6 Addictive and Fun Indoor Game Ideas for Your Dog

Most dog owners leave their home early in the morning only to return after dark. They usually don't get much time to play outdoor games with their pooch. Sometimes, poor weather conditions can also force you and your dog to stay indoors. Regardless of the weather, your dog needs regular mental and physical exercise.

The lack of physical and mental exercise can make your dog restless, which may lead to aggressive behaviour. Aggressive dogs often tend to bite not just strangers, but also their family members. A dog owner needs to speak with a local lawyer immediately if their mutt accidentally bites someone.

Fortunately, several indoor games can prove to be just as much fun as outdoor games. Apart from providing mental and physical exercise, they will also keep your pooch from going nuts. Here are six indoor game ideas that you may find helpful.

1. Which Hand Game

'Which Hand' is one of the easiest sniffing games you can teach your dog. Pet dogs tend to rely on visual cues instead of their sniffing ability, so it may take a while for your dog to learn this game. But, it will certainly improve your dog's sense of smell.

Have your dog stay and place a piece of kibble in one of your hands. Close both your fists and hold them out in front of your dog. Ask your dog which hand the kibble is in. The purpose of this game is to hone your mutt's sniffing ability, so encourage him to use his natural sniffing talent to choose the correct hand. Sometimes, your dog may mouth or claw your hands instead of sniffing. It is, therefore, better to give your pooch basic impulse control training before teaching this game.

2. Treasure Hunt

Not just kids, but dogs can play treasure hunt too! However, instead of chocolates, you will need to use doggy treats. You can use small chunks of kibble or bits of your dog's favourite snack for this game. If you feed your dog homemade food, here is   a list of easy-to-cook doggy treats   you may find useful.

Have your dog stay while you hide the treat in the house. Start with easy-to-find spots and work your way up gradually. As your dog becomes accustomed to this game, you can start hiding food in tougher spots to make it more challenging.

3. Tug-of-War

If you are looking for a physically and mentally tiring indoor game, tug-of-war is your best bet. Most people believe it's not safe to play this game with a dog. However, if played by the rules, this game can help you develop a strong bond with your pooch. The most important rule of playing this game is you should be the only one to initiate the game and not your dog. Make sure to teach your dog to obey the "drop it" or the "leave it" command before teaching them to play tug of war. You should also let your pooch win a few times to keep him interested in the game.

4. Name That Toy

Teaching your dog to recognize toy names   can be fun and useful. Dogs that have already learned basic obedience commands can learn this game quickly. You will need a training clicker, your pooch's favourite toy, and a few yummy treats to start the training. Pick up a toy, tell your pooch its name and start playing with it. Keep repeating the name while playing until your dog starts to associate it with the particular toy. Reward your mutt with yummy treats whenever he/she fetches or touches the correct toy.

Play this game for at least three to four days using only one toy. Repeat the procedure with other toys until your dog has learned to recognize them all by their names. Once your dog has mastered all the names, mix multiple toys to keep things interesting.

5. Stairway Dash

Turn the staircase in your home into a gaming arena for your dog with this physically-exhausting game. To teach stairway dash, have your dog stay at the bottom of the stairs and throw a toy or a ball on the top landing. Let your dog retrieve it from upstairs once you give the "Go" or the "Fetch" command. To avoid strain on your mutt's joints, start out at the bottom.

You can encourage your pooch to dash as fast as possible when fetching the ball. However, let him/her descend the stairs at a slower pace as the risk of injury is higher on a downhill climb. This adrenaline-pumped game requires strong joints, making it impractical for younger dogs and those suffering from hip or arthritis complaint.

6. Obstacle Course

An obstacle course is a lot of work for sure, but it's also fun. Depending on the size of your living room or a spare bedroom, you can build an obstacle course right inside your house. You can set up obstacles using rolled-up blankets, empty milk crates, buckets, pillows, boxes, and broomsticks, among other things. Use simple obstacles at first so that your dog can understand the different aspects of the game such as jumping and crawling. Be sure to offer lots of treats and love to your pooch when playing this game.


For most dog owners, keeping their dog entertained and exercised is a challenge. Things can get even more complicated if bad weather forces you and your mutt to remain indoors for long hours. Fortunately, you don't need fancy toys or equipment to keep your dog happy when trapped indoors. The above six indoor-game ideas can't replace the regular outdoor exercise, but they will certainly keep your dog from going mad as a hatter.


Text source: Shirley (Chigaco)

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