Most of us realize that exercise is a very important tool for keeping a young dog out of trouble. However, there are times when it’s just not convenient to get your dog out. It may be raining, or you have company, or you have to work late. No problem, there are things you can do indoors to keep your dog busy and out of trouble!
Hide and seek – Put your dog on a sit or down stay and go hide somewhere in the house. Have a treat or a toy with you when you hide. Call your dog to you, when he finds you, give him the treat or play with the toy. Make it easy for your dog to find you at first, and then gradually make it harder.
Find it – Again, put your dog on a sit or down stay while you hide bits of food around the house. Build anticipation by letting your dog watch you hide the food. Then release your dog to go find the food by saying “find it”. Make it easy at first, and then gradually hide the food in more difficult places. If you’re worried about you dog gaining weight, use his dinner for these games instead of putting it in a bowl.
Shred it – Does your dog like to tear up boxes or paper bags? If so, place a stuffed Kong toy in a box or paper bag and let your dog tear it open to get his prize. He can then spend time emptying the Kong. Make it more fun by placing the Kong in a bag and then place the bag in a box!
Interactive toys – There area many interactive, food dispensing, toys on the market. Instead of feeding your dog from a bowl, place his meal in a Buster cube, treat ball, Kong, or one of the Busy Buddy toys. It will take your dog longer to eat and he will have to work to get the food.
Tricks – Get a book or video on dog tricks and teach your dog a new trick. A good video on the market is “Take a bow-wow” which uses a clicker to teach your dog.