Indoor Games You Can Play With Your Dog

Recent Resources November 23, 2023
Indoor Games You Can Play With Your Dog
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Indoor Games You Can Play With Your Dog

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If you are stranded at home indoors with your dog because of bad weather, it may create boredom for you both. But, even though you are trapped inside, you can still interact meaningfully with your dog in order to emotionally and physically excite him. Don’t let being confined to your home ruin your fun the next time.

In this article, we offer 12 easy and fun indoor games that your pup will love to play when he can’t get outside. These games will keep your dog happy, entertained, and prevent boredom at the very least.

Why Play Indoor Games with Your Dog?

You may be wondering why you should take the time to play indoor games with your dog. Of course, your dog would prefer to be outdoors, running around, but the weather doesn’t always permit it.

So when the weather is bad and your pup cannot play outdoors, there are plenty of reasons why you should also play indoor games with your dog.

Below are a few reasons why indoor games are important for your dog’s health and happiness.

  • Indoor games provide mental stimulation. Just like humans, dogs need mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Indoor games are the perfect way to provide your dog with some much-needed mental stimulation.
  • Indoor games are great for rainy days. If it’s raining outside, you may not be able to take your dog for a walk or to the park. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun with your dog. Indoor games are a great way to keep your dog entertained on a rainy day.
  • Indoor games can help socialize your dog. If you have a shy or anxious dog, indoor games can help socialize your pup. By playing indoor games, you can help your dog become more comfortable around people and other dogs.
  • Indoor games are a great way to bond with your dog. Whether you’re playing fetch or tug-of-war, playing indoor games with your dog is a great way to bond with your beloved dog. Not only will you create lasting memories, but you will also strengthen the bond you share with your dog.
  • Indoor games can help burn off excess energy. If your dog has a lot of energy, indoor games can help burn off some of that excess energy. This can be especially helpful if you live in an apartment or have limited space for your dog to run and play.

12 Indoor Games to Play with Your Dog

1. Hide-and-Seek

Why not play this game with your dog if you loved it when you were a kid? Your dog must be able to follow simple commands like sit, stay, and come for this game to be effective. Take him into a room and ask him to remain there before you depart and go into hiding somewhere else. Call their name to entice him to come find you once you’ve located the ideal hiding spot. Once they have determined your location, celebrate the significant achievement.

2. Tug of War

Tug of War is a fun game that your dog will love to play. It’s a great way for him to get exercise and have fun all at the same time. However, it’s important to play the game safely to be sure no one gets hurt. Before you start playing, make sure your dog understands the “drop it” or “leave it” command. This will help you control the game and prevent your dog from getting too crazy or mouthing you. If your dog starts to get too rough, it’s time to stop the game. Also, it’s okay to let your dog win. Studies have shown that letting your dog win actually makes him want to play even more and won’t promote dominant behavior.

3.Three Cups

Train your dog’s nosework with this well-known game. Place three cups in a line and put a treat under one of them. Let your pup watch, then give the OK for him to identify the cup with the treat. Reward him with praise and the treat if he does it correctly. Once your dog begins to understand how to do it, you can scale up the challenge by switching up the positions of the cups after you’ve placed the treat under one.

4. Stuff a Kong Toy

If you are looking for an engaging and stimulating way to keep your pup entertained while you are away, try a stuffed Kong. Preparing it is easy, and you can fill it with their favorite treats or freeze something like peanut butter or yogurt inside. You can also use some of the 39 healthy treats recommended for Kong-stuffing. Just place the Kong in the freezer overnight and give it to him when you leave in the morning. Depending on what is used to fill the Kong and how full it is, your pup can be entertained by their tasty toy for at least 30 minutes and sometimes even longer!

5.Go Fish

Attach one of the dog’s toys to a sturdy rope or something equivalent. Tease your dog by circling the toy on the floor while whirling and tugging it. Your dog can chase the toy while you are standing still if you tie the other end of the rope to a sturdy stick and carry it around that way. Instead of forcing your dog to chase the toy attached to the rope, you can stroll or run around. Every now and then, allow your pup to snag the toy and engage in a quick game of tug before forcing the dog to pursue the item once more.

6.Obstacle Course

This one is simple since you can use everyday items to create a course that is as easy or challenging as you want and have space for. You can lay out chairs for your dog to walk through, stack books for him to jump over, or use crumpled-up boxes for him to crawl through. You may have to show him how or motivate him with treats.

7. Find the Toy

Indoor Games You Can Play With Your Dog

Show your dog the toy that you want to hide, take the dog out of the room, and then hide the toy. Invite your dog back in and urge him to look for the toy. Make sure to give praise and a reward if your pup finds what you hid for him. To start, you can make it easy for the dog by hiding the toy in plain sight and having your dog look for it. As time goes on, begin to make the game more challenging by hiding the toy out of sight. You can do this by covering the toy with something while your dog is watching and then asking it to find it. Eventually, you can have your dog look for the toy all over the house, as well as for items other than toys, such as the keys or the remote.

8.Treasure Hunt

You will need a sizable box, whether it be a dog toy box, a box you no longer need and are recycling, or some other large container. Crumpled-up wrapping or scrunched-up papers that you planned to recycle should be placed in the box. If you don’t have the papers, you can fill the box with a variety of dog-safe items or toys. To ensure that the goodies are well buried beneath the box’s other contents, add a few dry snacks and thoroughly combine everything. Encourage your dog to search the contents of the box for rewards. If your dog is unsure of your intentions, you might first show him some treats before putting him into

9.Puzzle Toys

Another fun game you can play at home is a puzzle toy. All you need is a muffin tin, some tennis balls, and a few treats. Place the treats in the muffin tin and cover them up with the tennis balls. Your dog will have to figure out how to get to the treats, making it a fun and challenging game for him. Once he figures out how to get the balls out of the tin, he can reward himself with treats.

10. Pick the Treat

This game is an excellent way to introduce the beginning of nose work to your dog. Start by taking a small piece of kibble or a treat and placing it in one of your hands. Make sure both hands look identical when holding them out towards your dog. With proper training, your pup will be able to tell which hand the treat is located in without being disruptive or aggressive. If he does begin to paw or bite at you, practice impulse control exercises and try again.

11. Learn the Names of Toys

Studies suggest that the mental capacity of our beloved canine companions is on par with that of a two-year-old child, making him capable of learning up to 200 words. Strengthen your pup’s cognitive abilities by teaching him the names of his toys. Select one in particular, then use that same name consistently while playing with it. This will help your pooch develop an association between the toy and its given name. Keep practicing with different toys, and eventually you can ask your dog to fetch the red ball, and he should find it with no problem.

12.Clean Up

Mental stimulation is an important part of your dog’s life, and teaching him to put away his toys is a great way to help learn this skill. If your pup knows the “drop it” command, you can use this as a catalyst for training him to clean up after himself. Have him pick up a toy, give the “drop it” command when they arrive at the container, and reward him with lots of praise once he accomplishes the task. With enough repetition and consistency, you will be able to train your dog to keep his play area clean and tidy.

Final Thoughts

If the only excitement your dog gets is a walk once or twice a day, he will probably spend most of the day bored or waiting for that walk. Indoor games give you both fun tools that satisfy your dog and create a bond between the two of you.


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Amy Towry is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two rescue cats and a rescue dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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