FREE Indoor Games and Exercise for your Dog

It’s that time of year when we often hear of dogs not behaving at their best due too built up energy. If the cold weather is preventing your dog from getting the exercise he needs, you should give some of these fun and free games a try.

The Come Game
This game is best suited for two or more people. One person calls Fido to them and rewards him when he gets there with a treat, toy, play, etc. Then continue with the next person. Start in close proximity of each other and when your dog is ready, gradually build the distance between you.

Hide and Seek
Once your dog masters the above, now you can turn it into a game of Hide and Seek by starting to move around and gradually making it harder for your dog to find you. Just be careful not to make it too hard too quickly or your dog might give up. And never scare your dog…when he finds you he gets rewarded with a treat, toy, etc.

Find It
Teach your dog to find treats or toys. First put him into a “stay”. If he does not know “stay”, then put a leash on him and safely secure him to something or let another person hold him by the leash while you hide the item. At first make it very easy to find and let him see where you are placing the item. Return to him and tell him “Find It” and then release him to get it. Once he learns the “Find It’ command, you can gradually make it harder for him to find.

TricksPositive Reinforcement In Home Dog Trainer in Naperville, Lisle, Wheaton, Woodridge, Warrenville, Winfield, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, and Bolingbrook

Do not underestimate the power of tricks. Teaching your dog tricks provides a lot of beneficial mental stimulation which can also tire our dogs out. But if it is physical exercise you are seeking, tricks is great for that too! A few examples are…puppy push-ups and crawl are great for their legs…beg/sit pretty and roll over are good strength training exercises for their core…and bow is great for stretching and preventing injury. Those are just a few. There are many more awesome tricks you can teach your dog.

Puzzles
For an inexpensive starter puzzle… try hiding treats in a muffin tin and covering them with tennis balls. Put treats in every slot at first but once your dog has the idea, then gradually reduce the number of slots that have treats but all slots should still be covered by the balls.
If your dog masters this puzzle quickly, there are more advanced puzzles in some pet stores and many online stores that you could purchase.

Indoor Agility
If you have a safe area indoors with enough space, you might want to try a portable at-home agility kit for another fun way to exercise your dog indoors. Just be sure to purchase one that can be used indoors and not one that requires staking to the ground.

We hope you enjoy these indoor games with your dog. For help teaching any of the above or for more fun ways to exercise and play with your dog indoors, check out our Fun Fit Fido Program.

Please remember to keep your dog safe this winter. Do not leave your dog outside for more than a few minutes during freezing temperatures and remember, short haired dogs need coats in winter weather.