Monday, October 27, 2008

Indoor games to play with your dog

Today here in northeast Ohio it has been cold, rainy and yes, I have even spotted a few snow flurries. My dogs get the raw end of the deal every fall. When the weather turns so do my outdoor activities. The poodles would love to run and play in the mud but me being a groomer try to avoid the extra work in cleaning them up before allowing them into the house. So I have put into words some games that are fun to teach your pets to keep them from becoming board.

1. Hold a small treat in one hand with your fist closed and extend both arms out and ask your dog if he can guess which hand you have the treat in. When he puts his nose on your hand that has the treat, bingo, he wins. Do this several times and he will think he just stared in a Los Vegas magical show.
2. Get a Kong ball with the hole in it to put treats in and watch him roll it around the room snacking as he goes.
3. Play hide and seek with a favorite toy. Teach your dog to sit and stay as you or a family member hides the toy somewhere. Ask your dog to go find the toy, to help him if he doesn't understand, start out putting the toy under a pillow or in a shoe close by and help him find it. It will not take long for your dog to learn that it's fun to play.
4. Dogs love to have a job, so teach him to bring things to you like the remote control or a newspaper. Always praise him and do it all over again. One thing I do with Bosco is when I am folding my dog grooming towels I place them on his back to transport to the grooming room. You may not want to put your clean towels or clothes on a dogs back, so maybe your old newspapers to carry to the recycle bin.
5. The ever so favorite catch the ball is fun to pass some time.
6. The cups game is a fun one to play, it starts with taking 3 or 4 plastic cups or butter type dishes and some treats. 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. Ask your dog to find it and wait until he has given you a sign indicating the he knows where the treat is. Lift the cup and let your dog have the treat. Do this a few more times until he understands the game and then make it a challenge by moving or changing the cups around (like the shell game) before you ask them to find it.
7. Working on obedience skills makes for some fun as well. Dogs never get tired of leaning.
8. Teach your pet to balance a biscuit on his nose and hold it before eating it. This can be very fun for both you and your dog.
9. Learn to dance with your dog to music. Great workout for both of you.
10. Follow the leader is something that Pippin just does on his own. So I have make a game of it. He follows me around the house and when I stop he stops, then I back up and he backs up. We play this game for a while and then I tell him to go lay down.


Julie said...

Thank you! Our problem is the excessive heat. Both Wesley (my Wheaten Terrier) and I hate the heat, so we've been closed inside for weeks during triple digit temps. Now he's chewing on furniture and grumping around the house in boredom. I'm going to try hide and seek!

spotts said...

Julie, I agree - it's been so hot to play outside. Even going for a walk is difficult. Dogs need stimulation so they don't get bored and do destructive things like chew things they shouldn't. May I suggest also getting some Pork Hide chews from These are sure to please.