5 Indoor Games to Play With Your Dog

Ball. 

End of article. 

KIDDING! That’s the article my dog would like to read, but (sorry, Remi) ball is not actually life. There are only so many hours of Netflix you can watch and sourdough starters you can make inside your four walls before going batty, and believe us, your floof feels the same. So for those rainy, snowy, and downright yucky days, check out five indoor games to play with your dog. Bonus: They’ll keep both of you mentally and physically stimulated.

1. Hide and Seek 

It’s an oldie, but a GOODIE! All pup needs to know is “stay” and “come,” and you’ve got what you need to play the game. I like to set Remi up in the kitchen, tell her to stay, and then hide in another room. Behind doors are a huge hit, and no matter how many times I hide there, she still has trouble finding me. Object permanence man, smh. Best part about this game is that it costs $0, and almost always provides doggo with some exercise as she runs around (even the tiniest apartment) looking for you. Good girl!

dog posing with toy for indoor games to play with your dog article
Remi waiting to play hide and seek with her mom to see if there is a ball or treat involved in this game.

2. Clean Up 

We know that you know that cleaning up is not a game…but does your dog?! No? That’s what we thought. If pup knows the commands “come” and “give” or “drop,” then he can clean up his own toys! If Fido isn’t quite on that level, start with training. Dog whisperer after dog whisperer will tell you that training is great mental exercise for your fluffer, but you know what they leave out? It’s pretty great mental exercise for you, too.

3. Obstacle Course 

Pull out some dining room table chairs and lead your dog through one by one. Unless she’s obsessed with you and will follow you naturally (lucky duck), we advise bringing a giant tub or peanut butter, a bone, or some other high-value snacc. Show her how to follow you over couches, under chairs, and behind doors one thing at a time, then string it all together! Not into DIY? Check out this beginner indoor agility course kit from Outward Hound.

4. Magician

Your dog probably already thinks you’re David Blaine based on your ability to make treats and food appear out of nowhere, so the bar is low here. But this game’ll really blow her puppy mind! Take three plastic cups and put them upside down on the floor in front of pup, and put a treat under ONE of the cups. Make sure doggo is watching, and then shuffle them around for several seconds. Take a step back and see if your little genius followed where the snack went (or let’s be honest, just followed their vastly superior olfactory sense).

5. Tag! 

This game requires a partner, housemate, or anyone else in your pod other than you and the floof. Have both hoomans stand in various places in the house, and then call your little one back and forth! That’s it; that’s the game. It sounds simple (and it really is), but you’ll be delighted in how excited your dog’ll get running back and forth between some of his favorite people. Not to mention, this is a great way to reinforce your “Come” command and get your ball of energy some exercise.

Which of these indoor games do you love playing with your dog?  Let us know in the comments and share this article with a fren who needs help wearing their pupper out!

Featured photo: Rebecca Campbell

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our Dog-Friendly Seattle Facebook Group.

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