Blog Fun Indoor and Outdoor Activities to play with your dog year-round
Are you always looking for new toys and activities to keep your dog busy and improve their cognitive skills? If you and your dog live in an apartment you probably need some ways to entertain them, especially during times of quarantine.
Keeping your dog active and engaged in new activities can be a challenge. To help you, we have put together a list of games to do with your dog indoors.
1. Play “Find” with your dog
Nose working games are one of the simplest ways to entertain your dog. When you teach your dog some basic nose job games, such as ‘Find’, You are mentally teasing them and helping them better some of their natural skills. How to do it? Find a treat that your dog really likes (you can use dog treats but also small pieces of cheese, ham, sausage or chicken)
Grab some treats and have your dog watch as you put them around the room. Give your dog the “Find” command to invite them to start and encourage your dog to take them, remembering to praise them every time they find one. Increase the difficulty of the game little by little until your dog waits in one room while you hide the treats in the other.
2. Play the “three cups” with your dog
This is an easy and fun game that will entertain you and your dog. Take 3 plastic cups. Stand on the ground in front of your dog and place a treat under one of the cups. Then mix the glasses and ask your dog to find the right one that hides the treat. Not only will they have to find out where the prize is, but also how to get there. This one is great for mental stimulation for you and your dog, plus, it is very fun!
3. Teach your dog to tidy up their toys
This is a game for a more experienced dog owner, perhaps accustomed to working together on other aspects such as sit, rest and fetching objects. But it is not impossible even for those who approach these games for the first time. Teaching your dog new skills increases their confidence and is a great way to give them more mental stimulation.
If your dog already knows how to “drop it”, have them pick up a toy, guide them to the toy basket and try to tell them “drop it” right there. Praise the dog if they do it right and repeat. In the end, with patience and perseverance, you will have a dog that will know how to put away their toys.
4. Use a stuffed Kong to keep your dog active but calm
Kongs are some of the best toys for relieving dog boredom especially if they have to stay indoors. There is a real technique to fill a Kong and it doesn’t necessarily have to be full of “unhealthy” things. The perfect filling is a mix of soft and spreadable ingredients and something dry.
Place the Kong in a quiet corner of the house, if your dog has a bed where they sleep, or a blanket, these are perfect places. Leave the Kong and don’t disturb your dog as they enjoy emptying it and finding out what ingredients you used to delight them.
5. Play Tug of War with your dog
Playing tug of war is one of the best ways to have fun with your dog! It is a great way to exercise both mentally and physically. And since it doesn’t require a lot of space, you can play indoors.
Contrary to what some people say, playing tug of war will not make your dog aggressive, and letting them win won’t make them dominant. Letting your dog win makes playing more fun for your dog and will encourage them to play more.
6. The hula hoop jump
There are also several outdoor activities that you can do with your dog, while remaining safe and keeping distance from others.
Place the hoop vertically in front of the dog and hold a piece of food or a kibble on the other side of the hula hoop with the other hand. This will teach your dog how to jump through the hoop and help train their muscles.
7. Underwater hunting
Perfect to do in the garden or on the beach, this game will be very appreciated by your four-legged friend on hot summer days. Throw the ball or another toy into the water, making sure it doesn’t go too far: the dog’s job will be to retrieve it. This game is very fun and will also help dogs who are afraid of water to learn to swim while having fun. Make sure to always pay attention to your dog when swimming.
8. Hide and seek
Among the funnest games to play with your dog outdoors, you should definitely play hide and seek: perfect for playing together in the park, it will allow you to hide behind trees and bushes while letting your dog find you using their sense of smell.
9. Obstacle course
Creating an obstacle course with cones and hula hoops in the park is a fun way to stimulate your dog’s intelligence and at the same time increase their agility and general fitness: to encourage them to overcome every obstacle along the way, offer them some treats as a prize.
Head over to https://veryimportantpaws.com/vip-events/ for more opportunities to give your dog more exercise.
Try out these games and let us know which ones are your absolute favorites!