Indoor games to play with your dog
Everyone's been talking about this lately! 22 degrees?! It's perfect sweater weather for us humans, but what about our dogs?
We all know how miserable and bored we can get when it’s raining and it just seems as though there is nothing we can do. Dogs feel the same way, but unlike us, they can’t simply grab an umbrella and pop into a nearby cinema for a movie to ease the boredom. For tips on things to look out for when walking your dog when it’s wet outside, check this out. However, what happens if the downpours do not ease up? This is a problem as boredom can lead to lots of pent up energy and frustration, which leads to destructive behaviour and excessive barking.
So, what can we do at home? Here are some strategies to physically and mentally stimulate your pooch from the comfort of your own home (and they are pretty fun for us humans too).
Agility competitions are becoming increasing popular here in Singapore. It’s great exercise, heaps of fun, and is a great way of fostering trust between a dog and its owner. You too can try it out by creating your own mini obstacle course at home! All you have to do is put a bunch of obstacle together and guide your furkid through it. This may take some time, rewards and reinforcement, and patience, but the end result is definitely worth it. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing on what you use as an obstacle.
- An open box to crawl through
- A hula hoop to jump over
- A stack of books or magazines to jump over
- A small stool to jump onto and then off
You get the idea!
Tag, you’re it
You will need at least one person to help you out with this, but the more the merrier and the greater the challenge. This encourages quick reflexes and works on your furkid’s recall skills.
To start off, grab a handful of treats. One person calls your dog and when he comes, reward him with a treat. Then, the next person who should be slightly further away calls your dog and when he runs to them, they give the dog a treat. Keep going as far away from each other as possible, with different rooms adding to the challenge. Over time, as your dog gets more excited, you can just reward them with treats occasionally (fun fact: psychologists found that giving occasional rewards is the best form of reinforcement rather than reinforcing your dog every time). You may even increase the excitement your dog feels by calling him and then running away. Tag AND chase? Your pooch will have a blast!
Learning the names of toys
You’ve probably seen these adorable videos floating around the internet, and your dog can learn to do it too! In fact, dogs have the capability to earn over 200 words. Start slow by just naming one specific toy. Whenever your furkid is playing with that toy, repeat that name and they will start picking up its name. As they get more familiarised with the toy’s name, you can slowly introduce other toys and names!
If you have to go to work, a Pawshake sitter is never far away if you want someone to drop by to give them their daily dose of cuddles and keep them occupied while it pours outside – plus they can even send you cute pictures of your dog to make the workday more bearable!