Inside Games to Play with Dogs

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Dogs require exercise and human interaction. If you can't play outside, or if your dog has physical limitations or restrictions, inside games can keep his attention as well as help him get in his exercise.

Hide the Goodies

Use kibble-filled dog toys to occupy your dog in the house. Stuff a ball with treats and watch him spend time manipulating the ball, tossing it up and down and attempting to release the treats. Praise his efforts and roll the ball around with him so you’re part of the fun.

Tip

  • Hide kibble balls around the house so your dog has a chance to “hunt” for them when you’re not available for play.

Set Up an Agility Course

Make an obstacle course out of common household items and run your dog through them. For example, instruct your pup to jump over an ottoman, weave in-between dining room chairs and step over and between mops and broomsticks. This is not only a fun game, but it sharpens the mind and teaches new skills.

Play Fetch

If you have adequate space inside, engage in a short-range game of fetch with your dog. Rather than throwing the ball, roll it across the floor and let your dog pounce on it and bring it back to you. Change up the game by caroming the ball off furniture or walls to create different patterns that will entertain your pup and keep the game fresh.

Tip

  • Play fetch on the stairs -- it will give your dog a good physical workout without running the risk of bumping into furniture.

Warning

  • Inside games like tug of war may seem appealing, but they can result in your dog thinking it’s fun to keep things away from you when you want him to release something. Pulling games also can damage your pup’s teeth.

Tricks and Commands

Indoor games can incorporate obedience training while allowing you to teach your dog tricks, such as roll over, play dead or shake. You can teach your pup how to balance treats on his nose or to bring you items such as slippers or newspapers. You dog will have fun learning new things and you’ll have the added pleasure of showing off his special skills to others.

Playing With Puppies

Playing with your puppy inside is a great way to bond. Remember that puppies tire out quickly and will need a drink and a bathroom break soon after play. Modify big dog games for your pup and keep in mind that you’re teaching him behaviors as part of the play process. Don’t encourage or allow your puppy to bite your fingers, pull your clothes or keep items away from you when you give a drop command. To do otherwise will instill bad habits that may be hard to break.

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