When the weather is too bad to go for your daily long walk, try indoor games. They’re good to make yours dog mind engaged and it will make him tired too.
1. Seek and hide
Take couple of smelly and tasty treats and hide them all over your place. Make first round easy and then start to make it a bit harder. Put some on the shelf over your dogs head, but not too high so he can still reach it. Hide them underneath things as well. Try to use different spots every time, as dogs tend to go first to places where they found treat last time. Remember about daily intake of food – if you use lots of treats, make his dinner a bit smaller or make him work for it – use his food portion to play.
You can swap treats for favorite toy, if he doesn’t already know command “find it”, then add it every time he goes for it. It will come useful on the walk if you loose his toy (or you can loose it on purpose – it’s great exercise too!)
You can also use yourself as a ‘thing’ to seek.
2. Dog ‘zen’
This game is for teaching your dog to be patient. Sit down in front of your dog, take couple of treats and close it in your fist. Let him see what you doing. Then place your fist in front of his face – let him smell, lick, bark. As soon as he understand that it does not take him anywhere – you want him to back off from your hand and be calm – quickly open your fist, take one treat and give it to him, say ‘good!’. Don’t say anything during the exercise – you want his brain to work, to work out what is expected of him. On the next round wait a little bit longer until he gets his treat.
3. Puzzle games
There are some great games by Nina Ottosson. They vary from different levels and each game is little bit different, but all of them make your dog THINK!
But if you don’t have one at home you can make your own – take muffin tray, place treats inside and cover them with tennis balls. Don’t put treats in all the holes.
4. Teach new command
It’s easy as it’s sounds. Pick a command and work on it. It could be anything, just keep training session short, be happy with whatever result you end up with your dog, next time it will be better and dogs can feel if you’re disappointed with them.
Ideas: high-five, roll over, touch it, show your belly, look at me, turn around.
5. Chair game
This game involves some thinking as well as body exercise. Take a chair or step stool and teach your dog to go under, around, over, make him jump on it and stay there. Put it in the different combinations.
6. Stay… and fetch!
Hopefully you have enough space to play ‘small’ house-fetch. Make your dog sit, then wait, throw the toy and let him fetch it. Make a big fuss when he brings it. This game engage your dogs mind by training ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ commands and burning off some energy with fetching.
7. Tug of war
My favorite toy for this game is Kong Wubba. Not only you can play tug war with it but it squeaks so it’s even more exiting for a dog!
8. Just go outside!
Most of the dogs doesn’t mind a bit of rain and they love mud! Unless your dog totally hates rain and it’s pouring down – put on wellies, rainproof coat on your dog and yourself and go explore!