Indoor Games for Dogs

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Do you have a dog that gets bored indoors?  Jamie is a bit of a lazy dog at times and if the weather's bad and our walks are restricted I need to give him a bit of extra exercise indoors.  Games are thoroughly enjoyable and you can incorporate a bit of fun training as well.  Here's some of the indoor activities we've devised.

Hide and Seek

Dogs love this.  You leave the dog in one room while you hide in another.  Call the dog when you're well hidden.  Some dogs can be fooled for quite a while and get plenty of exercise racing round hunting for you.  It's a bit noisy but great fun.


Hide the toy

Jamie hunts the toyThis is great for dogs that like retrieving.  I show Jamie his squeaker and then leave it out of sight and hidden under a rug or a towel.  The game is to find the squeaker.  If Jamie can't find it I give it a little squeak with my foot.  I'm assuming that you haven't got wildly expensive rugs here as dogs tend to dig frantically under the rug when they realise what's happened to their toy.    Hence the blurry picture.


Practice your contacts

This only works if you live in a house and not a bungalow....unless you're thinking of bringing the see-saw inside.  (With agility folk all things are possible.) 
Put down your book or magazine or get off the computer.
Wake the dog up.
Wind the dog up with a toy and send it upstairs.
Call it down again and use the bottom of the stairs as your contact.  This works a treat with us indoors and I'm hoping it might even translate to the show ring.

Leg Weaving

If you haven't got around to leg weaving yet now's your chance to start.  You can do this perfectly well indoors and if you've got enough room you can even do figure of eight.  There's page in the obedience section which includes a video clip of us outside playing this game.

Fun with obedience indoors

Wait and stay exercises work well indoors and so does a recall.  You can even do a retrieve but mind you don't throw hard plastic dumbells in the direction of precious ornaments, the windows or the telly.  The recall is great fun if you include the sudden down.  Our old dogs, Hazel and Tilly used to love doing this one together.  I left them both in the kitchen and then called them into the living room in an excited voice. As they raced into the room they'd get a sudden "DOWN."  Both dogs would drop their front ends instantly to the floor but were far too eager for the titbit to get their backsides down as well.  


Pam Ferrin

Not a game but gets the dogs up from their naps ... use internet and type in "royalty free dog sounds."

Being a man Bernie just had to try this.  Sasha's actually listening to squeaky toys on the internet and you can see the effect they had on her!
Here's one that drives her mad

....and of course there's always Jamie's Toy Symphony.

Sophie writes:

I have a couple of other great ideas for indoor fun with our dogs
1. Chop up some of your dogs favourite foods and scatter small chunks of them around while the dog is in another room. Once they have been well hidden open the door and give the command 'FIND IT' . The dog will instantly smell the treats and put his/her nose to the ground when they do find a treat use the word find it again and then praise do this until all the treats have been scoffed. Its great stimulation and fun for the dog plus you will have taught the dog a new command for obedience

2. Cups. Take roughly 3-4 old plastic cups and some chopped up treats in your pocket. Begin by placing the cups face down and placing a treat under one of the cups making sure that your dog knows where it is going then ask your dog to Find it, wait until your dog has given you a sign that it knows which cup it is in either by Pawing it Sitting next to it Lying by it even barking then lift the cup and let the dog have the treat once your dog understands what is needed of him/her you can make it harder by changing the posiiton of the cups before you ask them to find it or pretending to place it under all of the cups etc.  

Jamie thinks thinks this is a great game

3. Heelwork to music. Put on some of your favourite music and start boogeying get your dog/s to join in. Its good exercise and great fun for them.  I hope some of these have been helpful and useful

A Learning Game from "Master of a Cane Corso"

This game is a learning game for teaching my dog how to stay and wait.  I have someone hold my dog with the stay or wait command.  I would then go an take a handful of his food and drop them on the floor around the house.  Then I would place one right in front of him.  (By this time he is ready to jump at the chance to get the food).  Still giving him the command to stay or wait by the person supervising him for just a few more seconds while I get out of the way.  Then the come go is issued. He will walk and sometimes run all over the house just to find his food. Hopefully the game will get to the point where I will not need that second person and he will just stay to the "go" command is called. But again this is a learning game.
  Just thought I would share.
  Master of a Cane Corso

Pat Comments:  This sounds like a good idea for getting a nice steady wait.  If a greedy dog will stay in one place while there's food on the floor you're probably well on the way to cracking it. 

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