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During the winter months, weather can be a factor in getting your dog outside. It can be challenging to find the time to fit in enough activity and exercise with your dog when it's too cold, there's piles of snow, ice or it's pouring down rain.
You can listen to the list of fun indoor games & activities to play indoors with your dog on the video below (and it's in list form below). And the best part is most of them don’t require any special toys or equipment, just you, your dog and a bit of creative fun.
Dogs naturally driven by smell. The shell game is a fun one for dogs because they get to use their favorite sense and they get the bonus of a treat too.
How to Play
Tug is a great way to mentally & physically challenge your dog. Old school trainers discourage this and discount it to teaching aggressive behavior.
Done right this game not only encourages higher confidence but also teaches your dog to drop things when you tell him to!
Tug of war is interactive play.
Use a tug toy that is long enough to keep your dogs teeth away from your hands. The toy should also be flexible and durable.
Keep the toy put away when you’re not using it. It’s a game that you initiate when you want to play.
Teach your dog that he can only grab the toy when you give permission. Hold the toy up or off to the side; only begin the game one he sits. After he sits and waits you can encourage him to “take it.” If your dog hasn’t played tug before he might be reluctant. Let him grab onto it and gently move the tug from side to side encouraging him to pull.
Don’t pull upwards; only tug from side to side. Pulling up on the tug can injure your dogs spine or neck.
As your dog gets more excited he might begin to growl; this is normal behavior. If you feel that your dog is getting too excited or intense take a break.
If your dogs teeth come in contact with you the game should stop immediately. Say “ouch” or let out a yelp and tell the dog to release the toy. Once your dog is calmly sitting down and waiting to begin again you can tell them to “take it” and start tugging again. If they let their teeth touch your hand again it’s OK to stop the game for the day. They’ll eventually learn to be extra careful when grabbing the tug.
Do not let children play tug with your dog unless you’re supervising to watch out for signs of over excitement.
You should let your dog win intermittently!
A larger ball gets your dog engaged with chasing and playing. The Jolly Ball is too big to get the mouth around so it becomes intriguing for you dog to chase and play with it.
Many times they will start this game on their own. It encourages exercise.
It’s a magical allure for many dogs and can make for a very funny viral video.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This game should only be played with a dog that is over 1 year old. Joints and bone are not completely developed in a younger dog and should not take impact like this.
After full development of bones and ligaments it’s a great way to build muscle and fitness.
Step #1: Give the command “go to your bed.”
Show your dog to the bed from a short distance.
Praise/reward when you dog gets on the bed.
Hold for a few seconds w/ you near the bed.
Give release word or phrase “free” “take a break”
Step #2: Begin increasing the distance.
Increase the difficulty very gradually so the dog is successful.
Add only a foot at a time of distance to “go to your bed”
If your dog gets off without the release word or phrase “free” “take a break” put your dog right back on the bed even if you have to take her and say “go to your bed” again once your dog is on the bed.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Lots of treats!
Step #3: Increase the time.
You’ll most likely be practicing this step along with step two. Basically you want to teach your dog that “go to your bed” means “go to your bed and stay there until I release you.”
If your dog doesn’t listen and leaves her bed before you release her, just calmly say “ahuh” and put her back on her bed. Wait a second or two, then release her. If she’s getting up, then it may be time to take a break. Get a her to stay for a few seconds, then release her on a "win" and start again later.
Step #4: Increase the distance between you and your dog.
Now you can begin to walk away from the bed. At first, you might take a single step back. Then return to your dog and release her. Next, you would take two or three steps. Then four. Then maybe you can sit on the couch for 30 seconds. Then a minute. Every dog will be different.
Puppies will obviously have a harder time sitting still. Dogs that don’t have strong obedience skills will also struggle. Dogs that have a rock-solid down stay command mastered will have no trouble with this.
Go at your own pace. Be positive. Use lots of praise and treats. Make sure your dog views her bed as a fun place to hang out.
Extra tips for teaching your dog to go to her bed:
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