I recently attended a Mind Games class at Fortunate Fido with Hunter to learn some new activities we could do at home. Although some of the activities were things that we already do, I learned a few fun new things to do at home on rainy days like today where we’ll be stuck inside for most of the day.
Since we are approaching the time of year where we’ll be stuck inside a lot on rainy days I thought I would share some of the activities that I learned as well as some other activities that are good ways to keep your dog busy indoors.
For this game you place treats in muffin holes and cover a few with tennis balls. You can make it easy to start them out and put the treats in the holes that don’t have tennis balls covering them. This allows them to build confidence as they get the treats out of the holes. You can gradually make it harder for your dog by adding balls to cover the treats so that they have to move the balls to get to the treat.
This activity teaches your dog to go around an object on cue. You can use cones or some other small object that they would have to walk around to get by. Set up the cone and lead your dog around the cone. Repeat this a few times, adding treats if you need to, and eventually add a verbal cue and move further away from the cone so that they are moving around it on their own. This is a great way to have your dog get some exercise and burn off energy in a small space.
Musical Sit and Downs
You’ll need someone else at home to play this activity. This is a great activity if you need to practice loose leash walking and get your dog to focus on you more on walks. Turn on some music and begin with your dog heeling. When the music stops, ask your dog for a sit or down. If you have more dogs at home to play this with, it can be a competition to see who can get in sit or down faster.
There are a lot of agility activities you can do at home by using furniture and other objects you have around the house. A few chairs and a blanket can create a tunnel, a broomstick on top of paint cans or buckets can make a pole to jump over, an old (small) ladder laid on the ground can be used to have your dog run through (just make sure all these things are secure and won’t fall over or hurt your dog). The Bark has some good ideas on how to create an indoor agility course for your dog: http://thebark.com/content/agility-training-exercises-your-dog-can-do-indoors
I really want to make one of these mats. This seems like a great activity to keep a dog busy, especially one like my dog Hunter who is very motivated by food. Here is a good link to instructions on how to make this mat: http://treatplaylove.com.au/2015/01/11/making-a-snuffle-mat/
What activities do you and your dog do on rainy days?