This guide will share dozens of Fun Things To Do With Your Dog at Home!  These fun activities are guaranteed to keep your dog physically and mentally engaged.  They will help  you give  your dog the best day of his or her life!

The importance of keeping your dog active

Dogs are highly intelligent creatures that enjoy being mentally and physically active.  There are also many advantages to having an active dog including:

Less likely to be naughty

A dog that does not receive enough physical or mental stimulation will begin to find ways to excite themselves!  This might include barking at the wall, ripping up your cushions, or chewing on your favourite shoes.  Many destructive behaviours are caused by a lack of stimulation.  If you provide your dog with an active life, you will notice that their behaviour improves dramatically.

Your dog will love you even more!

The look of love on a dog’s face after you have returned from a long dog walk is truly beautiful.  My pugs usually give me a thank you lick and a huge grin after their daily walk.  Your dogs will love you more than ever as a result of the fun-filled activities you provide.

Better health

An active dog is less likely to have an disease like diabetes, obesity, cancer, or arthritis.  That’s because they are regularly exercising their mind and body.  Additionally, your dog will be less likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses.

More sociable and easy-going

Dogs that get outdoors a lot get to meet many other people and animals.  As a result, they will become more sociable and compatible with other animals.  Your dog will be relaxed when out-and-about, which also makes them easier to handle.  You will be able to take your dog to the local coffee shop without worrying about it running off or getting into a fight.

Fun things to do with your dog at home
Fun things to do with your dog at home

Fun things to do with your dog at home

Hide treats around the home

It is a dog’s natural instinct to forage and hunt for food.  You can reward this natural instinct by placing treats throughout your home and getting your dog to find them!   Because your dog is doing something instinctual, they will be very stimulated and engaged.

Start by putting your dog in a separate room with the door closed.  Place five to six small treats in another room, hidden behind pillows, under dog toys, behind furniture, and inside cardboard boxes.  Bring your dog into the room and tell them to “Find your treats!”.  If they struggle with the concept, lead them to a treat or make it easier to find the treats.

If your dog is on a diet, hide their toys in the room.  Once they find a toy, reward them by playing fetch with it for a few minutes.

Give your dog something to chew on

All dogs love to use their teeth and chew on things.  They are compelled to chew because it keeps their jaws strong and teeth clean.  Dogs also chew because it relieves any anxiety they are experience and is a very enjoyable activity.

If your dog is locked up inside, give them a chew toy or a bone.  It will keep them busy for up to a few hours and increase your puppy’s happiness levels.  Additionally, it makes your dog less likely to tear up your shoes because they are bored.

 Organise a doggy playdate

When its a rainy day and your dog is stuck indoors, chances are your friend’s dogs are stuck at home as well.  Why not invite your friend over and tell them to bring their puppy along?  The dogs can have fun together while you enjoy a cup of coffee or a nice cold beer.

Run up and down the stairs

Some forms of physical exercise that are boring to humans are fun for some dogs and young puppies.  That’s because they just love moving their bodies and  chasing things!  If you have stairs in your home, you can use them to maximise the intensity of your dog’s workout.

Sit at the top of the stairs and throw a toy or ball down the stairs.  Your puppy will fly down and grab it, before bringing it back to you.  This kind of high-intensity workout is great for exhausting young dogs and working dogs who have tons of energy.  If its a rainy day and you can’t take your young kelpie, cattle dog or border collie outside, give this exercise a try.

Tug of war

Most dogs love playing tug-of-war as it is quite stimulating and exciting.  Simply use a rope, dog toy, or old piece of cloth to have a battle with your dog.  It is a lot of fun for dogs as it triggers the same competitive instincts they use when playing with other dogs.

However, it’s important to note that some dog trainers believe that precautions need to be taken when playing tug-of-war with your puppy.  These trainers say that playing tug-of-war ferociously can bring out the predator in your dog.  As a result, your dog may begin to see you as a competitor and lose some of their trust in you.

That being said, I’ve played tug-of-war with every dog I’ve owned and have never experienced a problem!

Play fetch

Fetch is one of the first games that dog owners teach their dog.  It is a ton of fun for dogs because they get to use their natural hunting instinct.  Additionally, they get to use their body which improves their fitness levels.  Teaching your dog to play fetch is simple:

  • Wave a toy in front of your dog and throw it a short distance.  If your dog doesn’t chase it, use another toy.  Tell your dog to “fetch it”.
  • Give your dog some praise as they begin to run towards the toy.
  • If your dog picks it up and starts running back towards you, give them more praise.  If they run in another direction, ignore them.
  • Once they reach you, hold your left hand open and say “drop”.  Hold a treat in your right hand, which you will give them when they drop the toy.
  • After your dog drops the toy, give them a lot of praise!
  • Eventually, your dog will learn the “drop” command and will no longer require a treat every time.  They will also learn that dropping the toy means you will throw it again.
Dogs playing fetch
Dogs love playing fetch!

Hide and seek

In addition to searching for treats, dogs like to search for people.  You can teach your dog to look for family members who are hiding around your home.  This kind of activity gives your dog an opportunity to use their incredible sense of smell and hearing.   Additionally, hide and seek will keep them mentally engaged when they are at home.

It is a simple game to play.  Hide behind a door, under a bed, or in a partially open cupboard.  Call your dog’s name and wait for them to find you.  When they do find you, reward them with a treat or game of fetch.  This game is particularly fun when the kids are involved because it is even more stimulating for your dog.

Play some flyball

You can think of Flyball as fetch on steroids!  It involves teams of dogs competing against other in a race to retrieve a ball and return it to their owner.  The dogs will have to jump over small hurdles on their way to retrieving and returning the ball.  Flyball is an an exciting and fun activity for both dogs and their owners!  Learn more about Flyball at the North American Flyball Association website. Checkout this short video of a Flyball final:

Training

All dogs need to receive basic training.  It should include simple commands like come, sit, and stay.  However, if you really want to improve your bond with your dog, consider teaching them more advanced commands.  By spending more time on training, you will build a stronger bond with your pet and keep them mentally stimulated.

Teach your dog how to clean up the house

There are some tasks that humans find mundane but dogs find enjoyable.  One of those is tidying up the house.  After all, some dogs enjoy chasing a vacuum cleaner as much as chasing a tennis ball!

You can harness your dog’s curiosity and seemingly boundless energy by having them move objects around the house.  For example, you can teach a dog a new game where they gather their toys and put them away.

Start by teaching your dog to take it and drop it training cues.  They should already know drop from playing catch with you.  To learn take it, just have them grab the toy and hold it until you say drop.  Only reward them if they hold the toy until you say drop.

Next, have the dog walk with the toy in their mouth to their toy basket.  Once you reach the basket, ask them to drop it in and reward your dog with a treat.  After doing it a few more times, begin saying “clean up” as they pick up the toy and walk to the toy box.  Eventually, you will be able to point at toys and have your dog clean up your house for you!

Play with a garden hose

This a particularly useful activity in the warmer months.  Simply spray your water hose on the ground and in the air for your dog to chase.  There are also sprinklers and hose toys that are designed for dogs to play with.  The Happy Dog Pet Water Fountain  is one of the best on the market.  My younger pug is a hose-chasing fanatic and will constantly chase the hose until she is worn out.

Dog playing with garden hose
Dogs love to play with garden hoses!

Chase

This is another fun game for dogs that they were born to play!  Chase is simple to play.  Just run around the house or back yard like a crazy person while encouraging your dog to chase you.  Dogs also enjoy being chased, so give them a tickle and pretend to be scary.  Your dog will love it!  You can also incorporate a toy like the ones below to make playing chase easier and more fun for your dog.

 

Canine freestyle

If you are love music and think your dog is ready for a challenge, you could try canine freestyle!  It is a relatively new sport that involves a human and a dog performing a dance routine together.  Developing a canine freestyle routine will take training, planning, and a lot of teamwork between you and your pup.  However, it is an intellectually stimulating activity that most dogs enjoy.  To learn more, visit the Canine Freestyle website.  You can also watch this short performance:

Play with bubbles

You can get a dog to chase pretty much anything!  That includes bubbles.  You can purchase a bubble blowing machine that produces huge bubbles for your dog to chase.  Your puppy will enjoy leaping through the air to take down each bubble!  It is also a great activity for the kids to enjoy and they will get a lot of enjoyment out of making your dog jump around.  You can bend a piece of wire to form a circle and dip it into dishwashing liquid to blow bubble.  However, if your dog (or children) really enjoy bubble chasing, you can buy an Automatic Bubble Blower.

Dogs love chasing bubbles
Dogs love chasing bubbles

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are durable toys that can be filled with dog food or treats.  They usually have holes on the bottom of sides of the device to let the items it contains gradually fall out.  The dog must manipulate the toy with their teeth, tongue, and paws to make it dispense the food or treats.  Dogs love using puzzle treats because they are intellectually stimulated and rewarded with food.

Some food puzzle toys really make the dog feel like they are scavenging for food as they would in the wilderness.  As a result, they become fixated on the toy and have a great time while using it.  While most people fill them with biscuits, you can also use peanut butter, cheese, yoghurt, or cooked oatmeal.

When you first introduce your dog to the toy, they may be a little confused about what you expect them to do.  Start by filling the toy with food that easily falls out so they quickly realise that food comes out of this toy.  They will quickly get the hang of it and it will become one of their favourite toys!

There are dozens of food puzzle toys on the market including:

Name your dog’s toys

Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures with the capacity to learn hundreds of words.  My pugs are particularly adept at memorising the names of the many different treats they get!  Your dog can also memorise the names of their toys.  That means you can give each toy very specific names and your dog will know what you are talking about.

To get your dog to memorise the names of toys, simply name the toy when you are playing with it.  Instead of throwing their toy bunny and saying “fetch” say “fetch bunny”.  Also, keep using the word bunny whenever you touch it.  Eventually, you will be able to so “get your bunny” and they will go digging through their toy box to find the right toy.  It’s very cute to watch and is intellectually-stimulating for your dog.

Frisbee

Frisbee is the perfect game for large active dogs because they really need to use their speed to play.  If you have a border collie, cattle dog, or kelpie, they will quickly learn the game and happily play it for hours.  Simply loft your frisbee into the air at a slow speed so your dog has time to chase after it before it lands.  They will get a lot of exercise from this activity and find it quite exhilarating.

Dogs love playing with a frisbee
Dogs love playing with a frisbee

Give your dog a massage

Dogs love being massaged as much as humans!  Being massaged makes them calm and improves their bond with you.  Additionally, it can relieve stress which is handy if you have a very anxious dog.  Here is a short article that shares the basics of dog massage.  Massage therapy can also help with medical conditions like arthritis and poor circulation.

Have your dog run an obstacle course

Dogs love to have their mind and bodies challenged!  One of the best ways to challenge your dog is by having them run an obstacle course in the house.  Set up the course with objects including boxes, blankets on chairs, laundry baskets and cushions.  You can even hold up a hula hoop for them to jump through.

You will have to lead your dog through the course to help them understand what is expected of them at each point.  While your dog might be a little confused at first, they will pick it up quickly.  You can use a treat to retain their attention and help them understand where to go.  Run each portion of the obstacle course separately and gradually pull your dog through the entire course.  Watch the video below for some tips on helping your dog learn a new obstacle course.

Put your dog on a treadmill

High-energy working dogs like kelpies and cattle dogs require a huge amount of exercise.  That’s because they are bred to run for many hours everyday.  It’s not uncommon for a working kelpie to run 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) in a single day when working on a farm!

When you put a working dog in a home environment, they will constantly be looking for things to do and places to go.  They may become stressed if they can’t find an activity to perform.

You can help to relieve some of their stress by running your dog on a treadmill.  As they perform exercise on the treadmill, the brain will release endorphins which helps them feel great.  Although it is not as fun as running off-leash, they will still enjoy their time on the treadmill each day.  The most popular treadmill on the market is:

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Thanks for reading Fun Things To Do With Your Dog At Home!  I’ll keep adding more things to this list over the coming weeks.  If you have any fun things for dogs at home that you often do, leave a comment below to share them.  You can also share this post via social media.

https://i0.wp.com/www.funthingsfordogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/dog-bubble-chasing.jpg?fit=1024%2C742&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/www.funthingsfordogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/dog-bubble-chasing.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1PaulFun Things For DogsAt home,Dog at home,Fun things to do at home,Indoors,InsideThis guide will share dozens of Fun Things To Do With Your Dog at Home!  These fun activities are guaranteed to keep your dog physically and mentally engaged.  They will help  you give  your dog the best day of his or her life! The importance of keeping your dog active Dogs are...Hundreds of fun games and activities for your furry friend!