When you can’t go out, have fun with your dog inside with these 5 interactive activities: - Woofhoof

When you can’t go out, have fun with your dog inside with these 5 interactive activities:

Life is tough these days. We have never experienced a pandemic like COVID-19, at least in my lifetime, and the uncertainty of what is to come in addition to being home-bound, is stressful and anxiety laden to say the least. Your dog feels this too. While they may be thrilled that you are home more, as sensitive beings they absorb our emotions. You are most likely taking opportunities to spend more time with your dog outside -it feels good to be around nature, but what about in bad weather? As I write this post, it's dreary and rainy outdoors and my three pups are draped around me, resting it seems, but ready for our next adventure. I love to play indoors games with them, and they get equally amped up when they see me readying for a game or two. The activities I share below are my favorites, and I hope you have as much fun as we do! Happy playing.
1.      Dog Tricks.
My dogs love doing tricks, especially the part where they receive a treat for good effort, mastery of a new skill, or recalling an existing trick. I always start out with what they know: sit, down, paw, etc. This helps to “prime the pump”: gives them positive rewards quickly and builds confidence as we prepare to learn a new skill. Then I teach one new skill for about 5 minutes (no longer than that as they can get overwhelmed/frustrated) and I make sure to treat and praise with a lot of enthusiasm. We use our Dog Treat Pouches as they are durable, easy to access treats and stylish too! A note about treats: when I am reviewing what they already know, I generally use low value treats (kibble/dog cookie) but when teaching new skills, I always use high value treats (cheese, ham, liver, etc.) — these extra tasty, smelly rewards will help with the learning process 😊
2.      Hide and Seek.
Believe me, your dog is a professional sniffer. They can smell 40 times better than us, with 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us. Use high value treats for this game, especially if it's new to him, he will be able to smell them better, thus have success more quickly. Have him stay while you hide treats around the home. If your dog hasn't played this game before, start out simple by placing them in plain sight to get them used to the idea. Sometimes, it takes time for dogs to stop relying so heavily on visual cues and hone-in on their phenomenal sniffing skills. Once your dog has gone a few rounds, you can make it more challenging by hiding treats in some tougher spots. Also, don’t forget to be a cheerleader on the sidelines – I have fun running around with them as they sniff out rewards. For this game, I wear our Pocket Pouch dog treat pouch because it transforms your pocket into a treat pouch, so you can run and jump and keep the treats safe in side your pocket.
3.      Fetch
If you don’t mind your dog chasing balls or toys in the house, this is a great activity to release pent-up energy in dogs who love to fetch. Out of my three pups, I have one that will fetch 24 hours a day and two that could care less. If possible, utilize all areas of your home -hallways and staircases are best- or simply play catch at two ends of a hallway. Be sure to have your treats handy too…we use both styles of our dog treat pouches for this activity.
4.      Tug
Contrary to what some believe, tug games do not make dogs aggressive if played correctly-in fact it’s a great way to play and exercise your dog (and you!) Before you get started, it’s important that your dog has a good “drop it” command because, if things get a little wild, you can stop the game quickly and start again when he calms. Also, it's most significant that your dog has fun, so let him win-this is more exiting for him, and he will eagerly seek you out to play again. I don’t use treats for this activity, but I do, as with most of the indoor activity, put our Peace Tag dog tag cover over his dog tags, so they are not a noise nuisance when the fun begins.
5.      Three Cups and a Treat.
Another great nose work game is Three Cups and a Treat. For this activity, arrange 3 plastic cups in a row in front of your dog. To begin, put a treat under one of the cups while your dog is watching, give him the OK to show you which one is the right cup. When she chooses correctly, let her have the treat and praise her lavishly. Keep practicing until she seems to get the hang of it then you can start to make it more challenging by mixing the cups around after you place the treat. This one is great for mental exercise.
We hope you enjoyed our blog: When you can’t go out, have fun with your dog inside with these 5 interactive activities. Check out our other great blogs and products at www.woofhoof.com, and thank you for tuning in!
Back to blog