Indoor exercises for dogs can be varied and as funs as your regular outings. We love them on rainy days, on very cold weeks, or just to make most of the time we spend indoors.
What matters the most when exercising a dog at home is to make sure the space is safe and puppy-proofed, and then use as much household objects as possible. Sure, you can start buying interactive dog toys or home play kits, but it can be as fun with household items!
Here are a four indoor exercises for your dog to enjoy as offered by Breeding Business, the website educating ethical dog breeders worldwide.
1 . Sprinting Is a Great Conditioning Exercise
Sprinting can be done in a smaller space and requires the dog to go as fast as possible on a short distance. To make it more difficult, you may use a dog backpack to add a little bit a weight.
Owners involved in dog sledding enjoy home sprinting with added weight to improve their husky’s initial power. The same goes for fanciers of American Bully breeding who want a lean dog.
Sprinting is a great way to drain any active dog. It also is very beneficial to the dog’s cardiovascular system. Any dog breed of any size can sprint, it’s a matter of knowing when to let them rest and always have water in sight so they can hydrate themselves.
2. Setup an Indoor Agility Course
Agility is about obedience and speed of execution — it requires your dog to go through a course with several obstacles to either avoid, jump over, run under or go through. There are some strict rules if competing in official events but if you just want to do it at home, make it as simple and enjoyable as possible!
Although you could browse Amazon to find some foldable agility equipment, you should start with using what you’ve got at home:
- towels and rolled blankets — to go through or jump over
- cardboard and storage boxes — to jump in or over
- broomsticks and chairs — to run under
Be creative and don’t overcomplicate the circuit, your dog will find it fun regardless. Be sure to always reward correct execution and shuffle obstacles up often to keep it fresh and new!
Check out this great Youtube video with some examples you can copy right now, without buying anything.
3. Nose Work Is a Draining Exercise
Most dog owners ignore that nose work and sniff training is one of the most exhausting exercise for a dog. Let’s agree that your dog won’t be sniffing out any bomb or drugs, but it can absolutely sniff and find a piece of cheese in a room.
Here are a few websites helping you out to get started:
Obviously, it won’t miraculously happen overnight and it requires a little bit of training from you. Start by hiding the piece of cheese in plain sight, and reward once it has been found. Keep on increasing the difficulty.
Dogs can quickly get bored so keep the training sessions short and exciting. Interact with your dog a lot and hand out many cuddles and treats! If I was you, I would invest in a treat pouch!
A lot of people tried it and really enjoyed seeing their dog completely mesmerized by this activity. It’s very challenging and rewarding for the dog, this is why it is becoming a mainstream dog competition. Try it, and move to outdoor nose work if you want to get more serious about it!
4. Puppy Push-Ups and Special Tricks
So… Your dog knows how to high five, sit, lie down, stand, stay, but you realize there are so many other commands and tricks your dog could learn?
Puppy push-ups are an easy starter and it does actually tire the dog out when correctly performed. See this video for a step-by-step lesson. Push-ups for humans and dogs are tiring but also great for your dog’s overall balance and gait.
Teaching a dog new tricks, perhaps more complicated than your regular ones, is an draining exercise in itself. Mental stimulation matters and dogs love it, especially when they get rewarded at each and every step (with treats or cuddles!)
Here are some great example of new tricks to learn:
There are several books showing you how to step-by-step execute a hundred and one unusual dog tricks. Some of them can be learnt in a couple of days while others will take a couple of weeks to be completely mastered.
Exercising and tiring a dog at home is way easier than most people think. Dogs don’t just love running, they also like figuring things out and being challenged both physically and mentally.
There are so many games you could play with your dog at home without buying any equipment, it’s just a matter of thinking about it and actually doing it (hide and seek, DIY dog puzzle toys, etc.)
Just a little warning, if you’re going to heavily exercise your dog at home, make sure you grab yourself some basic dog first aid kit.
About the Author: This article was brought to you by Breeding Business, an online magazine educating ethical dog breeders around the world. We have also released our new American Bully breeding guide, for all the bully fanciers out there.