Want to have some fun with your dog around the house? Check out these 7 fun games to play with your dog indoors.
Making sure that your dog gets enough time for play is incredibly important for both you and your dog. A dog that is not getting enough activity and play in its life is a dog that is going to cause a lot of issues around the house. No pet owner wants this to happen.
You don’t have to take your dog outside to play. There are still several different ways that you could consider playing with your dog inside the house when going outside simply isn’t an option.
Fetch is a classic outdoor game, but nobody said that it was only limited to outdoors. Depending on the size of your house, there are several ways that you can make sure that your dog gets the exercise that it needs while being adorable in the process.
If your house is one story and is not all that large, you might want to consider simply playing fetch in a hallway. While this might not be as entertaining, it will certainly be a way for your dog to be able to play when it cannot go outside.
If you have a second story or a basement that is connected to the main house through stairs, then you can consider throwing a ball up or down the stairs.
This game works best if your dog understands the command “fetch.” If not, check out how to teach your dog to fetch here. Not only will this be an exercise for your dog, it can also become a training process for your dog as well, with treats as rewards.
This video shows both how a dog can use the stairs to play fetch, as well as simply an area of free space in your house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyS4FrRY6UA
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2. Hide and Seek
To be able to properly play this game with your dog, you will want to make sure that your dog is familiar with a command that means to look for something hidden, such as “find it.”
Assuming that your dog knows this command, you will want to show your dog what you are hiding. This could be a toy, treat, or maybe even a favorite person. Once your dog knows what you are hiding, lead your dog away from where it will not be able to see you.
Once your dog cannot see you, you should then hide the item of interest (or person). After it is hidden, call for your dog to find the object. Now you will be able to watch your dog have some fun looking for something interesting.
If your dog is having some trouble finding the object, you can give some vocal clues or walk towards the hiding place. This can also help dogs who might be new to the concept of playing hide and seek with their person.
3. The Shell Game
Everybody knows the problem-solving game of placing an object into a cup, shuffling cups around, and then guessing which cup has the object in it. Some dogs find this game to be quite enjoyable, especially because it often has a reward at the end.
The process is fairly straightforward. First, you’re going to hide a treat in a cup, and have several empty cups around that cup. Then, once the dog knows the treat is inside the cup, shuffle the cups around. If your dog motions toward the cup with the treat, offer that treat as a reward.
This game offers not only some entertainment for both you and your dog, but it also offers some mental stimulation that all dogs need.
4. Puzzle Toys
This game will require a little bit of an investment on your part, but the result will be well worth it in the end. Puzzle toys are toys that require a little bit of thinking to solve the puzzle, but often, solving the puzzle will reward your dog with treats and praise.
There are countless puzzle toys out there for you to choose for your dog. Some toys are a bit more complex than others, meaning you should make sure that you don’t choose a puzzle that is going to be too tough for your dog to figure out. Nobody wants to make their dog frustrated.
Puzzle toys can offer mental stimulation, as well as an entertaining experience, as you watch the dog fumble its way around the puzzle until it excitedly figures it out and is rewarded with both treats and praise.
5. Tug of War
Depending on the toys you have at hand, this might also require you to purchase a dog toy. However, purchasing a good dog toy will leave you with something that your dog will be itching to play with, even if it is not storming or snowing outside.
Tug of war is the perfect game to play with your dog. Many dogs actually enjoy being able to play with their owners. As long as your dog is well disciplined and understands what it means to drop a toy, you will be able to give your dog a good exercise session when you choose to play tug of war with your dog.
As for the type of toy to choose from, most tug of war toys closely resemble rope. More often than not, you will want to focus on durability rather than appearance, especially with larger and stronger breeds of dog, such as pit bulls.
6. Stairway Dash
This is less of a game for your dog, rather than a way for your dog to burn off energy from staying inside all day. For this, you will want to make sure that you have a long hallway or stairwell that your dog can dash up and down. You will also want to make sure that your dog’s joints are warmed up before you really get into this game.
First, you will want to keep your dog by you as you throw a toy to the top of the staircase or the end of the hallway. If you want to make it more interesting for a well-trained dog, you could add a build up before you tell your dog that it is okay to go get the toy. Remember that you shouldn’t rush your dog down the stairs, as that has a risk of injury.
Something to note for this game is that it should only be done for dogs who are older than a year, as younger dogs do not have fully developed joints. If your dog is under a year old or has joint problems, consider just a simple hallway dash instead to prevent damage to the joints.
7. Teach a Dog a New Trick
Dogs love to learn, and what better time is there to learn a brand new trick than when you and your dog are stuck inside together. No matter how old your dog is, the two of you can have fun learning a new trick and your dog will get the added enjoyment of attention from its favorite person: you.
Some examples of tricks you could consider are learning to put toys away, learning new words, or teaching your dog how to beg. These are just some examples of some tricks, but there are countless ways that you could teach your dog something new while you are both waiting to go outside and play.
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