Top 5 Fun Indoor Games To Play With Your Dog Whilst In Isolation
Spring 2020 has been a crazy time. We have probably never spent so much time within the confinements of our homes, and for that matter with our own families (to the dismay of our partners!). Hopefully like myself, you will have taken full advantage of this lockdown by spending as much time as possible with your fur baby.
As we recently heard from the government, lockdown will be extended for a further 3 weeks, meaning isolation will last to the start of May! Just like us, our dogs may be bored during this period and it is important to ensure ours dogs are mentally stimulated and receiving enough exercise throughout the day.
To keep our dogs active and mentally stimulated during lockdown, we’ve put our brains together here at HWL Pet Supplies and come up with a 5 fun activities you can play indoors with your pup to reduce boredom.
Sniff Work (smell the treats)
Teaching your pet to discover treats is a great way to challenge their senses and see if they can problem solve. As we already know, dogs have an incredible sense of smell but sometimes they choose not to use their gift so we need to nudge them in the right direction.
I would start off by making the game easy for your dog by putting treats in more familiar, easy to find places around the house e.g. doggy bed, sofa, carpet etc. When they excel at this, then you can crank up the gears and start placing the treats in more tricky places such as under the bed, in draws, behind objects etc. I would advise against making the game too hard as your pup could lose interest altogether.
Hide and Go Seek
If your dog knows the command “find it” or something similar, then hide and go seek is a great indoor game to play. In order to play show your dog what it is you're going to hide — like a favourite toy and then put him somewhere he can't see you. Hide the item, then go get your dog and tell him to find it.
I think it can be helpful if you give your doggy vocal clues such as “gooood” when closer or "uh ooohhh" when they start to get cold venturing away from the trail. Give hints if needed, by pointing or walking toward the hiding place, until your dog really has a grasp of what this game is all about. When your pup finds the hidden object, make a massive deal out of how brilliant he/she is and praise them so they understand they’ve done something good.
Bring Crufts to your home.
To make this game a roaring success, the only equipment you really need would be sport cones or sticks. It’s up to you whether you’d want play outdoors in your garden or indoors if you have a nice big open area. If you do not have any sports cones or sticks, you could get creative with it and use household items such as books, boxes and cushions etc.
As they do in Crufts, you should run side by side with your dog pointing to the activity, so they know what they need to do. This activity should keep your dog entertained for an hour or two. To extend the obstacle course you could also include the legendary doggy tunnel.
To achieve this, you could borrow your kids play tunnel and use that or you could get creative again and put a bed sheet over a couple of chairs for your dog to go under. Either or, this exercise will improve your obedience and will improve their agility. Finally, I can manage it will be incredibly fun to watch if they are anything like Kratu!
One of our followers @lola_the_lab_x took to Instagram to showcase their inner Crufts by creating a obstacle course for their pup Lola to complete. The white lab passed with flying colours!
See how Lola got on with the obstacle course!
The Loo Roll Challenge
I’m sure on social media you’ll have seen the viral challenge where you construct a wall made out of loo roll and the objective is for your dog to jump over the wall successfully. You then build the wall a little bit higher each time and when your dog clears it you would repeat the process until your dog cannot jump over the toilet roll. I have seen some videos where dogs are clearing the wall nearly 1.5metres tall!
Just to note, this game would only be suitable for dogs who are more than 1 year old, or after their joints have finished developing fully. It is possible you could cause long-term injury playing this game with younger dogs as their joints are not developed enough to take the full impact when they land.
Teaching your dog a new trick
Having this downtime could be the perfect opportunity to teach your dog a new trick regardless of their age. Some tricks are harder to learn so you need to gauge the level of obedience your dog is at before fully committing. As a rule of thumb, always end each training session with playtime so that your pet links training to a favourite activity.
Here’s some examples of tricks they could learn:
Play dead (more advanced)
Thank you for reading the article. I hope we've managed to provide you with some good ideas of games you can play to keep your dog entertained during lockdown. Feel free to leave in the comments the games you play with your pup indoors.
STAY AT HOME, PROTECT NHS, SAVE LIVES.