Whether you're shielding during the pandemic or find yourself stuck indoors with your dog, staying indoors can be a difficult task. Many dog owners and experts will attest to the benefits of taking your dog on walks including the mental and physical stimulation it can provide. However, if you find yourself having to self isolate you may have to think of creative ways to keep your dog happy and healthy while at home. From building a indoor obstacle course to playing the age-old game of fetch, here are a few indoor games both you and your dog can enjoy right now.
Go On A Treasure Hunt Indoors With The Help Of Their Favorite Treats
Whether it is humans or dogs, we all love a treasure hunt. Start by hiding some of their favorite toys or treats around the home. Place your dog in a sit-stay position before doing so, and then once the treats are hidden tell your dog to either go fetch or find the treasure. For novice dogs, you can start by hiding one treat while they watch you and then telling them to go find it. Afterward, you can repeat the process until they grasp the game.
Work On Their Sense of Smell Using Hidden Treats
A dog’s smell is one of his strongest senses. According to Public Broadcasting Service and Nova, a dog’s sense of smell is up to 40 times stronger than a human's. Teaching your dog scent work can help them hone these incredibly strong skills and even lead to an income source using your dog. While you can also sign your dog up for scent work classes, trying it out at home is just as easy and can be done using items in your home right now such as essential oils and dog treats. Owners can also personalize their scent training to their own interests. For instance, avid D&D gamers can use merchandise from popular fantasy role-playing games like an adventurer’s bag as a scent vessel.
Start with placing some essential oil on a few cotton swabs. You should then hold both the vessel and treat out to your dog so they become familiar with both. When your dog consistently shows interest in the hand holding the scent tin, you are ready to move on to finding the scent. Start with placing it close by like near your feet before progressing onto hidden places.
Train Your Dog With Some New Tricks
Regardless of your dog’s age or breed, there are certain tricks that you can always teach them. Unlike some other games, training your dog is not limited to being outdoors or a certain season of the year. Besides the obedience factor behind training your dog, some experts say that teaching your dog a new trick every week can also your dog do well in all other areas of training. It can also help to strengthen your bond with your dog.
With the help of a few dog training videos and your dog’s favorite treats, you can start by teaching your dog to shake hands or fetch. The key is to take it slow before progressing to more advanced stages like the use of a verbal cue. Most dogs already tend to paw at you so it is quite easy to start the training process. Hold out your hand, patiently giving your dog the chance to work out what you want. Don’t be surprised if they go through a range of motions such as sniffing. When they do give you their paw, reward, or praise them. Repeat the process consistently until your dog can recognize your actions every time.
So whether it is pouring outside or you are looking for new ways to keep your dog entertained indoors, there are many ways to stop your dog (and yourself) from being bored. Not only will these games keep your dog mentally stimulated but it will be a great way to bond with your dog on those days you are stuck indoors.