7 Indoor Games To Play With Your Dog

Don’t let the weather ruin playtime. Bring the good times inside with these fun indoor games to play with your dog!

Your canine companion needs exercise even if it’s raining or snowing. We’ve rounded up a list of games to play indoors to keep the good times rolling. Grab your dog’s favorite toys and treats, and get ready to transform your home into a canine playground.

#1. Hide and Seek

This classic game can keep your pup entertained and stimulated. Choose a place where to hide. This can be behind a door or a curtain. Once you hide, call for your dog. Be enthusiastic and show praise when they find you. After a few rounds, you can ramp up the difficulty level and choose a more challenging place to hide -if you think your dog is up for it! 

#2. Tug Of War

Grab your dog’s favorite rope toy and get ready to stand your ground! Tug of war is an engaging indoor game to play with your dog that burns energy and helps improve your dog’s confidence. It can also help strengthen the bond you have with your dog. Always tug side to side, never up and down! Be sure to use moderate pressure. If you notice your dog gets too rough playing tug of war, stop the game and let them calm down. If their teeth get too close to you, end the game and try something new. 

#3. Fetch

Fetch is a classic game to play with your dog. While it is a game that is normally played outdoors, you can also play it indoors; make sure to not overthrow the ball or toy. We suggest playing in an open basement or down a hallway where your dog has room to run! Playing fetch allows your dog to embrace their instincts and helps improve their coordination and balance. Some dogs will retrieve the object for you while others will get more thrill from chasing and chewing on the toy after.

#4. Obstacle Course Fun

Get creative and set up a DIY indoor obstacle course for your dog! An obstacle course, also known as an agility course can be entertaining and helps keep your dog active. Choose an area in your home with the most space. Then, start thinking about what you would like your dog to do. For instance, see if you can get your dog to jump over a few rolls of toilet paper or weave their way through cones or cardboard boxes. If you would like to get more serious about obstacle courses for your dog, you can find products online such as bars a dog can jump over, ramps, and tunnels to improve your dog’s physical and mental stimulation. Keep your dog’s safety and comfort in mind. If they are an older dog, an obstacle course could lead to an injury. 

#5. Learn New Tricks For Therapy Dog Visits

You can teach an old dog new tricks! Get your canine ready for their next therapy dog visit by teaching them new skills that they can show off. While it’s not a requirement, people love to see therapy dog handler teams perform tricks. Start with some simple tricks like how to shake their paw, take a bow or spin.

Shake A Paw: Hold your hand up near your dog’s paw. Your dog may sniff or lick at your hand. Keep your hand out until they paw at it. Then, give them praise and a treat. Repeat this step until you think they’ve got a handle on it. Next, add a verbal cue like “shake” and see if your dog understands.

Take A Bow:  Make sure your dog is standing up. Then, place a treat by the tip of your dog’s nose and move it to the ground. Wait for your dog’s forebody to be on the ground, with their hindquarters up in the air. Have your dog stay in the position for a few seconds before bringing the treat back up. Give your dog praise and the treat when they are back in the standing position. Try it again with a verbal command of, “bow.”

Spin: Hold a treat by your dog’s nose and move it in a circle above your dog’s head, making them turn. If your dog continues to follow the circle movement, give them enthusiastic praise and a treat. Add the verbal cue “spin.”

Keep in mind that you will need a good treat supply and positive reinforcement for these tricks. If your dog gets frustrated or is having difficulty with the trick, avoid shouting or being negative. If it takes your dog longer to learn something – that’s okay! Be calm and keep the training enjoyable. Be sure to practice as often as you can. Repetition is an essential learning tool for training dogs.

#6. Indoor Treasure Hunt

This fun indoor game to play with your dog is like hide and seek, except you will be hiding treats. Start easy by hiding treats under a blanket and then make the hiding places more challenging. This will trigger their scent skills and stimulate their mind.

#7. The Guessing Game

You can play the guessing game with your hands or cups. You can hide a treat in one of your hands and have your dog guess which hand it’s in. Or you can place three cups on the ground and hide a treat in one of the cups. Have all the cups smell like treats beforehand by wiping the treat around the inside rim.  Shuffle the cups around and have your dog sniff out where the treat is. Keep shuffling the cups until they guess right. Reward them with praise and a delicious treat.


Stay warm, and happy playing!