As we approach fall and bad weather, dog owners everywhere start to dread the daily exercise their dogs need to stay healthy and sane. In fact, many dogs shudder at getting their paws wet too, making it even harder to go out and take a walk or play fetch.
The following games are a fun way to beat the raining day blues and exercise your dog indoors–both his mind and body!
1. Indoor Agility Course
Just like your kids did when they were little, you can use furniture, cardboard boxes, and laundry baskets to set up an agility course. A broom set across the bottom of two chairs (or the top if you have a large dog) is a great jump. An overturned laundry basket can work as a pause table. This is a great way to burn off some energy and teach your dog some commands!
2. Canine Conditioning
Nothing tires a dog (or human!) out more than exercising. Take a canine condition class from a local trainer or sign up for an online class (you don’t have to go out in the rain at all then!) from Pawsitive Performance. Once you know the basics, you can keep your dog in shape and tired all winter long.
3. Activity Dog Toys
There are many new treat toys on the market that make your dog think about how to get the treat from them. These are great to occupy your dog and stimulate his mind. If you have to leave your house, these are a great way to keep Fido occupied while you are gone.
4. Doggy Games
Darfinc has created 3 board and card games that you can play with a dog! These amazing, fun games are perfect for a game day with family and friends. You can play with one dog or multiple, and you can even play by yourself. The best part? Your dog is learning manners and tricks while playing!
5. Hide ‘n’ Seek
This was a childhood favorite of mine and dogs love it too! There are couple ways to play.
- Put your dog in his kennel or in a different room, and then hide treats around for him to find. This is especially great for scent-hounds! Let him out, show him a treat and sit back and watch the fun! If you have never played a seeking game with your dog, you may want to hide a few in plain sight, so your dog has some success right off and is encouraged to keep looking for more. The more you play, the trickier you can get with the hiding spots.
- You can do the same as above except hide your dog’s favorite toy(s) instead.
- Hide yourself and then call your dog once, waiting for them to come find you. This is a great way to get a dog that may not like to come, excited about running to find you. Training and play at the same time – it’s a win-win!
6. Indoor Rally Course
Like agility, rally obedience can easily be done inside your house. Use cones or really anything lying around the house as markers for the course. If you have never done rally; it’s easy! Each station gives you and your dog a command to follow. You can make up your own, or follow this link to print your own rally obedience signs . You can get descriptions of what each rally obedience sign means here.
Remember, it’s all about having fun while exercising and stimulating your dog – a tired dog won’t chew up your sofa!
About the Author
Based in Wilsonville, Ore., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She is the founder of, A Fairytail House, a unique all-positive all-sport dog training facility that helps rescue dogs in her area and provides free seminars and training classes for the community. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs. She smartly married a Veterinary Technician, who helps keep the fur kids happy and healthy, and provides a quick resource for articles.
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