Dogs aren't too bothered about weather forecasts; even if it's miserable outside, they still like to run and play outdoors. However, their pet parents may not be as keen. Fortunately, there are a number of fun and engaging activities that will keep your dog busy when outdoor play isn't on the agenda. These activities will help to avoid them from making their own fun, which may not be your idea of fun.
There's no reason why you can't play fetch inside your house. Choose an appropriate space because when your dog is on the run towards their toy, they pay no attention to tables and lamps. A long hallway is perfect for this; you can even add a hurdle or two for them to jump over. Throw their favorite toy down the hallway and watch them as they chase and pounce.
Put it in the Basket
This is a fun game that doesn't need much space. Teach your dog to pick up small objects and put them in a waste paper basket. Clicker training can speed up the process as you can reward your dog for closer and closer attempts to pick up the item. As they become more confident at the game, you can put the basket a bit further away so they have to trot to and from it. Another option is to put a small obstacle between the item and the basket so they have to jump over it. This sort of game exercises your dog's mind as well as their body.
Hide and Seek
This game is easy to play but you'll need to prepare a little in advance. Put a few treats in plain sight near your dog and when they approach to eat them, use a phrase like "find your treats". They'll quickly learn that when they hear those words, there are some treats for them; they just have to find them. At that point, you can make the treats a bit more difficult to find. You may need to give a bit of help with directions at first, but it won't take long for your pup to work out that the phrase means there are treats to be found. The next step is to hide the treats in another room or in the garden.
Tug of War
You don't need anything fancy for this game, just something your dog would like to grab and pull. Even an old sock with a knot at the end can do the job, although your local pet store will have plenty of other toys that would be suitable. Make sure that when you play this game that you're in charge. You decide when the game starts and when it's time to stop play. This game gives you a great opportunity to practice the commands "take it" and "leave it".
Treat-dispensing puzzles are a mental challenge for any breed. These are designed to make your dog think – how do you move the puzzle pieces to reveal the tasty treat? They're a great way to keep your dog's mind active and it is fun to watch Fido use his brain to solve the puzzle. Nina Ottosson makes an excellent range of puzzles; there's sure to be one that suits your pet.
These are designed to dispense your dog's daily ration of kibble over a few hours, so that he can spend some time working for his meal. Some good options are the Kong Wobbler and the Buster Cube. Your dog will spend quite a while at mealtimes working off his excess energy trying to get the food.
Play Dates and Day Care
There's nothing like the company of another dog to provide your dog with a fun and energetic play session. If you're doing this at home, confine the dogs to one room that's easy to clean, and don't forget to remove any fragile items that may get knocked over. Alternatively, book your dog into a doggie day care center for some training, playtime, and companionship.
Let's Get Wet
If you protect your dog from the elements and you don't mind getting wet, there's no reason why you can't still visit the dog park or go for a walk outdoors. Be guided by your dog; when they've had enough of the weather, turn around and head back home.
It's not easy living with an active dog when the weather keeps you both indoors. Physical exercise indoors is great but don't rule out thinking games. They can tire your dog out too and prevent boredom, which can then lead to mischief. For more suggestions, check out ways to keep your dog entertained on a rainy day.