Whilst getting your dog (and yourself) outdoors for some exercise is the best and healthiest way to tire out your dog, sometimes staying indoors is the only option. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation for your dog and can tire them out just as much. So if you are stuck indoors due to extreme weather, or if you’re reading this in the spring of 2020 you’ll know that we are in the middle of a global pandemic, but there are still ways to exercise your dog well indoors to stop them from getting bored and wanting to do this...
Try these exercises with your dog at home:
1. Play Hide & Seek
Playing family games of hide and seek is always a good idea when you’re stuck indoors but including your dog in these games is a great way of tiring them out. You could also simply hide your dog’s toys or treats and get them to go and find them like a treasure hunt.
2. Play games of fetch
Playing fetch with your dog in the garden or long hallways is a great way to play with your dog and keep them occupied and exercised at home. Nearly all dogs love playing fetch, no matter how fast or slow they are and this is also a great opportunity for you to teach your dog to be more obedient and bring the ball back to you and ‘drop’ it at your feet!
3. Set up an obstacle course with things you have at home
Setting up an obstacle course or agility track in your home using household objects such as chairs, cushions and small tables is a really fun way of exercising your dog indoors. You could make a fort-style tunnel with blankets and cushions and see how fast your dog can run through. You could create small ‘jumps’ for your dog from chairs or using the sofa, but do make sure that nothing is too high for your dog and that they are not landing on hard or slippery floors, only do this on carpet or if they have a safe landing space! Cardboard boxes are also a great tool to use for exercising a dog. They can get in them, stand on top of them, drag them, push them. You could hide things in the box, hide things under the box – there really is no end to making a dog use his brain when playing with a cardboard box.
4. Teach new tricks
They say you can’t teach an old dogs new tricks, but that’s actually not entirely true! Most dogs will do anything for their favourite treats and if you’re stuck indoors for whatever reason, this is a great opportunity to teach your dpgs brand new tricks and learning experiences in order for them to receive a delicious treat! There really is no end to tricks that you can teach your dog, service dogs seem to put ‘pet’ dogs to shame when it comes to carrying out sophisticated tasks, but there is no reason why you can’t teach your dog some new tasks. Some basic examples are: Sit, stay, down, give each paws, beg, speak, roll over, spin, or even play ‘dead’!
5. The cup game
Grab two identical cups, paper or plastic cups work best for this. show your dog a treat and let them smell it. Hide it underneath one of the cups. Switch the cups around twice and tell your dog to fetch the treat. Add more cups as your dog gets used to the game to make it more difficult. This is a great brain busting game for your dog and a great way to tire them out indoors!
Image credit: dogster.com