Brain Games To Play With Your Puppy Indoors
Too often dogs are left to their own devices for large parts of the day, and it is not surprising that a bored dog develops bad habits, such as basket chewing. However, if you keep your dog’s mind as active as his body, you will soon notice the difference in his behavior.
Dogs not only enjoy the mental stimulation, they positively demand it. Nearly all breeds of dog have an identifiable original purpose – whether it be herding, retrieving or chasing rats – and they are prewired to try to fulfill this role. Allowing your dog to use and develop his problem-solving abilities by devising games for him to play indoors will increase his brain power in other areas of life, improving training, basic obedience, and even social skills. It will also allow your dog to act like a real dog. There can be no doubt that mental stimulation is tiring for your dog, and knowing that you are leaving a mentally and physically tired dog alone in the house when you go to work or head out for the evening will be less stressful for you because you won’t have to worry about what the house will look like when you get home.
Games To Play With Your Puppy Indoors
Indoor tug games
A good tug game with your dog is always great fun. Choose a suitable toy, such as a knotted rope or a ball on a rope, in an appropriate size. The only rules with this game are that you should always keep the toy low to the ground (so you do not encourage your dog to jump up) and that you should be able to get the toy back from your dog safely and easily. This is the easy bit. During a really good game of tugging, place a tasty treat on the end of your dog’s nose and he will happily drop the toy to eat the treat. You can then go back to playing again.
Dogs love this game, whether they play it indoors or outside. Unless you know your dog will stay put in one room until you call him from another, you will need two people. While one of you holds the dog, the other goes off to hide in another part of the house. Start simply by hiding in a different room, but as you play more often make the game harder by hiding in more difficult places, such as behind the bed or in the wardrobe. Always be really enthusiastic when your dog finds you. Finally, while he is busy finding one person, the other person, who was originally holding him, can hide and call the dog. He will end up running from room to room trying to find you both.
Hunt the toy
This is a fun and easy game to play indoors. Hide your dog’s favorite toy or put a tasty titbit inside a hollow toy somewhere in the house. Make the searches easy to begin with and make sure you are encouraging at all times. As soon as your dog finds the hidden article, praise him and give a food reward or have a game. Gradually the hiding places can become harder and harder.
You can even progress to a single special ‘item’ to hunt for, then swap it for a titbit. If your dog gets good at this game, you might even be able to give up hunting for your car keys when you are in a rush.