33 Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors
Looking for some easy ways to keep your dog busy indoors? You’ve come to the right place.
Keeping your dog entertained can be a challenge, and simply trying to come up with new ways to keep your dog entertained can be more exhausting than actually getting up and doing it. So to help you out I’ve put together a list of easy ways to keep your dog entertained.
From a fun game of hide and seek to stuffing a Kong, here’s 33 simple ways to keep your dog busy indoors.
The Benefits of Keeping Your Dog Busy
Bored dogs get into trouble. We’re their main source of entertainment, so if we don’t give them stuff to do they’ll come up with activities of their own — and that’s often when we end up with chewed up shoes and table legs.
By playing with your dog a few times a day you can decrease the likelihood of them developing destructive habits such as excessive barking or chewing.
There is a growing acceptance among scientists that play is very, very important and the type and frequency of play are a really good indicator of a dog’s quality of life. – Mark Evans, former RSPCA chief veterinarian
33 Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors
Over the years I’ve come up with a big list of fun indoor activities for dogs. So if you’re looking for some indoor games to play with your dog look no further; here’s 33 ways to keep your dog busy indoors.
1. Play a Game of Find The Treats
Nose work games are one of the easiest ways to tire out your dog. When you teach your dog some basic nose work games such as ‘find the treats’ you’re mentally tiring them out and helping them hone in on some of their natural skills. You don’t need a big bag of store bough dog treats either; chopped up carrots are my favorite treat to use for this game.
To play all you have to do is grab some treats and have your dog watch in a stay position as you place them around the room. Give your dog the cue to “find the treats” and encourage your dog to pick them up, remembering to praise them every time they find one.
After your confident that your dog understands what “find the treats” means you can making it a bit more challenging. Have them stay in another room as you hide the treats, and start hiding them in spots they have to sniff out such as under a rug.
2. Play the the Shell Game
The shell game is a simple problem solving game for dogs. To play the shell game with your dog let your dog watch as you place a treat under one of three cups. You then shuffle the cups around and encourage them to ‘find the treat.’ The shell game gives your dog plenty of mental stimulation, and helps them work on their problem solving skills.
Don’t let this cat put your dog to shame:
3. Teach Your Dog to Clean Up His Toys
If your dog’s toys are kept in a container you can give them a lot of mental stimulation by teaching them to put their toys away. I know it sounds weird to teach your dog to clean up after themselves, but it’s actually a lot of fun. Teaching your dog new skills boosts their confidence, and it’s a great way to give them more mental stimulation.
If your dog already knows “drop it” have them pick up a toy and give them their drop it command once they’re standing over the container. Praise them like crazy, then rinse and repeat. Eventually with consistency you’ll have a dog that will be able to clean up after himself.
4. Use a Stuffed Kong to Keep Your Dog Entertained
Stuffed Kongs are my favorite when it comes to relieving dog boredom because they’re so easy to prepare. If you want to keep your dog busy for awhile try stuffing a Kong with some of their favorite treats. You can freeze some peanut butter or broth inside, or just put some treats in there and give your dog something to work for. If you’re not sure what to use here’s a list of 39 healthy treats that are great for Kong stuffing.
Using a stuffed Kong is a great way to keep your dog occupied while you’re at work. Put your stuffed Kong in the freezer overnight and give it to your dog in the morning as you’re leaving. A frozen Kong will last 30+ minutes for most dogs — much longer if your fill it completely.
I love using classic Kong’s because they’re nontoxic, indestructible, and dishwasher safe. If you’re looking for a great Kong alternative that’s just as durable check out the West Paw Toppl toy; they come in large and small sizes, and they’re just as easy to clean as a Kong.
5. Play a Game of Tug of War
Playing a game of tug of war is one of the best ways to engage in meaningful play with our dogs. It’s a great way to mentally and physically exercise your dog. And since it doesn’t require a ton of room you can play it indoors.
And contrary to what some people say playing tug will not make your dog aggressive, and letting them win will not make them dominant. Letting your dog win just makes the game more fun for your dog, and it will encourage them to play more. Dogs that play tug with their owners have been found to be more obedient and have higher confidence.
Tug is a great way to exercise your dog as long as you have your dog follow a few basic rules such as “the game stops if your teeth touch my hand.”
6. Teach Your Dog to Help With Chores
Dogs love having a job to do, even if it’s something as simple as fetching you your slippers. You can make them feel even more useful by teaching them the names of some items you wouldn’t mind having retrieved.
If you want to impress all of your friends teach your dog to fetch you something from the fridge. When teaching your dog to open the fridge tie a towel around the handle so it’s easy for them to pull open the door. And if you’re feeling like a superstar you can teach your dog to help out with daily chores.
7. Play Interactive Games
To keep my dog busy on rainy days I love using interactive games such as tug, find the treats, puzzle games and fetch. Interactive games are an easy way to give your dog plenty of mental stimulation, and they can help cut down on problem behaviors such as excessive chewing or barking.
But take it from me; if you’re going to play fetch indoors use a lightweight ball to avoid breaking all of the things. (lesson learned) A game of tug is a lot of fun for dogs, and it’s a great way to increase your dogs manners and impulse control. It’s also a pretty good workout. Minute for minute it’s one of the more physically demanding games we play.
8. Make Your Dog Work for His Food
We give our dogs a nice comfy life — they get a warm bed, lots of attention, and all their meals for free. But our dogs were bred to work alongside us, and a lot of our dogs are missing out on some mentally stimulating activities. They’re natural scavengers, so having to work for food isn’t mean or unusual — it’s normal and mentally stimulating for them.
One of the easiest ways to challenge your dog’s mind is by making them work for their food. You can make your dog perform some tricks before he gets his dinner, or you can have them eat from a food dispensing toy.
9. Teach Your Dog The Names of Their Toys
Have you seen Chaser the Border Collie? She knows over 1,000 words and can pick out any given toy among 800 just by it’s name. We can’t all be overachievers like Chaser, but we can teach our dogs the names of their toys and make some fun games out of it.
Start by playing with one specific toy and giving it a name while you do. After some practice & praise your dog will assign that verbal name with the chosen toy. Once your dog has learned that specific toys name you can test their skills by seeing if they can pick it out among their other toys.
10. Teach Your Dog to “Go Find” Their Toys
Once your dog knows the names of some of their toys teach them the “go find it” game. Have your dogs toys in a pile or container and tell them to “go find” their favorite toy. As your dog gets better at this game you can make it more challenging by increasing the number of toys they have have to sift through.
Keep it fun for them by rewarding them handsomely with a treat or quick game of tug when they succeed. This game will give your dog a great mental workout.
11. Teach Your Dog a New Trick
Does your dog know how to weave through your legs and jump through a hoop? There’s always a new trick you can teach your dog, and trust me when I say teaching your dog how to weave through your legs is a lot easier than it sounds.
To help get you started here’s a handy list of 52 tricks to teach your dog with instructions.
Does your dog already know a bunch of tricks? One of the best things about trick training is that there’s always room to improvise and make it more challenging. Once your dog knows a bunch of tricks you can step it up a notch and combine their learned behaviors into brand new tricks.
12. Work on Some Clicker Training
One of my favorite tips when it comes to dog training is using a clicker. It’s a little box with a lever that makes a noise when you press down on it, and it’s used to mark the exact moment your dog performs a desired behavior. I love using one because it’s an easy way to make sure I’m letting my dog know exactly when she’s doing the right thing.
If you don’t have a clicker I’d recommend picking one up next time you’re at the pet store. They costs a few bucks and can help make training easier by ensuring you can capture the exact moment to praise them for doing a new trick or command.
When training a dog every second matters; it’s so easy to miss the chance to communicate with our dogs the instant they do the behavior you desire. When you use a clicker you can mark the exact moment your dog made the right choice.
13. Play The Which Hand Game
If you’ve been thinking about teaching your dog some scent work games this is a great game to get you started. The only thing you’ll need is some dog treats, and if don’t any on hand you can use some chopped up fruits & veggies or make your own homemade dog treats.
How to Play the Which Hand Game:
- Place a treat in one of your hands.
- Close your fists and hold them out in front of your dog.
- Let the dog choose which hand it’s in.
- When your dog sniffs or paws the correct hand open it up and give them the treat.
- If he chooses incorrectly don’t discourage him, it takes a few tries to catch on.
- A gentle “touch” command will be helpful.
Tip: Chopped up carrots make excellent treats for scent work games and training. They’re low in calories, easy to prepare, and (most) dogs absolutely love them.
3. Play a Game of Hide & Seek
Playing a game of hide and seek is by far one of Laika’s favorite games. Hide and seek might not seem all that complex or entertaining to us, but a lot of dogs get a real kick out of it.
If your dog doesn’t have a good stay command down you can ask a friend to help by having them distract your dog as you go and hide (or you can practice your “stay” before you get started.)
15. Get Some Puzzle Toys For Your Dog
Another great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated is by giving them a puzzle to solve. There are a ton of dog puzzle toys available, as well as treat dispensing toys like the Kong Wobbler. There’s also a ton of great DIY toys out there you can make. I love the simple muffin tin game – if you have a muffin tin and some tennis balls you’re ready to play.
If you want to give your dog something to chew on for awhile we love Best Bully Sticks and Benebones. Just be sure to opt for odor free bully sticks if you’re sensitive to smells.
16. Master the Basics of Obedience Training
Does your dog know all of the basic obedience commands? Does he have a reliable recall and stay? Even well trained dogs need a refresher course now and then to keep them sharp. All dogs should have a reliable sit, down, stay, drop it, and come here. A few quick training sessions (5-10 minutes) each day are a great way to help your dog master the basics, and they’ll help keep your dog mentally stimulated.
17. Play a Game of Fetch
Most of us do have some extra room indoors for a simple game of fetch, but if you live on the 5th floor with a St. Bernard you should probably skip this game. When it comes to playing indoor fetch hallways, stairways, and big living rooms are popular choices.
My dog and I love playing soccer in the basement with her Jolly ball. Be careful with heavy toys around anything that’s fragile or able to be tipped over, and it’s probably not a good idea to play fetch inside the kitchen. If you don’t like the idea of playing fetch indoors you could turn it into a simple game of catch.
18. Master The Art of Doggie Massage
Learning how to give a dog massage is enriching for owner and dog alike. A nice massage can help soothe and relax nearly any dog.
And dog massages are great for older dogs or those with arthritis, since it helps soothe sore and achy joints. Giving your dog a massage reduces anxiety, relieves stress, improves circulation, and creates a great bond between you and your dog.
Tip: If your dog has a hard time settling down for a massage you can practice the relaxation protocol.
19. Try Some Free Shaping Games
If you haven’t heard of 101 things to do with a box you’ve been missing out on some fun training opportunities. It’s a great foundation for learning how to practice free shaping techniques, and it only requires a box and a clicker.
The basic principle of shaping games is to encourage our dogs to try something new. They get to make their own decisions and increase their mental and physical flexibility. You start out with a box on the ground and without any cues let your dog investigate and decide what to do.
Shaping can be used with any item, not just a box. Here’s a great video of shape training a dog to crawl under an object.
20. Give Your Dog Regular Grooming Sessions
Although your dog won’t find a grooming session as exciting as a game of tug it is something that needs to be done from time to time. Our dogs need to be brushed, bathed, have their teeth brushed, and have their nails trimmed when they start to get long.
Some dogs tolerate grooming better than others, and the more you practice using positive rewards the easier it will become. Don’t be afraid to hand out lots of treats during a grooming session – you want to ensure your dog will associate grooming habits with a positive experience.
21. Play a Game of Tag
Playing tag is a fun interactive game for dogs, but it does require a partner. Each of you will sit or stand at one side of the room with a toy or some treats. Take turns calling the dog over and rewarding them when he comes. Make sure your dog is receiving lots of positive reinforcement each time they obey. This is a simple and fun way to reinforce a reliable recall.
22. Create Your Own Indoor Doggie Obstacle Course
Create your own obstacle course inside your home. Have your dog jump over some towels, weave through his toys, and then lay down on a blanket. Use your imagination and come up with a set of obstacles for your dog to follow. Once your dog has learned how to jump over the towels you then move onto the toy weave. Building on prior tricks will keep your dog mentally stimulated and encourages focus.
23. Teach Your Dog to Chase Bubbles
This is my favorite activity to keep my dog entertained when I’m under the weather. It’s such a simple way to keep my dog happy, entertained & exercised.
I don’t know why but some dogs are fascinated by catching bubbles. There’s even a wide selection of pet bubble making toys on the market. You don’t have to go out and buy special bubbles either – the bubbles that are available for children are nontoxic. If you have a child in the home here’s some proof that babies, dogs and bubbles are the most adorable thing on the planet.
If your dog has no idea what bubbles are here’s a quick guide on how to teach your dog to chase bubbles. And seriously, a few 3-5 minute sessions of chasing bubbles can work wonders for your dog.
24. Buy a New Dog Toy, Make One, or Rotate Them
Studies have found that dogs get bored with their old toys. You can either buy your dog a new toy to get their enthusiasm going or you can rotate their toys. Instead of giving your dog access to all of their toys all the time give them a couple. If you rotate one of their old toys back into the mix after awhile they’ll have some of that original enthusiasm back.
You can always make their toys more exciting by ensuring you’re engaging with them by playing fetch or tug. Toys take on a whole new value once you get involved and start playing with it as well. There’s also a ton of DIY toys you can make from household items such as old t shirts, towels, and denim.
25. Make a Doggie Play Date
Does your dog have some nice dog friends? Invite them over for some play time. It’s so satisfying to see dogs engaging in play with one another, and it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll have one tired dog at the end of the day. You’ll also have a chance to catch up on some chores while the dogs create their own wrestle mania in your living room.
26. Brush up on Some Old Tricks
Just like us our dogs can benefit from a refresher now and then. When was the last time you asked your dog to roll over or play dead? If it’s been awhile get out your clicker or treats and run through the drill. Have your dog practice all of their commands to make sure they’re not getting rusty. When it comes to training remember to keep it short & sweet; a few 5 minute sessions each day can do wonders.
27. Teach Your Dog the “Go To” Command
Does your dog know how to go to the couch or to his bed? This trick is simple to teach and it’s helpful when you’re making dinner or having guests over. If you tell your dog to go to his spot while you’re making dinner enough times it will become a habit. No dog in the kitchen while cooking means you won’t be finding dog hair in your dinner as often. (but if you do here’s 10 tips for cleaning up dog hair)
28. Teach Your Dog to Grab His Leash
Before we go for a walk I have my dog go and grab her leash, then she has to fetch me my boots and her harness. It’s not asking much, but it’s just enough to keep her focused and busy while I’m getting ready. Before I taught her to go grab those items she’d be spinning around, whining, and jumping while I got everything ready. This way I can keep her nice and calm, making it easier (and quicker) to get ready and out the door.
Teaching your dog to go fetch their leash or harness is a nice way to give them some extra mental stimulation, and give them a nice simple job to do.
29. Teach Your Dog to Turn On/Off Lights
This can come in quite handy when it’s getting late and you find yourself needing some more light and you’re feeling a bit lazy. Instead of having to get up and turn on the light have your dog do it for you. To start with this trick a touch stick or good “touch” it command are handy. If you have a small dog you might have to improvise to make it possible for your dog to reach the light switch. Don’t attempt this trick if the occasional scratch mark on your wall will bother you.
30. Work on Impulse Control For Better Manners
Dogs, like children, have to be taught that they can’t always get what they want right away. From a puppy learning bite inhibition to teaching an adult dog to “wait” on command, impulse control keeps our dogs out of trouble and safe.
Brush up on the basic impulse control commands like leave it, wait, stay, settle, and down. These commands are important if your dog ever gets loose or decides to chase after that squirrel.
31. Make Some Simple Dog Treats
Your dog might not be an active participant in the making of dog treats, but he’ll certainly be reaping the rewards. I love making my own dog treats rather than buying them from the store. It’s nice knowing exactly what goes into what our dogs are eating, plus when you make your own you can control the portion size.
By making your own dog treats you’ll not only have a great supply of training rewards on hand, but you’ll also impress your dog with your excellent culinary expertise.
Tip: Be sure to check out our list of 25 simple dog treat recipes for some great options. They’re all made with 5 ingredients or less, and there’s a few frozen options for those of us who aren’t big on baking.
32. Teach Them To Say Please by Sitting
Does your dog come up to you and nudge your hand when they want something? If you don’t find this behavior desirable teach your dog that sitting politely is the key to gaining your attention. Don’t be afraid to teach your dog how to act – without guidance they develop bad manners.
Our dogs look to us for cues all the time, they like to know what’s expected of them. Reward polite behaviors handsomely, with consistency your dog will get into the habit of asking for things in a polite manner.
33. Snuggle Up & Relax on the Couch
After a nice training session or game there’s nothing better than a little bit of relaxation. We all need time to unwind, and many of our dogs love to lounge around with us. Before bedtime each night I sit on the couch with Laika for a bit. It didn’t start off as anything planned but now when 10:30 rolls around she hops up on the couch and looks at me — waiting for our nightly snuggle before bed.
Keep Your Dog Busy & Happy With Interactive Play
Being indoors doesn’t have to be dull. Play some fun games with your dog or teach them something new. Dogs thrive on interactive play, and it has a big impact on their overall health and well being. To keep your dog entertained and happy you don’t need a bunch of fancy toys or access to the outdoors, you just need a little bit of time and dedication.
We might not be able to provide them with the full time job they were bred for – but we can give them something meaningful to do with a few simple games and tricks. And when you look at your dogs happy face after a simple game of tug you’ll know exactly why dogs are mans best friend.
You call to a dog and a dog will break its neck to get to you. Dogs just want to please. Call to a cat and its attitude is, “What’s in it for me?” – Lewis Grizzard
How do you keep your dog entertained indoors? Have you read about the recent studies that found a correlation between interactive play and a dogs well being? Does your dog know the name to all of his toys? Do you make your own doggie treats or toys?
Looking For More Boredom Busters for Your Dog?
Does your dog get bored? If you’re looking for more ways to keep your dog entertained be sure to check out our list of 26 simple ways to relieve dog boredom, how to keep your dog mentally stimulated, 5 quick ways to tire out your dog & 10 fun brain games to play with your dog.
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Lauren Miller says
Great post!! We do a lot of these as my girls don’t like the rain!
Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets says
Wow, what a great list! There’s so much on here I never even thought of.
This is an awesome list! There are several things I would like to try with Haley from the list and of course snuggling on the couch at night sounds pretty good too when it’s cold outside, lol! I’ve been wanting to train Haley to pick up her toys, but haven’t taken the time to work on that yet.
Thank you so much for the link in your article! 🙂
Jen Gabbard says
I love snuggling at the end of the night; it’s one of our daily habits 🙂 I’ve kept all of Laika’s ripped up toys just for the sake of them having a name lol – we can still use them for training the go find it game.
Kate Obrien says
Wow – what a great list of activities – shared.
Colton Jenks says
i also shared
Awesome tips! I love creating my own little games to keep the huskies busy indoors. It is wonderful for mind stimulation too.
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Dbakeca Italia says
Excellent info! Thank you for the helpful suggestions.
Jen Gabbard says
Thank you 🙂
Pamela | Something Wagging says
This is a good comprehensive list. We do lots of these and are big fans of food toys.
Honey has been eating her meals from them since she was 8 weeks old. It guarantees a nice nap after breakfast.
On the other hand, I find indoor play session a disaster. When we invite her 65 pound lab buddy and his 20 pound pug sister over for play time, I rush them outside as fast as can be. Otherwise, the furniture starts flying. 🙂
2 brown dawgs blog says
Excellent tips all! I am counting the days until is is light past 6pm. It won’t be long. 🙂
Jen: DOGthusiast&StylishCanine says
WOW! What a list! I think I’m going to have to print this out – what great inspiration to make things better for the dogs. And also thanks for the link!
We have some lights in our place controlled by iOS… now *that* would be a challenging trick!!! Hmm… I wonder if my phone-unlock-by-thumbprint works with a pawprint?! I can just imagine this training tutorial now…
Very useful advices! Thank you!
Larry Chihuahua says
Wonderful post! I’m a huge hide and seek fan. Love your other ideas
Jen Gabbard says
Hide and seek is definitely a favorite around here. I remember before we started playing that game I had my doubts – I just kept thinking “why on Earth would a dog like hide and seek?” Boy was I wrong, she absolutely loves it.
Catherine Armato, Dogs Luv Us says
These are great ideas, there are many I hadn’t thought of before. I look forward to checking out the 52 tricks link you provided! Thanks!!
I love dogs I would not want anything happen to them
Donna cerca uomo Italy says
I love dogs <3
I am bookmarking this 🙂 It’s been feeling like -22 degrees here even without snow, so needless to say walks and running around in the backyard isn’t happening. I think my reactive dog is getting cabin fever and making him even more reactive, so I needed to find new ways to burn energy, so thanks for this 🙂
What a fantastic article ~ mental engagement & doggie playtime are so important! Definitely sharing this everywhere 🙂
Fantastic ideas! And perfect timing…with these very hot summer days, our Siberian Huskies are tired of snoozing in the a/c! Sharing!
What a great list! Sharing with clients. I love playing hide and seek with my dog; I think she loves it more!
The perfect list of ways to keep a dog busy indoors, especially for winter and rainy days.
Good list! We were looking for something to keep our puppy occupied when we couldn’t let him out in the yard due to weather. Found Mister Bat’s toy tether. It has been awesome. Wish they had more attachments though. You end up making your own, which still works great.
I do #4 – use stairs and #7 – stuff Kong a lots but stuffed Kong is getting easier for them each time. Thanks for the list. Now we have to try something else!
Bacheca Incontri says
love dogs <3
your mother says
put on pants
These should be great for a lot of the dogs I get in, but I currently have a 10 month old foster that gets bored with things easily unless it’s something he isn’t supposed to have. I try to play with him, but it never lasts long and he just walks away after a few minutes of training. This is a problem as I don’t always have time to take him on an hour long walk and he spends most of the day bored. the only thing that works for awhile is a kong. is there anything else I can do to keep him busy or increase his interest in play/training?
Jen Gabbard says
I’m a huge fan of Kongs so I’m glad that’s working out for you. Do you freeze anything in them to make them last longer? That’s a simple way to get some more mileage out of it.
What sorts of toys does he seem to prefer? Does he enjoy tug? If you’re interested in improving his play drive you can try the 3 methods listed here: https://www.puppyleaks.com/play-drive/
I put treats in a pair of old socks, fold it like you would for your socks, and stick more treats in it. Then I throw it and my Goldendoodle plays with it and chews on it. He absolutely loves it! It takes him quite a while.
Thanks for the great list! We do some of those with our dogs (snuggling on the couch every night is a given). Here is something else we do: our boxer LOVES it when we take out the laser pointer. She will chase that dot up and down the hallway until she is exhausted. Our rat terrier doesn’t really respond to it though.
Great List! But as a dachshund owner, the “make stairs exercise” is kind of scary! I’ve been in the vet hospital from back pain from exhaustion from excessive stair use multiple times. I’m sure for larger dogs it is a great plan, but a disclaimer next to that activity might be great!!
Jen Gabbard says
Great point, and it’s something I stopped doing with my dog Laika due to her arthritis.
Thank you for the list!! I will start today with my pom,Marshmellow 😀
Abiral Tuladhar says
such a cute NAME!!
Please do not Use stairs to keep your dog busy. Stairs are not a healthy choice for pretty much all the breeds. Stay away from Stairs if you really love your pooch.
Emily Wilson says
It is an excellent post for my dog activities
There are some great ideas here for keeping dogs occupied. Keeping dogs active both mentally and physically is so important.
sam bew says
The only one of those games i would be very careful playing is the dog catching bubbles game. My pup had a lovely time catching bubbles that one of my children got in a party bag when they were small and as the dog caught the bubble it popped causing a tiny amount of the liquid to go in her eye. The next day her eye was double the size and very oozy. Two eye operations and a huge bill later it turned out that the detergent in the liquid had done damage to her eyeballs and had irritated it so much she had to have a layer of her eye peeled away, eww. Only something like Johnson’s bubbles wouldn’t aggravate eyes so be careful.
Jen Gabbard says
Thank you so much for sharing your story, that’s horrible. I think I took for granted the idea that most bubbles are gentle & safe.
Marsha martin says
Wow thankyou for sharing the story regarding bubbles. I never knew. Most people just love their dogs. They are so special. I have a bullmastive, she’s 3 years old and hates the rain. She will smell the air an if there is a sprinkel, she most definitely does not want to get her hair wet. They are so smart more than a lot of people think. I lost my previous girl to cancer, never got over it. It eases the pain to have another love. Casey was born with ataxia an has hard time getting up on things but we loyally help her every day. She’s a trooper. She thumps the floor three times when she has to go out an potty. I never knew dogs could tell time but every day at 200 straight up Casey tells my husband time for a tummy rub. They go out on the covered deck sit on the couch an get tummy rub. I thought day light savings would mess up the time ????? Looks forward to it or else she pouts.
Holly gough says
Really enjoyed all those tips for activities, games and great things to do with your doggie. You can never have enough ideas when it comes to trying to entertain those little rascals. Brain games are the best! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for this article. Sasha, my very intelligent 16 lb mutt loves to go to the park, but it’s midsummer and I can’t take the heat! I’m looking for things to keep her occupied indoors. If I don’t, she will make up her own games and some of them are slightly destructive, lol.
Mark Webb says
This is a life saver, thank you! Now I can leave the house for an hour without worrying that my pup will tear it all to pieces!
Awesome and creative information! I always create my own little games to play with my puppy. Thanks for sharing ????
Kevin Burress says
I am happy to read your post. Yeah, it’s really a tough task to keep a dog entertained. You have shared 33 awesome and simple ways to keep a dog entertained and busy. Most often I use to change my dog’s toys to keep him entertained and busy with his new toys. I love all of your tips and tricks. Thanks for sharing!
I found this article looking for ways to teach my 11-month-old Pup how to entertain himself for a couple of hours. He loves the outdoors and I’m concerned about him getting restless and bored when the weather turns bitter cold, so I’m trying to plan ahead.
We do a lot of activities listed here, but I also found some new ideas. Thanks so much.
What a great list! Thank you for sharing! I hope my dog can learn all these tricks, it must be fun.
Many thanks for this great list, I especially love the one about teaching your dog to clean up after themselves…..does this stretch to what he leaves in the back yard too? Sounds like something I can add to my blog if I can get Dudley to perform this trick…
Jen Gabbard says
I haven’t used it in the backyard, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t do it there as well.
Great list. I am sure my dogs can learn all those tricks. I just need to be patient!
This is a really precious info or tips. Quite a lot of them i never think about that. Sadly to say, due to the busy of work lifestyle, i only play fetch game with my dog (i mean the most favorite ones, beside there are other games as well). Patience is virtue, i think it need time before my dog can adapt a new games, not just fetch a thing. It is too common. Thanks again for the great list.
Daylene Gordon says
Ok I have a one year old Great Dane he has a giant crate yes I hate crating him but I simply would not have a house left but he tears up his bed I will only leave toys he can’t eat in for him while I’m working but he tears up anything I put in for him to sleep on I just hate the thought of him being uncomfortable any ideas? Stuff that can’t hurt his tummy!
Jen Gabbard says
I can’t think of anything besides crating that I’d be comfortable with in your situation. I crated Laika when I went to work for about the first year because I not only had to worry about what she might destroy, but I had to worry about whether or not she’d hurt herself by getting into something she wasn’t supposed to. The one thing I did leave for her every morning was a frozen stuffed Kong; those keep her busy for a long time.
Daylene Gordon says
Yes I think I will purchase one of them I think if I can freeze peanut butter in them mayb he won’t destroy his bed!! Yes I hate the crate but it not only keeps him safe but my house safe as he is like three toddlers rolled into one!!
Wow! This is a huge list. Lots of great ideas for keeping your dog busy. We use many of them ourselves. It’s winter now where we’re at and that means snow, so there’s plenty of time being spent indoors with our 2 mutts going stir crazy. Thanks for sharing!
Ashlyn Fellman says
This is a good list! Definitely going to try some of these. We have 2 heelers. 1 is 9 and loves playing tug and the other is a puppy. Just turned a year old last month. I swear she is tireless and when she does sleep, she has 1 eye open. She is a super super smart dog (all heelers are) and would love the treat games. She quickly learned all basic commands along with shake and hi-5 by the time she was 9 months old.
Hide and seek she would love but she never leaves our sides (LITERALLY have to run into the bathroom when she’s not looking and when leaving the house we have to leave slowly 1 ligament at a time before she starts her temper tantrum). When you have heelers, nothing is indestructible. We bought 5 of them when we got her and we are down to the last one (going in the trash tonight when she’s in bed as she keeps eating the rubber she bites off). They have such strong jaws.
We CANNOT wait for the snow to be gone. The treadmill is boring for her and she is super restless even though she’s active all day.
saif khan says
my dog can leap through a hula hoop now????????
This was such a sad post, made me cry 🙁 I hope I will never be in a situation to decide when the euthanasia should be done. I don’t think I would be able to handle it. I am a very sensitive person and i completely understand why you couldn’t be with your dog, even though you wanted to.
marie douglas says
Love these tips!! My dog hates rain so on rainy days we have to make fun of our own!! Thank you for sharing
Logan M Gelowitz says
Ever since my pup and I have moved into an apartment we haven’t had as much time to go to the park! So these tips have been amazing, and i thank you so much!!
Riley Sackett says
My little Abeeb loves to play too
Joyce Jessy says
Thanks for the great list! I’m a huge fan of Kongs so I’m glad that’s working out for you. Stay away from Stairs if you really love your pooch.
I like the memory aspect of finding things they’ve watched being hidden.
Sarah Linton says
When i have moved moved into my job that time i haven’t had as much time to go to the park! So these tips have been amazing and i will must apply it from today hope so it will work for me. Thanks for the sharing.
I think playing with you’re dog is very crucial due to they grow aware of you bonding with them i personally own a white beautiful lab named sky she’s ,y life but on a rainy day or when i feel under the weather i play with my lab indoors and she loves is don’t forget depending the breed you’re dog may be the active one ore the lazy one haha these are the toys i bought my lab https://amzn.to/2MAY0vJ
What an inspiring blog! I love making things, Hope my dog love this too and you certainly have many good ideas:)
Mandi & Merrie says
Love these ideas, although I will avoid showing the children otherwise they will all be trying to get Merrie to do their chores for them! Although she would probably do a better job!
Ashley Hoober says
my pup would benefit from these haha! If only I could teach her to clean up her own toys
Marek Hamsik says
boredom buster is good idea for my puppy to get busy 🙂
Susan Crawford says
These tricks are amazing!! I can’t wait to teach my dog to grab his leash!
Aadil Varshani says
Yes i also loved it
I hang a large empty soda pop bottle (64oz) with the lid on tight from either a fishing pole, tree branch, or rafter to a height above my dog’s head that requires her to jump up to reach it. She tries to capture the bottle, but because it is full of air and the lid is on tight, this makes it nice and bouncy and challenging to catch. Katy loves to bump the bottle and make it fly off into the air so she can chase it. She will play this game non-stop until I either lower the bottle so she can catch it and enjoy her reward, or until she figures out how to capture the prize on her own. I use fishing line tied with a slip-knot so that when the bottle is caught, Katy can pull it right off the string and crush her prey to her satisfaction (I keep a supply of empty bottles on hand because after she’s done crushing the bottle, it goes into the recycling bin). The line is always kept up high so she never gets close enough to it to get entangled. This is a fun and safe activity, though I never let my dog play it alone. It’s her absolute favorite game and a great way to help her keep in shape!
Play Interactive Games With Your Dog is the nice way to interact with the dog, by this the dog will get mentally stimulated.
I love your list Jen! I created my own list of indoor dog games we use at Team Doggy. it’s fun to see a lot of similar yet different takes on these fun activities.
I also love the idea of training your dog to enjoy grooming sessions with positive reinforcement and even treats – the concept of teaching a dog to enjoy a good teeth brushing could really be useful around here. (some stinky breath monsters sometimes 🙂
Amanda palmer says
Incredible rundown. I am certain my canines can gain proficiency with each one of those stunts. I simply should show restraint!
Roger J. Owens says
I purchased the food dispensing toy yesterday for my 11-month-old chocolate lab. She has an ACL injury and I thought this would keep her entertained for a while since her activity is limited. I’m sure it’s a great toy but I would recommend it for everyone.
Elaine Everitt says
My little dog Alfie fetches pegs from the peg basket for me when I hang my washing out
Thanks for the tips!
Take Care Of Dogs
Great tips and ideas. Definitely going to try some of these with my new puppy.
EVALDAS SPAK says
Thanks for giving such nice advice to keep my dog the dog busy.
Brian Yates says
Super helpful list. My dog already learned “hide and seek one”. I think I need to be more patience
Ruby Ricord says
Cool! I am going to try these with my lazy dog who naps all day!
Great article! I will also try these tips with my two lazy couch potatoes. It is hard to take them on walks when it is hot outside so I need more ideas on how to keep them busy inside 🙂
Good tips for pet parents
Dog Boarding says
After read this blog, i am interested this dog
PDS Center says
Thanks for sharing valuable ideas related to dogs. Really helpful 33 ways how to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors.
Doggo It says
Yeah. These are some helpful tips on how I can keep my doggo stay inside. Thanks for sharing.
Richard Paolucci says
Thanking for sharing your 33 tips for keeping a dog busy indoors. Very useful information to know. I will bookmark your site and put this information to use.
Ganesh singare says
Very nice article very helpful dog lover
Ganesh singare says
very nice artical usefull for dog owner
Stanley Harrison says
I think you have collected all the tips you can! It’s a great article, that’s why everybody shares this article.
Great tips and ideas. I’m always trying to find new ways to keep my dog’s busy mind occupied 🙂
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Doo Care says
Thanks for sharing information on keeping dogs busy.
This is such a great article! Thanks for the suggestions.
Sandra Althoff says
What a fantastic list to keep a dog busy indoors, especially for winter and rainy days, and very useful for lazy canines. Thanks for sharing valuable ideas.
Great information during these times! Thanks!
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Excellent tips all! thanks for sharing!
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Forward Pet says
Great list of activities you have shared.
Glad to read.
Thanks for sharing..
Kevin Baker says
Playing hide and seek is a great pass time for both dog and the parent. it helps build upon their sense of smell and its fun activity.
Bryson Fico says
Great tips for giving mental stimulation to our dogs . Lexi and Zoey love to play the shell game to to hunt for treats in the house.
I like this article. I was searching over search engines and found your blog and it really helps thank you so much.
Thanks for sharing
such an amazing article, really informative
Lari Huttunen says
Nice and quite an exhaustive list of indoor activities. I will definitely give the “shell game” a try.
my dog can leap through a hula hoop now????????
Great list of games, nose work games is very amazing games. really games are very important for pets. if we don’t play with dogs they get irritated. thanks for sharing the list of games.
dog counsel says
Great tips and games to play with your pups! It doesn’t rain much here but it does get hot and thats equally just a bad. Thank you!
These keep you busy, not just your dog, lol
I hide treats around a room. It’s fascinating to watch a dog working with their nose.
I take dog into other room and tell him to lay down.
I hide the treats, and go sit on a couch.
I give cue word “search”, and the dog begins searching.
Once the dog has found every treat, I praise him and give him handfull of treats as a signal that the game is over.
If he has not found all treats and he is getting desperate, he comes to poke me with his snout. I get up, and I give him clues where the rest of the treats are (pointing my finger towards the treat and saying “search” again, repeat untill all the treats are found). After we’ve found all treats, I praise him and give him a handful of treats.
Amazing! Thank you! I really need the help keeping my intelligent, working dog entertained. 🙂
Here is my list:
1. Hide and seek: Hide treats or toys around the house for your dog to find.
2. Puzzle toys: Give your dog puzzle toys they have to figure out how to get treats out of.
3. Training: Use the indoor time to work on training exercises, such as sit, stay, and come.
4. Playtime: Engage in interactive play with your dog, such as playing fetch or tug-of-war.
5. DIY obstacle course: Set up a miniature obstacle course in your home using household items.
6. Chew toys: Provide your dog with durable chew toys to keep them occupied.
7. Long-lasting treat: Provide a treat-dispensing toy, a Kong filled with peanut butter, or another healthy joy.
8. Provide a cozy bed: Give your dog a comfortable bed in a quiet spot where they can rest and relax.
9. Rotate toys: Rotate your dog’s toys to keep them interested and engaged.
10. Provide plenty of water: Ensure your dog has access to fresh water.
Great article! As a dog owner, it’s important to find ways to keep our furry friends entertained and stimulated even when we’re indoors. The 33 simple ways to keep dogs busy indoors mentioned in this article are fantastic and easy to implement. From interactive toys to homemade puzzles, there’s something for every dog’s individual needs and interests. I especially appreciated the emphasis on involving humans in playtime, as bonding and spending quality time with our dogs is just as important as keeping them physically active. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips!