Indoor Activities for your Dog
Rainy Days, Cold Days, Snow & Ice … none are the friend of dog owners when looking for “what to do” with their dog each day. And since we’re in the midst of winter, there’s no better time to explore indoor options. So here we go – it’s a whirlwind trip through the big list of indoor activities with great thanks to Rock Solid Dog owner, handler, and trainer Nicki Perrault who contributed many of these suggestions!
Go for a walk! I know, I know contrary to what this is supposed to be about, but don’t discount the value of heading over to a good sized pet store or home center (many of the Big Boxes allow well trained dogs) and spending 30 minutes walking around the perimeter / up and down the aisles. Many focus and socialization opportunities will arise, I guarantee, and your partner will certainly feel special because they got to “go with”.
The Relaxation Protocol. Who doesn’t need a more solid start line stay? Who doesn’t need their dog to be more calm and confident regardless of what is going on around them? I sure do! The Relaxation Protocol is a step by step program with a series of challenges that gradually get your dog in to the habit of “just chillin'” regardless of the silly stuff going on around them. Use the contact page to get the info sheet and first set of exercises … this series of exercises is free and you could earn a really cool prize for successfully completing the program with your dog!
Hide and Seek. Want a dog that will come when called? Play hide and seek around your house and have their favorite toy or a big ol’ fist-full of tiny treats ready and waiting when they find you!
Go Find It. Scatter a bunch of boxes around the room, one has a great treat in it. Let them sniff & discover!
Food Puzzles. You can buy them online, you can buy them at a good pet store, you can make your own. Just make getting those smelly treats a bit of a challenge and watch your dog have fun while working their brain. Example: put holes in an empty peanut butter, nut, or shredded cheese container and then drop a bunch of high value treats in. Your dog needs to bat it around and “jiggle out” the goods.
Sit, Shake, Roll Over, Middle, Touch Down, Hide, TRICKS! There are tons of YouTube guides on trick training. You can also just wait to see what they will do for you (offering behavior) and figure out how to turn that in to a trick … or let them engage with a household object and see where that takes the two of you. How much fun is it when your dog can do these cool things around “non-agility” folks? A TON of fun … I promise. Get after it – a trick a week or a trick each month stacks up to be quite the skill set in a surprisingly short time.
Speaking of YouTube … you will find a lot of videos of people with their dogs on FitPaws equipment. These rubber toys are excellent for teaching your dog body awareness, strengthening the core, balance, and so much more. It’s worth an investment for something your dog(s) will use forever. This stuff is durable and has many uses. I know a couple of good resources for getting the FitPaws gear.
Got a treadmill? Don’t be selfish! Never leave your dog to walk the treadmill unsupervised, but once it’s trained and you know you can be there at all times this can be another valuable alternative to keep your dog moving even when it’s icy outside.
Do you have more ideas for “time well spent” indoors? Add a comment, we all would love to hear from you!