Indoor Activities for Dogs
Rainy days (or too hot or too cold days too) can be fun-filled days with your pup or dog!
One of my favorite indoor games to play is what I call the FOOD FIND IT GAME.
In this one game, you are going to be working all kinds of amazing concepts like “Find It” “Come” “Sit” “Here Position” “Place.” Now remember, all good games have rules, right!!! That means, always shut down the silliness if your pup has rude or destructive behavior while playing the game. (no jumping on human, running away from human, or barking at human) This game is best played when your dog is hungry!
What you will need before you play:
- A leash on your pup as you play your games—it’s essential that you have your leash on your dog so that you are able to influence your dog’s choices while in play and be able to guide your pup to a better choice. Let the dog just drag the line as you play.
- A bed or raised dog cot
- Several different kinds of treats
- Low value- Kibble
- High Value- String Cheese and a meat treat of some kind. Pups have a very short attention span so you want to be sure to have a couple higher value treats to keep their interest up as the game progresses.
To play the game, grab a few kibbles and toss out away from you, and encourage your pup to “FIND IT” as they run and gobble up the kibbles. As soon as the last kibble is gobbled, call your pup back to you with “COME” and you can encourage them to come to you by having the higher value treat of cheese or meat ready so when they come to you, mold the “SIT”, then they get the treat!
On some of the recalls you can shape your pup to come to your left side to the “HERE/HEEL” position and mold the sit, and they get the treat. You shape/lure that position by keeping the treat down low in front of their nose as you draw your hand around, as your pup follows it, you get them in position on your left side. They get that high value treat when they arrive at the right spot.
Another variation is to send the kibble out for the “FIND IT”, then when that last kibble is eaten, get their attention and ask them to get to “PLACE”, again, using your high value treat as you lure them to the bed/raised dog bed. They get the high value treat when all four paws are onto “PLACE”.
Games are GREAT for pups to learn new concepts in a fun, low-pressure way and they learn that excitement goes up, then as they sit, or get into the here position or hop onto place, excitement goes down.
It’s a wonderful thing for a pup to learn that they can toggle between those two states of mind!
Don’t let yucky weather slow down your fun or your training time with your pup!!!