“There’s nothing to do.”
“I’m tired of staying in the house.”
“I want you to play with me!”
If you have kids these are familiar complaints. If you have a dog these are also familiar complaints, you just don’t hear them in these words. A long winter, a rainy spring, anything that keeps you and your canine cooped up in the house can lead to boredom.
There are lots of indoor games you can play with your dog when you can’t go outside for one reason or another. All it takes is some creativity, a sense of fun, and a few doggie treats.
Hide and Seek
This is an easy game to teach your dog. Start by having him sit/stay in one room while you go into another room and hide – in plain sight to start with. Call his name and when he comes to you give him a treat and lots of praise. Repeat the process several times; as your dog gets the hang of it try hiding in different rooms and more difficult-to-find places.
You’d get bored eating the same food out of the same bowl every day, and it’s no different for your dog. For a fun change divide her food up into smaller portions and put them in different hiding spots around the room. Start with easy places, then as she gets the hang of it you can make it more interesting by using different rooms and different hiding places.
Find The Toy
This variation on Hide and Seek teaches your dog to search out a specific toy instead of a person. The first step is to select one toy and give it a name. Take away all of the other toys and place just the selected toy in the middle of the room. Tell your dog to “Get the (whatever it is)” then give him a treat and lots of praise when he gets it. As he gets better and better at it, hide the toy in increasingly difficult places.
Advanced Find The Toy
This is fun for your dog and is sure to impress your friends. Using the same process as Find The Toy, teach your dog to recognize other toys. Pick a second toy, give it a name, and teach her to find it. Once she knows two toys, you can hide them both and change up which one you tell her to get. The variations on this game grow in number as your dog learns to recognize more and more toys.
Before you know it, you and your pet will be playing all sorts of games together, coming up with new ways to play and enjoying every minute of it. Teaching your dog to play games helps relieve boredom during times of confinement and more importantly, strengthens the bond between you and your best friends.