Dog Training 

3 Simple Indoor Games That Become Impressive Outdoor Skills

Maybe it’s snowing or raining and you’re stuck indoors, or you’re working from home, or your car is in the store. Regardless of the motivation, playing these three indoor games with your dog will help you have a well-trained puppy on your outdoor adventures. Impress your friends and family with your dog’s new skills and gain confidence as you walk “on” or “off” the leash.

1. find it

Find this a great game to take advantage of your dog’s naturally excellent sense of smell. First, grab a toy like a barbell or a ball where you can hide goodies. Put the treat in the toy and hold the toy in your hand. If your dog is in another room and you can “hide” the toy out of sight, do it now. If your dog is watching you like a hawk, either let your dog sit down or put it on a leash while you walk around the house with a toy full of treats. The goal is to have your dog on a leash by your side and “hide” the toy somewhere out of view.

Next, take your dog to the toy and say “Find it!” When they see the toy, say “Good find it!” and reward your dog with the toy and treats inside. Keep playing the game and increase the difficulty of the hidden spots. Eventually, you’ll be able to hide toys under objects or even inside drawers. When your dog plays games, they are learning the “find it” command.

When you embark on your next outdoor adventure or even in your backyard, bring a toy and hide it somewhere creative. When you say “find it,” your dog will exercise their brain and body while searching for toys and treats.

2. Hide and Seek

Hide N’ Seek is a game that allows your dog to recall or “come over.” It is very important to have an established and obedient memory. Saying your dog’s name without getting a response is not only frustrating, but it’s also dangerous. If your dog slips off a collar or sneaks out the front door, make sure to simply say “Puppy, puppy, puppy, come!” Turning your dog around can save their life and take a lot of stress off you.

To play in it, start by grabbing a special treat (a good thing your dog usually doesn’t get like these liver treats). Squat at your dog’s height and let them slowly lick or chew the food between your fingers. As they lick, softly say their name three times, followed by the word “come,” eg. “Tucker, Tucker, here comes Tucker!” Spread your fingers slightly and say, “Come on!” when they’re done eating. Do this a few times. Next, either let your dog sit down or have your friend or family member hold their collar while you move into an adjacent room. Once you are separated from your dog, speak your memories and let the person holding the dog let go. Your dog will find you. You may need to repeat your memories to help them find you, and once your dog finds you, say “yes!” excitedly and reward them with special treatment. You can increase the difficulty of this game as you hide in rooms further and further away from your dog’s starting point.

Teaching hide-and-seek provides the perfect foundation for powerful memories and fun for your dog on indoor days.

3. Giving and receiving

Give and Take is the starting point for a successful game acquisition. To play, you’ll need a dumbbell toy or something similar that is easy for your dog to put in his mouth and easy for you to retrieve. First, put the toy in your hand and ask your dog to gently take it away from you while you say “take”. When they take the toy, reward them by saying “Take it well!” Next, (you may need a small treat) say “Give” while you either gently remove the toy from your dog or replace the toy with snacks. When your dog releases the toy to you, say “OK!” Repeat this until your dog begins to understand the meaning of the “give” and “accept” commands. Make the game more challenging by placing your dog in a sitting position and tossing the toy. From the sit-in, release your puppy by saying “take away!” Get them back to you and release the toy with the “give” command.

Give and Take is a great way to teach your dog to have a gentle mouth. You can take the game to an expert level by associating words with specific objects and assigning tasks to your dog such as “get the newspaper” and “give the newspaper”. In no time, you’ll have a very obedient dog who knows how to pick things up around the house or yard.

Final result

No matter what game you choose to play with your dog, remember that exercising their minds is just as important as exercising their bodies. Find It, Hide N Seek, and Give and Take are three simple, fun indoor games that will translate into obedience and joy outdoors.


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