Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Indoor Exercises: Keep Your Dog Active in the Winter!


Indoor Dog Activities


If you don't feel comfortable taking your furbaby outside during these cold months, there are few other ways to get their blood and brain pumping to burn off some energy! We decided to get a few ideas together for you so that your dog can still get some exercise inside of the house!


When you’re stuck inside and your dog’s bouncing off the walls, try exercising her brain!

1. Obedience and Trick Training:
In addition to teaching your dog basic obedience skills, like sit, down, and come, take this extra time together to work on some advanced cues, like stay and speak. Once you've mastered those, start working on some cool new tricks, like roll over, sit pretty, or high-five. Not only will you strengthen your bond and communication skills with your dog, you’ll have some great fun showing off what you've taught – and your dog will LOVE being rewarded for learning new behaviors.
Some people prefer using dog training books for quick and easy reference, while others prefer the visual aid of training DVDs. Whatever your preference, just give it a shot – you’ll be amazed at what you and your dog can learn together.

TIP: When training your dog, keep sessions short – about 15 to 20 minutes – and always end on a positive note. If your dog hasn't quite grasped the latest trick or cue, go back to one he knows well and end your session on a successful execution of the trick. This will keep him excited for training and looking forward to the next session.

2. Brain Games and Dog Puzzles
Indoor Dog ActivitiesDid you know there are tons of puzzles and games especially for dogs? From simple treat dispensing toys that require interaction by your pup, to elaborate puzzle games that force your dog to problem solve, dog puzzles are an excellent was to exercise your dog indoors! (research has shown that just a few minutes of mental exercise is far more exhausting to your dog than that same amount of time spent doing something physical!)
Remember to start off with simple puzzles and let your dog master those before stepping up to the more difficult, advanced puzzles – you don’t want your dog to get frustrated and lose interest!

3. Scent Games and Hide ‘n Seek
Scent games and hide and seek are excellent indoor activities that not only expend energy, but build confidence as well! Here’s how to play:

With your dog watching you, toss a few small, soft and meaty dog treats onto the floor. Just as your dog runs to eat them, say “go find it!” After a few tosses, start placing the treats inside boxes, in corners, or on low shelves (nothing above your dog’s nose level) and always use the “go find it” cue when he goes to get them.
Indoor Dog Activities

Once he’s got the hang of it, try putting your dog in another room while you hide the treats. At first, use the same locations that you’ve already put treats to guarantee success in finding them. Then, allow your dog back into the room and say “go find it!” and watch him go to work searching for his tasty rewards. If your dog has trouble finding your hides, either stand in the vicinity or toss some additional treats in that direction to give him a boost. Eventually his nose will take over and lead him around the room to find the hidden treats on his own.

If you really want to thrill your dog, hide a big meaty bone or long-lasting chew treat from him to first find and then enjoy!

TIP: If treats don’t excite your dog, scent games and hide and seek can also be played with a favorite toy. Or, you can even hide yourself and let your furriest friend come find you!

4. Tug-o-War

A good game of tug doesn't take up a lot of room, but it DOES use up a lot of physical energy!
Indoor Dog Activities
Look for tug toys that are durable enough to stand up to rigorous pulling and long enough that you can safely hold onto one while your dog pulls on the other. 

5. Build an Indoor Obstacle/Agility Course

Being stuck inside doesn’t have to be boring! You can still practice agility exercises from the comfort of the living room using portable agility equipment. Look for tunnels that pop up when you’re ready to use them, but can be flattened to store in a closet or under the bed, or look for free-standing weave poles that don’t need to be anchored into the ground.

Of course, you can always build your own indoor obstacle course using chairs, tables, and couch cushions! Have fun getting on all fours and doing the course along with your dog – he’ll love it!

6. Doggy Treadmill
If getting rigorous physical exercise indoors is an absolute must for your dog’s physical and mental well-being, consider a doggy treadmill. These treadmills are especially designed for dogs and offer safety and security features not found on a standard human’s treadmill.

You see, bad weather doesn’t have to mean your dog will be bored or won’t get any exercise. With these fun bad weather boredom busters, you might even start looking forward to those rainy, snowy, or sweltering hot days!

For some more ideas, go here!

For some specific product ideas, check out this collection of our favorite indoor activities and brain games for dogs!

SOURCE:  Dogington Post

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