Are you a dog who is stuck indoors with a bored owner? Don’t worry, here’s a few indoor dog games for you both to have fun when the weather’s not great outside.
Hide and seek for dogs
Your owner loves this indoor dog game because they get to do the same thing as you. They’ll tell you to wait while they run off giggling to themselves and after a bit you’ll hear them shout ‘Ready!’ from a long way off. Now, if your owner has personal hygiene ‘challenges’ you’ll find this dog hide and seek game super simple, but even if not, they’ll still leave a strong enough scent trail for you to follow.
They’ll say something like ‘How did you find me so fast? What a clever dog!’ When it’s your turn to hide make sure that your tail isn’t sticking out. Then try not to fall asleep before you hear your owner shouting ‘I give up!’.
Dog memory game
This is one of my favourite indoor dog games. Your owner will say this is a game that teaches you to count, but actually it’s a game that teaches them to remember.
Watch closely while your owner puts three treats into their trouser pocket. Then they’ll take one out and give it to you, which obviously you’ll eat. Then they’ll give you another and you’ll eat that too. But then they’ll walk away and forget that they still have one more treat in their pocket.
So you’re barking like crazy and nuzzling at their pocket and they’re pretending not to know, asking, ‘What is it? There’s no more’.
But you know there’s one more and after you’ve barked for a bit they’ll finally give it you and say ‘Well done, you can count to three, good boy!’ Trouble is next time you play this game they’ll forget about that third treat again which proves how bad their memories really are.
What’s your toy’s name?
Want to polish up the mental side of things? Then give this indoor dog game a go.
Let your owner take one of the toys you really love, then they’ll call your toy a name, hide it in a box with some of your other toys and ask you to find it. When we did it he used my chewy turtle and called it Greeny because it was green. Then he said, ’Ok boy, find Greeny, find Greeny in the box.’ Now I’ve never called my turtle ‘Greeny’, I call him ‘Shelly’ partly because he has a shell and also because I can’t see colours that well, but I thought I’d better play along so I went and had a rummage in the box until I picked out the turtle.
Well my owner was amazed and rubbed me and said ‘Clever boy! You found Greeny, well done!’ One day I’ll tell him it’s Shelly but right then I didn’t want to spoil the moment. It seems to be one of his favourite indoor dog games, after all.
Dog agility course
This dog obstacle course is a fun indoor dog game and lets you and your owner enjoy physical play together.
They’ll put things like towels and toys on the carpet in the shape of some sort of course and you have to watch while your owner shows you how to get round it. Except it’ll take them ages but it’s funny to watch them crawling around on the floor. When it’s your turn show them how to do the course properly. They’ll love sitting down watching you whizz about and giving you encouragement from the sofa.
This indoor dog game is a great form of exercise, and it’s pretty fun, too.
Dog treasure hunt
This is one of the best indoor dog games because it combines exercise and brain work.
Allow your owner to hide several treats in various rooms of the house, and when they say ‘Go!’ you rush around sniffing and nuzzling everywhere. Obviously, you can smell where all the treats are straight away, but don’t hurry to find them because this is the ideal opportunity to clamber all over the chairs and sofas without getting told off. Eventually, after you’ve enjoyed a good workout, sniff out the treat and scoff them while your owner calls you ‘Sherlock’.
Which hand is it in?
Another great way to help your owner improve their memory is when they take a treat, hide their hands behind their back then bring them out and ask you to pick which hand the treat in.
They’ll look at you saying, ‘Which hand is it in? Which hand, which hand?’ Obviously, it’s in the hand that smells of treat but you don’t let on. To play along, move your head from side to side like you’re really thinking hard and maybe scowl a bit too.
Eventually tap the correct hand with your nose and quietly accept the treat while they go loopy about how clever you are. Some indoor games for dogs are super easy, and this is one of them.
Guess which cup?
This indoor dog game is a really easy game for dogs but owners seem to find it hard.
What happens in this dog treat game is that they take three paper cups, turn them upside down and then hide a treat underneath one. So far, so simple. Then your owner will mix up the positions of the cups and say, ‘OK, which one’s it under?’ Now, if they want to know where the treat is, why did they mix the cups up? And they’ll stare at you as if they’re totally confused and you think, ‘Ok, I guess I have to show you’.
You sniff each cup and obviously the one that smells of treat has the treat underneath. And you prod that cup with your nose and they go, ‘Oh wow, what a clever boy!’ I’m a dog and that’s what we do but it amazes them every time.
Tidy up dog toy game
We dogs always know where our stuff is so we never need to tidy up. Unfortunately, our owners seem to think their houses look nicer when there aren’t toys all over the floor. They’ve invented this cool indoor dog game where they give you a treat every time you tidy up your toys into their box.
However, this is a total con trick to get us to pick our toys by ourselves without treats or anything. That means when you’re playing this game, it’s important not to ever get it quite right. Pretend it’s difficult and you’ll always get a treat when you finish.
Looking for more dog training guides? Read our guide on running with your dog, next.