Games and activities with your dog at home: 32 ideas.
|32 Ideas for Activities and Games with Your Dog at Home
32 Ideas for Activities and Games with Your Dog at Home:
Are you looking for a way to keep your dog busy at home? Do you want your dog to enjoy and have fun without bothering you? Are you seeking ideas and activities for indoor dogs? Thinking of ways to keep your dog occupied indoors can be a challenging task.
Some people try to come up with new ideas to keep their dogs busy all the time, but it can be more effort than getting someone out of bed to do what is required.
Since many people lack the skill of innovation, we have gathered 32 simple ways through which you can keep your dog busy indoors.
What is the benefit of keeping your dog busy?
Dogs consider humans the main party that can help them with entertainment and amusement. So, when you don't give them a portion of your time to play with or engage them in some activities, they will feel bored and may become a source of nuisance in the house.
When a dog feels bored, it starts engaging in annoying behaviors such as chewing curtains and shoes and barking loudly for no reason.
For these reasons, scientists emphasize the importance of play and its positive impact on the dog's life. Dr. Mark Evans, former chief veterinary officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, confirms the growing consensus among scientists about the importance and benefits of play.
The quality and frequency of play are positive indicators of the dogs' quality of life. If you play with your dog for some time, it reduces the likelihood of them engaging in annoying behaviors.
To have fun with your dog at home, here are 32 simple ways to enjoy playing with them and keep them busy indoors.
Activities and games you can do with dogs inside the house:
1. Search for Gifts Game:
This game relies on utilizing the strong sense of smell in dogs and is considered one of the easiest games to tire your dog. Prepare some gifts or treats (preferably foods your dog likes, such as minced carrots, for example) and hide them in specific places. Then, signal to your dog to search for them, using its sense of smell to sniff out the hidden items.
When your dog finds a gift, encourage and show your happiness, increasing its enthusiasm. After ensuring its understanding of the game, you can raise the challenge by hiding gifts in more difficult places, such as under the rug or the sofa. This game works on mentally exhausting your dog and sharpens its sense of smell.
2. "Where Is It" Game:
If you want to stimulate your dog mentally and train it in problem-solving skills, you can do so easily through the "Where Is It" game. Place three cups on the table, put a piece of candy under one of them, and let your dog watch as you mix the three cups. Then, ask it to find the candy.
3. Teach Your Dog to Clean Its Toys:
The idea may seem strange or imaginative, but it is something that can be applied. If you train your dog to "pick up" and "drop" objects, you can easily command it to drop its toys into a container of water, then teach it how to move them with its mouth in the water. Finally, instruct it to pick them up again and drop them into the designated toy box.
4. Give Him a Kong Toy and Let Him Enjoy:
A Kong toy is a special dog toy that helps alleviate boredom. You can stuff it with some of their favorite foods, like peanut butter or broth, and then freeze it. If you're heading to work, you can put it in the freezer overnight and give it to your dog in the morning. It will chew on it until the food inside melts, keeping it entertained and preventing boredom during your absence.
5. Tug of War Game:
Tug of war is a purposeful game that improves the dog's behavior. It can be played indoors, requiring no extensive space. Contrary to the belief that tug of war increases dogs' aggressiveness, allowing the dog to win in the game does not lead to losing control over it.
Dogs that play tug of war with their owners have been proven to be more obedient, helping them control their emotions. Winning in the game encourages them to engage in it more. This game is physical and mental exercise for the dog, especially if you can teach them some basic rules, such as stopping the game if their teeth touch your hands.
6. Make your dog help you with household chores:
Dogs enjoy having tasks to perform, even if they are simple tasks. You can make your dog feel more useful and teach them some basic things like fetching a shoe or closing a door. If you want to impress your friends, you can even teach them how to open the refrigerator and bring you something from it.
Don't forget to place a towel around the refrigerator handle to make it easier to open by pulling the towel. If you have higher ambitions, you can teach them to assist you with household chores. If you want to play a game of fetching things with your dog, it's best to use a lightweight ball to avoid breaking anything.
7. Engage in interactive games with your dog:
Playing tug-of-war, searching for gifts and treats, puzzle games, and fetching items are interactive games that provide your dog with mental stimulation. These are among the most enjoyable activities you can do with dogs inside the house and help reduce their disruptive behaviors such as excessive barking, and chewing shoes and curtains. These games also serve as suitable alternatives to outdoor walks on rainy days.
8. Make your dog work for their food:
We provide our dogs with a comfortable and easy life, with a warm bed, free meals, and care and attention. However, dogs are not just bred for pampering; they are also meant to work alongside their owners. Dogs are natural workers, as you can see them digging through trash and garbage.
Leaving a dog without work deprives them of a lot of mental stimulation. Therefore, working for food is not unnatural or unusual for them. One of the easiest ways to challenge your dog's mind is by making them work for their meals, such as having them perform some tricks before getting their dinner.
9. Teach your dog the names of their toys:
Have you heard of Chaser the Border Collie? She's the most famous and intelligent dog ever! Did you know that Chaser knew over a thousand words? And she could pick out a toy from 800 toys just by its name! Of course, not all dogs possess the intelligence of Chaser, but we can teach them the names of their toys.
During playtime, you can pronounce the name of the toy and repeat it until the dog associates the verbal name with its appearance. Then, you can train and test their skills by placing the toy amidst a group of other toys and commanding them to fetch it. Don't forget to provide encouragement and rewards as they greatly aid in learning.
10. "Go find it" game:
Once your dog learns the names of their toys, place their toys in a box or create a pile of toys, then ask them to find a specific one. When they succeed, reward and encourage them by playing another game like tug-of-war or giving them a treat. As they become successful in the game, you can increase the difficulty by adding more toys for them to search through. This game provides both physical and mental exercise for your dog.
11. Teach your dog new tricks:
Can your dog jump through a hoop? Or weave through your legs? It may seem challenging, but the truth is it's not. You can keep your dog occupied by teaching them new tricks. The possibilities are endless, and tricks are among the most enjoyable activities for dogs indoors. The more your dog masters one trick, the more you can teach them even more challenging ones. Learning tricks adds excitement and vitality to both your and your dog's lives.
12. Do you have a remote control?
If you want to train your dog on a specific behavior, it's best to have a remote control device that indicates the moment your dog performs the correct behavior by emitting a sound.
This method is the easiest way to let them know they're doing the right thing. If you don't have one, consider getting one and take every opportunity to communicate with your dog and let them know when they're behaving correctly.
13. Hide treats in your hands and test your dog's intelligence:
You can use your hands to play games that rely on their sense of smell. Instead of hiding food in a room or under the bed and making the dog search for it, you can place a piece of candy in one of your hands, then close them and let them sniff until they can figure out which hand holds the treat.
If your dog fails to choose the correct hand, don't discourage them; repeat the process until they succeed. When they successfully choose the right hand, reward and motivate them. You can also use diced carrots instead of candy, as it is a favorite food for many dogs, easy to prepare, and low in calories.
14. Play hide-and-seek with your dog:
One of the games that dogs enjoy a lot is playing hide-and-seek, and you can join in and have fun with them. If your dog is very active and you don't know how to hide from them, you can ask a friend to distract their attention while you hide, or you can hide first before starting to play with them.
15. Puzzle games with your dog:
One of the games that stimulates your dog mentally is giving them a puzzle to solve. There are many puzzle games specifically designed for dogs. You can also create some at home if you have a muffin tin and some tennis balls.
16. Train your dog to follow commands:
Dogs always need to be trained in obedience. It is important to emphasize following commands such as sit, stay, or fetch, and you can dedicate 5 to 10 minutes daily to train your dog to obey commands. This training will help stimulate your dog mentally, and even well-trained dogs need regular training sessions from time to time.
17. Fetch game:
If you have a spacious area in your home, you can play a fetch game with your dog. Many people play with their dogs by throwing an object and having the dog retrieve it. You can play on the stairs or in large living rooms, but be cautious about playing with heavy objects that may cause something to break.
18. Dog massage:
Massaging your dog is something that helps them relax and calm down. When you give your dog a gentle massage, it provides them with comfort, especially if the dog is older or suffers from joint inflammation. Massage helps alleviate joint pain, improves blood circulation, reduces anxiety and stress, and creates a strong bond with your dog.
19. Set up a box for your dog and observe what they do:
If you want to teach your dog decision-making skills and increase their mental and physical flexibility, let them try new things. Place a box on the ground or any other object, and see what they do with it. Will they jump on it, drag it, or try to lift it? This simple method trains the dog to make decisions on their own.
20. Grooming session:
Dogs may not enjoy grooming sessions as much as they enjoy playing, but that doesn't diminish the importance of cleaning their bodies by brushing their fur, brushing their teeth, and trimming their nails. Some dogs may tolerate being groomed, while others may not enjoy it. However, using rewards as incentives will make the process easier. Don't hesitate to use plenty of rewards as they reinforce positive behavior in dogs, especially when they associate personal hygiene with a reward.
21. Game of cues with your dog:
It is one of the interactive games and activities that can be done with dogs indoors, requiring a partner. Each of you stands on one side holding a treat or a toy, then take turns calling the dog, and when they respond to the call, reward them with the treat. This simple game is a way to train your dog to obey commands when called, and it reinforces positive behavior in them.
22. Chase bubbles with your dog:
If your child has a bubble toy, don't hesitate to give it to your dog. If you want to get your dog excited, have them chase bubbles. Dogs enjoy this game despite its simplicity. If your dog is not familiar with this game, you can teach them by purchasing a bubble-making toy specifically designed for pets.
23. Create a new toy for your dog:
Studies have shown that dogs can get bored with their toys over time. They get used to them and lose interest in playing with them again. So, you should buy them a new toy from time to time, or you can rotate their old toys and turn them into new ones.
You can also make a new toy yourself using items you don't need, such as old shirts or towels. For example, you can make a ball out of old clothes or use a plate or plastic lid for a flying disc game. There are many household items you can repurpose into dog toys.
To avoid boredom with toys, you can also use another method instead of buying new toys. For instance, limit your dog's access to all their toys at once and only give them two toys at a time. And don't forget that playing with your dog makes it more exciting and enjoyable.
24. Schedule playtime with your dog:
If your dog has friends, invite one of them over to spend time and play together. Set a schedule for indoor activities with dogs, and when you do that, you will see how happy your dog feels. Dogs tend to enjoy playing with their peers. While this moment can be an opportunity for you to do your house chores while they are busy, you should be prepared for the wrestling noises that dogs love, and your living room might become their wrestling ring.
25. Remind your dog of old tricks:
Do you remember the last time you asked your dog to jump or rollover? When was the last time you trained them? The skills and tricks dogs learn need to be reinforced and reminded from time to time so they don't forget them. It is one of the important indoor activities with dogs that should be consistently followed. Take out the remote control and train your dog, even for a short period, to prevent them from getting bored.
26. Train them to follow the command "Go to":
Does your dog go to their designated couch or bed when asked to? If the answer is no, you can easily turn it into a yes by training them to do so. When you have dinner or when a guest arrives, ask your dog to go to their bed. With repetition, it will become a habit, and you will see them going to their spot when you have dinner or receive guests.
27. Teach your dog to hold its leash:
When you're getting ready to go for a walk with your dog, you can keep them occupied by teaching them to hold their leash while you prepare. Instead of having your dog bother you, jump around, and whine, this method keeps them engaged and focused on the task of holding the leash. Don't forget to encourage and praise them when they successfully do it.
28. Teach your dog how to turn off and on the lights:
If you're feeling lazy and can't be bothered to turn on or off the lights, you can teach your dog to do it for you. If your dog is still a small puppy, lift them so they can reach the light switch. However, if you don't want to see scratches on your walls, abandon your laziness and do it yourself. You can read the following article: "Reasons Why Dogs Snore While Sleeping."
29. Modify your dog's behavior by controlling its desires:
The rules of dealing with dogs are similar to the rules of raising children. Just as you shouldn't indulge a child's every desire, you shouldn't let your dog get everything it wants. Use words like "wait," "calm," "stop," and "leave it" to reduce their impulsiveness and keep them away from trouble.
30. Make some simple food for your dog:
It's good to know what your dog eats, and the best way to do this is by making their food at home instead of buying it. This allows you to have control over the ingredients and portion sizes. While the dog may not actively participate in making the food, they will be the recipient of it.
When you learn to make homemade dog food, it enables you to have a lot of treats that you can use to encourage your dog to modify its behavior. Your dog will also appreciate your cooking skills, which will increase their happiness and bond with you.
31. Teach your dog to say "please":
Does your dog rush towards you and push your hands when they want something? If they do, there's a more polite way to teach them to say "please" when requesting something. Train them to understand that sitting politely is the key to getting your attention. If dogs aren't directed toward proper behaviors, they can develop bad habits. Dogs are constantly looking for signals and enjoy knowing what is expected of them.
32. Cuddle with your dog and relax together on the couch:
You can cuddle with your dog and relax together on the couch. It may be challenging in the beginning in terms of your dog's response, but with repetition, you'll find them naturally hopping on the couch next to you, settling in at the usual time they're accustomed to.
In conclusion, if you want to make your dog happy, give them some of your time and engage in play with them. Teach them some fun games, especially interactive ones, during different activities indoors. You'll see the positive impact on your dog's mental well-being and overall health.
Keeping your dog occupied doesn't require expensive toys or outdoor outings; simple games and tricks will bring joy to their face and help you understand why dogs are considered humans' best friends.