How to keep your dog busy at home

To keep your dog busy in your apartment, you don’t need many things. You could learn some new tricks or commands with him, play ball in the smallest space or play some intelligence games with your dog in the apartment, where your dog always gets a small treat.

Keeping your four-legged friend busy at home is not too difficult a task. There are many ways to challenge your furry friend and encourage him to play.

Treats can be hidden in various ways to offer fun sniffing. Searching by nose requires the utmost concentration, so plan for longer breaks.

Why do I need to keep my dog busy indoors?

Dogs need their owner’s attention every day. It is one of the basic needs of your four-legged friend to be able to act out his natural behaviour.

Working out their food, using their sense of smell and simply romping around are essential things that make a dog’s life worth living.

To provide your dog with a species-appropriate environment, you should challenge his physical and mental abilities.

If you have to leave your dog alone, find out here what you need to bear in mind.

As a rule, walking alone is not enough to keep your dog occupied. That’s why you can keep your dog busy indoors as well as outdoors.

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If you have a garden, you can also let the Frisbee fly a bit in bad weather.

What games can I play with my dog indoors?

    Cardboard box with cardboard roll and treats

  •     Hats game
  •     Foraging in the dark
  •     Tug of war with the dog
  •     Teaching names for toys
  •     Wrap treats in cloth or blanket
  •     Playing hide and seek
  •     Designing a parkour
  •     Teaching tricks
  •     Fetching a ball

This list is a non-exhaustive collection of games for the home.

A cardboard box full of cardboard rolls and treats

With a cardboard box and lots of cardboard rolls, you can offer your dog some great fun.

Collect lots of toilet paper rolls, put them in a big box and hide a treat in two or three of them in front of your dog.

Your dog is not allowed to search until you give the signal. When your dog has found all the treats, you can prepare a second round.

The shell game for the four-legged friend

The cone game is an almost extinct game idea and ideal for keeping your dog occupied.

Hide a treat under one of three or more cups. Your four-legged friend should see this, otherwise the game won’t be much use.

Once the treat has been placed, move the cups around the area. Moving the cups back and forth quickly requires more concentration from your dog.

If all the cups are mixed up, your four-legged friend can find the right cup and collect his reward straight away.

You can increase the level of difficulty by using your body language and, for example, just looking or pointing at the cup.

Foraging in the dark

For this game, it’s best to choose a windowless room or play it late at night.

Scatter treats around the room on the floor. Your dog is welcome to watch. When everything is ready, turn off the lights and give the signal to start.

Now your dog can rely on his sense of smell.

Tug of war with the dog

Tug-of-war is a tug-of-war game that gets a four-legged friend full of energy to let off steam.

Dogs should not only be trained mentally, but also physically. Tug-of-war is a good way to do this indoors.

With a rough rope and a toy for tug-of-war, you and your dog can measure forces and release energies.

Teach your dog the names of toys

Teach your dog the names of his toys and reward him when he brings the right one.

Sooner or later your four-legged friend will know exactly which object is the red ball or the blue soft toy.

It is also practical if your furry friend fetches you the newspaper and the leash for your walk. You could make this a regular part of your walk and make it a routine.

Wrap treats in a cloth or blanket

Hide one or two treats in a large linen cloth or blanket. A bed sheet is also suitable for this game. Fold the chosen fabric several times or roll it up.

A combination of both is also possible. Your dog has to get creative to get his food and is kept busy.

But watch out for the ingredients in the treats, too sugary and unhealthy is not a good choice. If your dog is too thin, there are many healthy ways you can help your dog.

Play hide and seek

Hide and seek can also be played with dogs. You should distract your dog so that he doesn’t notice the new location.

You could also tell your dog to wait with the command Sit until you give the signal and he can search.

You can vary the hiding places by first choosing easy and quick to find hiding places and then making the hiding places more and more difficult.

A parkour for the dog

A bit of obstacle course can also be done indoors. Here’s how you can recreate some agility elements

Use sturdy boxes, tyres, ropes and mats to build a fun parkour.

During the first run, weaknesses are quickly identified and creativity is used to work on improvements.

Teaching tricks

If your dog has a few tricks up his sleeve, it can enrich your life.

Suitable tricks include

  •     Doing a roll over
  •     a sideways roll
  •     Giving paw

These are classic tricks. Circus tricks can also be used. You can also use the dog’s own characteristics for tricks.

You can use treats to achieve a learning effect.

Fetching the ball in a confined space

Fetching the stick from the park can also be done at home with a ball.

It is best to choose the largest room in the home to start the fetch game.

You can also use a bag of treats. Show joy during the game and intense petting when successful to encourage your dog.

Pretty much every dog loves to play fetch with you.

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Your dog likes variety, even if you don’t go outside.

How long and often should I keep my dog occupied?

Your dog should get several hours of your attention per day, depending on breed and personality.

In addition to walking your dog three times a day, your four-legged friend should be kept busy in other ways. Two to three games a day will strengthen your bond and develop your dog’s skills.

A game should not last longer than 20 minutes and should be followed by a longer break.

If your dog lacks stamina, see our article on how to solve this problem.

Especially activities that require a high level of concentration drain your dog’s energy. In rest phases, dogs can generate and consolidate what they have learned.

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Playing outside is even better than playing indoors.

What happens if I don’t keep my dog busy indoors?

If a dog is not sufficiently challenged, it can show behavioural problems.

Prolonged barking for no real reason, hyperactivity and excessive grooming are typical signs of too little exercise.

Boredom causes frustration in the dog and affects the psyche in the long run. But this should not happen. Try to offer your dog variety.

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Conclusion – Keeping your dog busy indoors

It is important to keep your dog busy indoors so that he does not get bored.

Small games that do not require much space are sufficient.

Playing 2 or 3 short games a day will keep your dog mentally and physically active. This not only strengthens your bond, but your dog also enjoys variety.

There are no limits to the ideas. In addition to brain games, such as hide-and-seek or tug-of-war, you can come up with many other variations.