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Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors

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With help from my dog Laika we’ve come up with a big list of fun indoor activities for dogs. So if you’re looking for some indoor games to play with your dog you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of 33 ways to keep your dog busy indoors.

 Play Find The Treats With Your Dog

Nose work games are one of the easiest ways to tire out your dog. When you teach your dog some basic nose work games such as ‘find the treats’ you’re mentally tiring them out and helping them hone in on some of their natural skills. (chopped up carrots are my favorite treat to use for this game).Grab some treats and have your dog watch as you place them around the room. Give your dog the cue to “find the treats” and encourage your dog to pick them up, remembering to praise them every time they find one. After your confident that your dog understands what “find the treats” means you can making it a bit more challenging. Have them stay in another room as you hide the treats, and start hiding them in spots they have to sniff out such as under a rug.

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Play the the Shell Game With Your Dog

The shell game is a simple problem solving game for dogs. To play the shell game with your dog let your dog watch as you place a treat under one of three cups. You then shuffle the cups around and encourage them to ‘find the treat.’ The shell game gives your dog plenty of mental stimulation, and helps them work on their problem.

 

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Teach Your Dog to Clean Up His Toys

If your dog’s toys are kept in a container you can teach them to put their toys away. I know it sounds weird to teach your dog to clean up after themselves, but it’s actually a lot of fun. Teaching your dog new skills boosts their confidence, and it’s a great way to give them more mental stimulation.If your dog already knows “drop it” have them pick up a toy and give them their drop it command once they’re standing over the container. Praise them like crazy, then rinse and repeat. Eventually with consistency you’ll have a dog that will be able to clean up after himself.

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Use a Stuffed Kong to Keep Your Dog Busy

Stuffed Kongs are my favorite when it comes to relieving dog boredom because they’re easy to prepare and will keep your dog occupied for a long time. If you want to keep your dog busy for awhile try stuffing a Kong with their favorite treats. You can freeze some peanut butter or broth inside, or just put some treats in there and give your dog.something to work for. If you’re not sure what to use here’s a list of 39 healthy treats that are great for Kong stuffing.Using a stuffed Kong is a great way to keep your dog busy while you’re at work. Put your stuffed Kong in the freezer overnight and give it to your dog in the morning as you’re leaving.

A frozen Kong will last 30+ minutes for most dogs — much longer if your fill it completely.I love using classic Kong’s because they’re nontoxic, indestructible, and dishwasher safe. If you’re looking for a great Kong alternative that’s just as durable check out the West Paw Toppl toy; they come in large and small sizes, and they’re just as easy to clean as a Kong.

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Play a Game of Tug of War With Your Dog

Playing a game of tug of war is one of the best ways to engage in meaningful play with our dogs. It’s a great way to mentally and physically exercise your dog. And since it doesn’t require a ton of room you can play it indoors.And contrary to what some people say playing tug will not make your dog aggressive, and letting them win will not make them dominant.Letting your dog win just makes the game more fun for your dog, and it will encourage them to play more. Dogs that play tug with their owners have been found to be more obedient and have higher confidence.Tug is a great way to exercise your dog as long as you have your dog follow a few basic rules such as “the game stops if your teeth touch my hand.”

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Teach Your Dog to Help With Chores

Dogs love having a job to do, even if it’s something as simple as fetching you your slippers. You can make them feel even more useful by teaching them the names of some items you wouldn’t mind  having retrieved.If you want to impress all of your friends teach your dog to fetch you something from the fridge. When teaching your dog to open the fridge tie a towel around the handle so it’s easy for them to pull open the door. And if you’re feeling like a superstar you can teach your dog to help out with daily chores.

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Play Interactive Games With Your Dog

To keep my dog busy on rainy days I love using interactive games such as tug, find the treats, puzzle games and fetch. Interactive games are an easy way to give your dog plenty of mental stimulation, and they can help cut down on problem behaviors such as excessive chewing or barking.But take it from me; if you’re going to play fetch indoors use a lightweight ball to avoid breaking all of the things. (lesson learned) A game of tug is a lot of fun for dogs, and it’s a great way to increase your dogs manners and impulse control. It’s also a pretty good workout. Minute for minute it’s one of the more physically demanding games we play.

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 Make Your Dog Work for His Food

We give our dogs a nice comfy life – they get a warm bed, lots of attention, and their meals for free. But our dogs were bred to work alongside us, many of our dogs are missing out on some mentally stimulating activities.One of the easiest ways to challenge their minds is to make them work for their meals. You can make your dog perform some tricks before he gets his dinner, or you can have them eat from a food dispensing toy.

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Teach Your Dog The Names of Their Toys

Have you seen Chaser the Border Collie? She knows over 1,000 words and can pick out any given toy among 800 just by it’s name. We can’t all be overachievers like Chaser, but we can teach our dogs the names of their toys.Start by playing with one specific toy and giving it a name while you do. After some practice & praise your dog will assign that verbal name with the chosen toy. Once your dog has learned that specific toys name you can test their skills by seeing if they can pick it out among their other toys.

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Teach Your Dog a New Trick

Does your dog know how to weave through your legs and jump through a hoop? There’s always a new trick you can teach your dog. And teaching your dog how to weave through your legs is a lot easier than it sounds.Here’s a list of 52 tricks with instructions that you can work on. Once your dog knows a bunch of tricks you can step it up a notch and combine their learned behaviors into new tricks.

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