respond to “sit”, “down”, and “wait” to help encourage focus and discourage your dog getting over excited
The toy you want to use will depend on the size of your dog and the preference they have. I like to hold onto rope and my dogs tend you prefer a ball at the end but sometimes they do want to hold and pull a rope end so o keep both options available to see what they prefer whenever we play.
3. Never Ending Fetch
This game is the go to for my German Shepherd. She is obsessed with fetch so this defaults to her favorite and preferred game to play inside. The key to this game is to have a variety of toys and balls ready to go so when they bring back one you just toss another. This barely gives them a pause between throws and the excitement that they don’t know what they’ll be going after next.
It’s really a simple game: ask your dog to sit and then toss a basic fetch item such as a tennis ball. When your dog brings it back ask them to drop it and immediately toss another toy for them to go fetch.
The goal of this game is to make the toys intriguing so your dog brings them back faster and faster to see what you will be throwing for them next. Keeping the items in a bin can also help keep them surprised from knowing what you might pick next for them to throw. Some good toys to use for this are Gnawsome Squeak & Light LED Ball, chuckit balls, Multipet Nuts for Knots Ball, or ZippyPaws ZippyTuff Squeaker Ball. If you have a dog who prefers plush toys, check out the GoDog Furballz Toy.
Keeping up speed and tossing the toys in different directions keeps your dog active and has them tired out on no time. The element of surprise keeps your dog engaged and the high speed involves lots of running or movement. This is the go-to for our indoor dog games.
Indoor Dog Games – What is Your Dog’s Favorite?
What are your go to activities to do indoors with your dog? Let me know in the comment section below.
Looking for one other way to occupy your dog while you aren’t home? Check out this article to find out which KONG is right for your dog.
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