Featuring Jen Larson, KPA-CTP & Clara Scott, CPDT-KA
Concept by Courtney Emken


Sometimes you just want to play some fun indoor games with your dog, am I right?? Whether the weather is terrible, it’s been a long day, or you just REALLY need a fun hang session with your pup indoors—these games will have you covered so you can do less brainstorming and more enjoying!!


– Hey Clara.

– Hey Jen.

– How are you?

– Good, how are you?

– Good. We’re gonna talk about some indoor games for your pups today. So, we’ve talked about this a little bit before but we’ve got some new games for you guys to try. So, first thing is, you could just have a doggy play date. So, invite another dog over. It’s always really important to supervise the play, so make sure that they’re interacting appropriately, and give play breaks as needed. Another thing that I would suggest is to, if you have any concern about resource guarding, so if your dog might feel uncomfortable with another dog being around a bone or a toy, just pick up all of those resources before the play starts.

– Or even, I have a little dog and he guards space, so I make sure he doesn’t get on the couch or something where there could be potential for that too.

– That’s a great point. So another thing you can do with dogs is play tug. So tug is a great way to teach a take and a drop behavior. So its kind of a fun way to work in some positive behaviors that you can reinforce by them playing tug. And we’ve got a couple more for you. What’s next?

– Yeah so, I like playing hall ball. So hall ball is just playing… playing fetch in a narrow space like a hallway you can play this inside or in any space where your dog has to run back and forth kind of like a boomerang. So its pretty fun. Another game that I like to play is called stairmaster. So stairmaster, if you have access to stairs in your home it’s just having your dog go up and down the stairs, you can put little treats on the stairs or you can be with them, walking next to them, just getting them active, coming up and down the stairs.

– You could ask for little sits on each stair, or touch, something like that.

– Yeah.

– Work in some cool behaviors. So another fun thing to do and you know, you’d have to go outside to get to the place but do some field trips and then do a little indoor field trip in somewhere like maybe Home Depot, I know Barnes & Noble allows dogs, lots of dog friendly locations around Austin. The Domain has a ton of them, but you can take your dog inside a dog friendly business and walk them around, ask for some behaviors to reinforce some calm, appropriate behavior, so getting them kind of used to a new space and having some fun, sniffing some new smells. Another one you can do is go find your toy, so you can teach your dog name of their toys and then you can ask them to bring them to you, so teaching kind of a retrieve or maybe putting them in a basket, something like that. So it’s kind of a cool one.

– Oh that’s so fun. So another great game I like is called hot lava. So this just, you can get two people and your dog and create mats around your home, so this could be with blankets or pillows, or some sort of base. So you’ll be walking around, you could even practice loose leash walking while you’re walking around, and someone calls out “hot lava”

– Hot lava

– And you have to go to your nearest base, so like a pillow, a blanket and you can ask them for a behavior like sit or touch while they’re there. So that’s a nice fun one for indoor. So another great game is musical chairs. And I like playing this in class but you can also play this at home. So you set up chairs and you’ll have multiple people, one will call out, or start playing the music and whenever they stop the music, you’ll have find a chair, ask your dog to sit, and whoever doesn’t get to a chair, they’re out for the round. So you can play this with a lot of people, or just a couple of people and your pup.

– So we love playing indoor games with dogs because it’s a great way to give them some mental enrichment and have some fun with them inside when they might not be able to get anough exercise outside if its cold or rainy. So play some games with your dogs and have some fun.