4 Interactive Indoor Games To Play With Your Dog
From a DIY scavenger hunt to hide and seek - here are some fun and mentally stimulating games you can play with the furry members of the family!
As lockdown season 2, episode 284949 approaches (or maybe that’s just us being dramatic), many of us are running out of ideas to keep ourselves and our pets entertained. If you are stuck inside with your dog and scrambling for ways to keep your pet busy and mentally stimulated, then fret not our pet-loving friends…
The great part of regular playtime is that it’s the perfect break from your work and gives you and your dog some time to bond, have fun and disconnect from everyday stresses. And there’s more to playtime than you may think. You can use this time to help reinforce some basic obedience training in a fun setting. Your dog will get his daily dose of exercise (and so will you) and it will help mentally stimulate your dog too!
While you’re here, check out this blog on How To Keep Your Furry Members Of The Family Entertained While You Work From Home.
And so, without making you wait any longer, here are our 4 interactive playtime games for you and your dog…
1. Canine Scavenger Hunt
There’s nothing more entertaining for both you and your dog than an indoor treasure hunt. This game basically consists of you hiding a handful of healthy treats around your home and encouraging your dog to find them. (Pssst - running out of treats? Head over to ePETstore to explore what you can order online to spoil your dog).
Here’s how to do it:
- To start out, and to ensure you and your dog are on the same page, command your dog to sit and stay and show him one of the healthy treats.
- Then, place a treat behind a chair as your dog watches you. Go back to your dog and tell him to ‘find the treat’. Pointing to the treat behind the chair. Practice this a few times with your dog until he gets the point.
- Once you have placed the treat in plain sight and your dog has retrieved it, find a nearby place in the same room to place the treat under a small obstacle (perhaps under the carpet or under a tupperware). Then, let your dog go to the treat. If he gets confused, then use a command like ‘treat’ or ‘hunt’ and point to where the treat is hidden. Practice this until he is competent at finding the treat with your command.
- Now it’s time to hide the treat in another room. Have your dog stay in one room while you go into another to place the treat in a hidden spot. Then command him to ‘hunt’ or whatever command you want to use and point out the treat if he struggles.
- Great job! Here’s where things get exciting - time to add more treats! Have your dog stay while your hide treats throughout your house. You can use both toys and treats. Everytime your dog finds a treat, show your enthusiasm and excitement.
2. Hide and Seek
This is one of our favourites.
To begin, have your dog sit and stay in a room. Then you leave and hide in another room. Using an upbeat and excited tone, call for your dog to come and find you. As soon as she does, make sure you shower her with praise and even a healthy treat!
3. Hallway Fetch
Simple, yet fun and effective!
Who says you can’t play fetch in your home? Using the stairs or hallway, have your dog wait on one end with you, then throw the ball and command him to fetch and return. You can also use a soft plush toy to prevent anything getting hit by a hard ball and breaking. If your dog is a little more on the senior side, then you can roll the ball on the floor and encourage him to fetch.
Check out this pawesome read on teaching your dog how to play fetch.
4. Trick or Treat?
Also known as canine willpower - this game strengthens your dog’s willpower and reinforces the ‘leave it’ command.
Here’s how to do it:
- Grab two different sized treats (both bite-sized). One of these treats should be your dog’s absolute favourite snack and the other should be her second best snack. Let’s call these Snack 1 (for the favourite) and Snack 2 (for the second best).
- Hold snack 2 in front of her nose and tell her to leave. When she does, reward her with snack 1, which you will have had hidden in your other hand behind your back.
- Strive to extend this time between your dog waiting for the reward and actually getting rewarded to improve your dog’s sense of control and willpower, you might be able to get up to as long as 30 seconds. This will teach your dog patience and obedience.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab some snacks and get to playing!