There can be many times that you need to keep your dog entertained indoors. It might be that it is too cold outside, it is raining or the current situation we are in with Corvid-19.
Just because we can’t go outside, doesn’t mean that our dog is going let us get away with doing nothing to keep them entertained. The more bored a dog is, the more trouble they are going to get into.
Following is a list of 10 things to do with your dog to help keep them entertained and out of trouble when they are stuck indoors. I hope the list helps you find new ways to have fun with your dog.
Play Hide And Seek
Most dogs really enjoy being challenged to find things, and finding their master adds even more fun to the game. Dogs of all ages and breeds enjoy this game, and it is good for your dog both mentally and physically.
If you have never played hide-and-seek with your dog before, it is best to start having an extra person to help.
- Have one person hold onto the dog and the other person goes and hide. Start out with very easy hiding places.
- Have the person who is holding the dog say “find them (or name of person)” in an excited voice.
- If your dog is having a hard time finding you, you can call them or make a noise so they know where to look.
- When your dog finds you, give them a treat and praise them.
- As you repeat the game, you will be able to find more challenging places to hide.
This will keep your dog moving around and they will be mentally challenged to figure out where you went.
Work On Obedience Skills
There aren’t many dogs out there that couldn’t use some work on their obedience skills or at least some brush up work. It might surprise you, but most dogs like working on their obedience skills, at least for short periods of time. They also consider it a time for free treats.
Obedience skills require a lot of mental skills for your dog to complete them correctly. Keeping your dog mentally active will help keep them from getting bored, and will also make them more tired, so they aren’t getting into as much trouble around the house.
Working on obedience should be fun for you and your dog, so make sure to choose a time when you both can be at your best, and keep the training from 5 to 15 minutes. Usually after that, most dogs have had enough training for one period.
Teach Your Dog New Tricks
Dogs love tricks because they get challenged, get treats, get praise, and everyone seems happy when a trick is well done. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Spend some time with them working up new tricks and you will feel proud and excited to show them off to others.
If you are stuck with what you can teach your dog or don’t know how to go about teaching them new tricks, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks. This book comes with colored pictures on how to train your dog along with ratings on how hard the trick is. It provides step by step instructions. It is available in paperback or on Kindle.
It is a great way to bond with your dog and keep them active.
Hide The Treats
Again, dogs love treats, so here is another activity that provides treats for your dog. Hide treats in your home for your dog to find. I recommend starting with having someone hang onto your dog and let them watch you hide treats in various locations. Then tell them to “find the treats.”
As your dog gets a better understanding of the game, you can hide the treats without your dog watching and than give them the queue to “find the treats.”
If your dog likes carrots, this is a great treat to use, since it is low in calories, but otherwise use small treats like training treats to hide to keep the calories down.
I have been doing this for years every Easter with my dogs. Once they find one treat, their nose really starts working, looking for if there might be more. The funny thing is that they will look for treats long after they are gone, but it keeps them busy.
Puzzles Or Interactive Dog Toys
It is possible to keep your dog entertained indoors and you not be doing every activity with them. There are many puzzles available for dogs that will really keep your dog mentally entertained and that are fun. Most dog puzzles will involve some type of mental work to figure out how to find or get a treat.
If you have never provided your dog with a dog puzzle, I highly recommend giving one a try. There are many to choose from, and most are very reasonably priced. You might want to look for one that has different levels of difficulty or you might find a very intelligent dog could get bored. You can take a look at the large selection of dog puzzles from this link.
Interactive dog toys are in this same category, as they provide your dog to be mentally active with the toy. There are some really great ones available, and not all of them involve treats. You can take a look at what I consider the 7 best interactive dog toys for some ideas for your dog.
Bubbles For Dogs
Not only you will your dog have fun chasing bubbles around, you will also enjoy their enthusiasm of trying to catch the bubbles floating around. I first learned of this fun when my son was young and we used to blow bubbles for him. My two dogs had just as much fun as my son did chasing the bubbles around.
There are safe bubbles for dogs that are made for dogs. They aren’t very expensive and they will provide exercise and mental stimulation, which will keep your dog out of trouble.
Probably at some point in your life you have played the shell game. It is no different for dogs. Although this won’t give your dog any physical exercise, it will give them mental exercise.
Take 3 small bowls and turn them upside down. Place a treat, bell or small toy under one of the bowls while your dog is watching. Mix the bowls up and ask your dog to find the one where the reward is. This might take some practice, but if you make a big deal about them finding the right bowl, they will start enjoying figuring out the game.
Watch this pup enjoying the shell game.
Kong For Dogs
The Kong has been around for a long time, and that is because dogs really enjoy them if you fill the Kong with treats. It keeps them busy and takes some brain power to find out how to get the treats out that small opening on the bottom.
You can fill them with peanut butter, frozen yogurt or small treats.
A Kong is fairly indestructible and cost very little. They come in many sizes to fit whatever size dog you have, and can provide hours of mental stimulation for your dog. They are available for teething chewers, average chewers and aggressive chewers.
Tug Of War
What dog doesn’t love a good game of tug of war? They are able to have your full attention, get to express some play growls, and get mental and physical exercise.
It is a great way to bond with your dog and it allows them to use different muscles than they use running or walking. Some people believe that it can make your dog aggressive, but I truly feel that it brings us closer together when we play tug of war.
There are plenty of toys you can use for tug of war, but if you don’t have anything and don’t want to spend any money, I have put a tennis ball in a soccer sock and tied some knots in the sock and it works great.
Build An Indoor Obstacle Course
There are probably many items that you have around your home that you can use for an obstacle course. An obstacle course will help your dog both mentally and physically and both of you can have fun with this. Just make sure you have enough room so your dog doesn’t get injured.
Here are some ideas of items you can use for an obstacle course.
- Orange cones are great for teaching your dog to weave in and out of them.
- Stack towels up to give your dog something to jump over.
- Curtain rod and laundry baskets can be used to create a jump.
- Build a ramp with a board and a piece of furniture.
- Open both ends of a cardboard box to create a tunnel.
- Use a kids tunnel.
- Use a hula hoop for your dog to jump through.
- Small foot stools work great for jumping over.
- Teach your dog how to army crawl under a low coffee table.
The ideas are endless, and most of us already have items around the house that we can use for our indoor obstacle course.
There are many things that you can do to keep your dog entertained indoors and help keep them out of trouble. Most of them won’t cost you any money or very little money if you need a few things. Both you and your dog will be happier if you take some special time together that helps your dog physically and mentally, and your dog will stay out of trouble if you keep them busy.
There are plenty of items that will provide your dog with more physical exercise indoors if you are looking to really tire them out. Take a look at physical exercise from the link above if you really want to get your dog moving.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will get back with you. Enjoy being creative with your pup. You can follow justforyourdog.com on Pinterest or FaceBook for all the latest doggy updates.
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