Photo by Jozef Fehér from Pexels
Sometimes, whether due to bad storms or unsafe temperatures, we have to hang up our collars and lead While dogs love going outside, they love spending time with their humans even more. And when we find ourselves stuck at home we need to find ways of keeping our smellydogz entertained with some.
But play has more advantages than simply passing the time! It’s a great way to keep your dog active and exercised when stuck indoors, provides mental stimulation, aids in developing training habits, and helps to strengthen the bond between us and our smellydogz. Having some great indoor games to play can keep your dog in top shape, even if they can’t go outside.
Here are some indoor dog games that can help keep your smellydogz entertained:
1) Play fetch
Modify this classic outdoor game for your indoor space. Retrieving an object is a great way to burn off excess energy for your pup
Playing fetch or catch can be one of the best boredom busters for dogs. So whether its a favourite stuffy or a tug-rope, be sure to select a toy that they can retrieve, and more importantly bring back!
2) Hide and seekHide and seek is a fun way to engage your dog’s body and mind as it gives them something new and exciting to enjoy. It is a neat addition to the list of games to play with your dog inside the house
How to Play
- Ask your dog to stay in one place while you go and hide.
- If your dog doesn’t know how to stay then you need a friend to keep them distracted while you go hide and call their name.
- As with other tricks, it's important to start small, so make your first hiding place easy to find.
- Progressively, move to more challenging hiding spots.
- Be sure to celebrate and praise your dog when they find you.
3) Find the treatsAt times you need boredom busters for your dogs while you are multitasking, just so you don’t miss out on playtime. All you need are some treats, and a few good hiding spots.
How to play
- Pick food with a smell that your dog likes, let them smell it, and then hide the treats while your smellydogz wait
- Start by putting the treats around the house in obvious spots.
- Release the hounds! Get your dog to “find” the treats and praise them every time they do.
- Make the finding spots more challenging as you go along.
Avoid hiding smelly snacks such as tuna in places where a lingering odor might be a problem
4) Play a game of tagThis is a great game to play with a friend or family member! So grab a partner to play a game of tag with your smellydogz.
How to play
- Sit on one side of the room and have your partner sit on the opposite side.
- Tell your dog to go to your partner and have them call out your their name
- Once they successfully tag your partner, switch, and begin to call out your name
- Repeat the process and watch your smellydogz just wear themselves out
5) Teach Your smellydogz to Find Specific ToysDogs can retain up to 150 words, so naming their toys can help them improve retention and memory skills. This can help with other types of training moving forward as your smellydogz get older. It’s also one of the top boredom busters for dogs that are older as it keeps them mentally engaged.
How to play
- Start with a familiar toy such as a favourite ball that has a familiar name
- Place the toy on the floor in front of your dog and ask your dog to get the toy when they are near it
- Repeat a few times until your dog can identify the toy by name.
- Now you can hide the toy all over the house for a quick game of hide and seek, or get your smellydogz to find their best toy when its time for a game of fetch.
6) The Shell GameIn some situations, such as healing from spaying/neutering, dogs need less activity. This reduced physical activity can lead to boredom. Having less active games to play with your dog inside is a great way to keep them entertained as they heal.
The shell game doesn’t require a lot of movement but it provides a high level of mental stimulation.
What you need
A small flower pot with a hole at the bottom, or a plastic cup. Anything that hides the treat but lets your pup still smell it will work.
Some tasty treats
How to play
- Hide your treat under the pot/cup while your dog is watching.
- Tell them to “find it” and wait for them to touch the pot
- Celebrate with them when they get it right; practise this trick for a day or two.
- Next, introduce another pot, making the game more difficult. Add more pots as your dog improves at the game.
- Once your dog can find the right pot every time, start moving the pots around before the giving the “find” command
7) Stuffed Kong
It's always fun to catch up on a little playtime with your furry friend but sometimes you may be too busy.
We love stuffed kongs because it keeps dogs engaged and in one place. It is one of the less vigorous games to play with your dog inside, which makes it even better for smellydogz who are dealing with restricted mobility.
Simply place a treat inside the kong toy, but placing a treat like peanut butter inside and freezing it can keep your pup occupied for 30 minutes. Just make sure the toy you are using is non-toxic and dishwasher safe for an easy clean up.
Lay down a towel in the area where your dog is playing because this could get messy.
8) Tug of warTug of war is one of the indoor dog games that can burn off excess energy and give your dog an intense workout both mentally and physically. It builds a strong bond between you and your dog and can help redirect the urge to chew. Tugging also helps your smellydogz confidence if you let them win once in a while.
Discourage biting! If your dog accidentally bites or gets over excited, make sure you let them know when they go too far. Let them know by saying “ouch” or even yelping. The playing should stop right away if a bite happens, discouraging this type of behaviour in the future..
- Teach your dog a “let go” or “release” command so that you can stop the game if you need to.
- Remember to pull sideways as pulling upwards can injure your dog’s spine.