Your dog must also be able to be ideally occupied in his own four walls. Of course, games at home never replace the daily walks, but it is important that your dog is also allowed to act cognitively. The particularly clever animals love intelligence games – they are not only suitable for every dog of all ages, but also strengthen the bond between two-legged and four-legged friends. In addition, playing inside is a welcome pastime, especially on rainy days. Treat your dog to a little brain acrobatics with these six exciting game ideas for at home!
Just like us humans, dogs are happy to be able to open a small present. To do this, wrap pieces of food or a toy in a kitchen roll and put the whole thing in a box. You can adjust the level of difficulty: the better the “gift” is wrapped, the more effort your dog has to make.
Your dog’s creativity is required here: He has to find a way to get his beloved toys or treats – he’ll dig hard and test his skills. But beware! Never leave your dog unattended and make sure that he does not swallow any of the packaging material.
Dogs also enjoy unpacking. © adobestock.com/kobkik
The dog’s nose can also be trained. Let your dog settle down. Then draw his attention to something in your hand, such as a stuffed animal or a sock. Place it in sight of the dog while your dog remains seated. Your four-legged friend is only allowed to start looking at your command.
Alternatively, you can put treats in a box with scented holes and let them search for your four-legged friend. Of course, it works the same way with mere treats. The exercise has many advantages:
If the dog is already a little more practiced, he is finally no longer allowed to watch where the treat or toy is hidden. So-called sniff carpets, in which pieces of food can be hidden, are particularly popular for search games.
Please be careful not to overwhelm your dog: nose work can quickly become exhausting for dogs. Five minutes is enough to get started.
If things can get a little more action-packed, you can turn your living room into a mini-course in no time at all: Build a tunnel by placing several chairs one behind the other. Make sure that the height of the chair is not too low for your dog. An obstacle is quickly assembled from two buckets and a broomstick.
It is also possible to set up pylons to let your dog run through in the slalom. Or: Form a circle with your arms and let your dog (if he is the appropriate size) jump through it. The possibilities are almost limitless! Just make sure that the dog still has enough freedom of movement despite the obstacles and that it is not overwhelmed.
Movement is also fun indoors. © adobestock.com/Irina84
Teaching your dog to fetch or to develop his existing skills even further can be a lot of fun for you and your four-legged friend. For example, roll a ball away from you, but only allow your dog to pick up the ball a short time later. Here too, your dog’s impulse control can be trained.
In order to exercise your dog mentally, it makes sense to teach him various commands. Ideally, you should also use the time together at home to consolidate already known basic commands.
But if you’re in the mood for something new, you can get your dog to tidy up toys: put a toy on the floor and get your dog to bring it to you. You yourself are now sitting next to a box in which the toy is to be placed. Hold your hand over the container and have the toy put into your hand first. In the course of training, you pull your hand away – this is how the dog learns to put the toy in the box.
Tricks are great head exercises for dogs. © adobestock.com/Eva
Tugging games are an excellent opportunity for your dog to dump excess energy at home. Special tearing toys or a towel are particularly suitable for this. Make sure that the object is resistant and does not suddenly tear. In addition, under no circumstances should there be buttons on the fabric – they could get into the dog’s throat.
Please also note: Tug games are only suitable for dogs that do not react aggressively – the game termination you have specified must be accepted. Your dog is not allowed to defend its prey. Once the relationship between man and dog has been clarified, nothing stands in the way of having fun playing tugging games together.
When playing indoor games, you should always pay attention to these 5 golden rules:
Make sure that your dog can cognitively exert himself over and over again. If he does not have the opportunity, this can have bad consequences:
So make sure that your dog is not only busy physically but also mentally.
It is important that your dog is allowed to act out and prove its intelligence. However, games together at home are in no way a substitute for daily exercise! It is important that your dog gets enough exercise – this can never be offered to him only indoors.
You decide when and how often to play. When the game is over, even if your dog asks for more, you’ll need to stand firm. Of course, you should spend enough time with your four-legged friend, but your dog must learn that you decide when to end.
Dogs love intelligence games – but don’t overdo it. Do not set any fixed times for this, because otherwise the dog could look forward to the game and demand it at some point. The golden mean is important here: keep your dog busy, but without overwhelming him.
Like us humans, dogs can only concentrate for a certain amount of time. Take care of your dog: how does he react to certain games? If he is overwhelmed, this is noticeable, for example, by scratching himself, licking his mouth frequently or being restless. If your dog yawns a lot and no longer really wants to participate, you should end game time for today.