10 indoor activities for your dog in winter

Biting cold, slushy paws, early darkness – there really are nicer things than walking outside with your dog in winter. Exciting activities such as joint sports sessions or long hikes are often neglected during the cold season. Nevertheless, our four-legged friends naturally need both physical activity and mental exercise. We have compiled ideas and inspiration for 10 indoor activities for you that are fun, that keep the Strengthen bond with your dog and utilize it to the fullest.

1. hat game

A real insider tip, which combines both the nose work and a rest exercise ideally with each other is the hat game. Simply take three coffee or paper cups of the same size and color. Let your dog sit in front of them at a sufficient distance. Place the cups in a row in front of the dog. Place a treat in front of the middle cup. Then turn all the cups over and mix them properly. On your command, your dog looks for the treat. You can increase the difficulty by not revealing the cup as soon as your dog thinks the treat is under one of the cups. Let him or her indicate which cup you should uncover by sitting in front of it.

2. trick extreme

Of course your dog knows sit and down in his sleep. But try teaching your four-legged friend tricks that seem impossible. How about counting, for example? The prerequisite for this extreme trickery is that your dog either

can bark or wave on command. Next, think about what display you want to build the trick with. Sticks or showing with the fingers are good examples. Then use the sticks or fingers to show the number you want your dog to count and combine this with the bark or wave command your dog already knows. Do not add a new command such as “How many fingers do I show?” until your dog visibly understands the principle – that is, combines the gesture of showing with the already known command without you having to say it.

4. open search game

This activity is super suitable if you have some space at home, but can also be implemented in smaller spaces. Pick a few treats of your choice and have your dog sit and stay in another room. Then hide the treats throughout the apartment or house. Of course, make sure you don’t hide them in places that could be a potential danger to your dog or in places your dog is not allowed to go. When you have hidden all the treats, go back to your dog and send him off with your command to search. The more difficult the hiding places are chosen, the better the exercise for your dog. If you have a dog that is less interested in food, you can of course use toys to keep him occupied.

5. sniffing game

This activity is also related to the search for treats or toys. However, the idea here is to make the search game a little calmer. For example, wrap the dog cookies neatly in dish towels so that your dog doesn’t have to get to them right away and search neatly. Alternatively, you can use unwound toilet paper or kitchen paper rolls and seal them at the ends.

6. carton crashing

Do you often get packages? Good for you and your dog! For this activity, use only boxes that are not coated and remove all address labels beforehand. Then take a handful of treats, distribute them in the box and close it again. Then put the box in front of your dog’s nose and let him search. Dogs that don’t know this game can be a bit irritated at first. Patience is needed here. Give your Dog just a bit of time to find out what this hidden object game is all about. His sense of smell will let him know what is hidden in the package.

7. indoor feed bag search

Similar to a search game with cookies, you can also hide a food bag with contents in the apartment or house. Let your dog wait again in another room and give him the command to search as soon as you have hidden the bag. Searching with food bags has the advantage that you have additional hiding places. For example, you can hide food bags with a string in drawers so that your dog has to pull the string to open them.

8. retrieve and clean up

Retrieving is not only exciting for retrievers and can also be easily integrated into everyday life. In addition, you can do it with any objects, for example, with the food bag, a dummy or with toys. For example, dogs that do not tend to chew objects can bring you a wide variety of objects (as long as they do not pose a danger to your dog). Also, you can teach your dog to clean up his own toys. Just let him retrieve an object and lure him to his basket. As soon as your dog finds the

When the dog is holding the object exactly over the basket, you give him the command to leave it out. When this has worked well a few times, you can introduce a new command, for example “clean up”.

9. course

There are no limits to your imagination in this activity. Here, the interaction between man and dog is in the foreground. For example, you can let your dog jump over obstacles or crawl under the table and of course combine different exercises. Make sure that there is no danger for you or your dog.

10. training

Besides fun and games, the cold season is always a good time to practice things indoors that don’t work well outdoors yet. Use your own four walls without large distraction possibilities, for example, to practice the leash leadership, if this does not yet work so well. Or teach your dog “right”, “left” or “middle”. In general, indoor training is always a great way to build up or consolidate what is not yet working outside.

Of course, all activities can be combined and the more varied you make them, the more exciting they are for your dog. Please make sure to build up everything new slowly and not to overtax your dog, so as not to create any negative associations. And of course, physical exercise should not be neglected and indoor activities cannot replace a walk. We hope you enjoyed the ideas and hope you have fun trying them out.

Image by ArtPhoto_studio on Freepik

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