Us dogs, we need activity. We need to work our bodies and our brains to be the best pups we can be - it's a big part of what keeps a Green Dog happy and healthy. So what do we do when we can't get outside and get our usual exercise, or do agility? We play games, inside!
There are loads of games you can play with your dog that don't cost any money, and don't have an impact on a dog's carbon pawprint. All you need are a couple of items you already have around the house, and you've got some great fun ahead of you.
Mum is always teaching me and Gracie tricks, like playing dead, and teaching us to be 'shy.' But one of our favorite games during the winter is what we call 'table games.' Since we do agility, practicing the table is one of the agility obstacles we can easily work on indoors. But this game isn't just for agility dogs, any dog would love it. We don't even use a real agility table, we use our chair ottoman.
Here's a vid of Gracie and me playing table games for our dinner the other night. Can you tell this is one of our favorites?
There are other great games you can play indoors. One of our favorite YouTube friends, Astrid, has two videos of games that we've been playing this winter. The first one is the 'muffin tin game,' and the second one is the 'blanket game.' Both of these games are great for working our brains (which you know can tire out a dog pretty much as fast as most physical activities), and they use only materials that you already have.
What other games can you play with your dog?
How about these:
Find target - reuse an organic yogurt container lid and teach your dog to find it anywhere in the house. Start out showing them the lid, which we call a target. When they touch it, put a treat on it and say good dog, or click if you are using clicker training! Start moving the target further and further away from your dog, until they can search for it from clear across the house. And if you use clicker training (which I hope you do), it makes learning the game even easier.
Hide and seek - a lot of pups like this game. Have your dog stay, and then go in another room and hide. Call their name and let them find you for the big reward. Fade out calling their name and make it a more difficult for them to find you.
These are just a few of the many, many activities you can do with your dog during the dead of winter that don't cost a penny. We'll have more at a later date - stay tuned.
So what are you waiting for, get started and have fun!