Brrrrr. If you live anywhere in the northeastern part of the country, you echo that sentiment with us. The snow is falling and the mercury is dropping, but Rover’s roaming for play. With a little ingenuity and a bit of resourcefulness, you can heighten your pet’s sense of winter fun and frivolity with the following tried-and-true indoor festive games for dogs. When our mascot, Dexter gets cabin fever, here are some of the fun games we play in mixed company.
Using a standard agility hurdle, dogs get their Caribbean groove on with this variation of “How low can you go?” fun. Let the music play while dogs walk under the limbo stick, lowering the bar a notch each round. The last dog to successfully go under the limbo stick without knocking it off wins. As an aside, I’ve actually judged a doggy limbo contest and it is incredibly fun, especially for the dogs who get oh so low.
Have each dog line up for some slight of hand and treat. Place a treat into one closed fist, keeping the other fist empty. Ask each dog, “Which hand?” When your dog touches its nose to the fist that contains the treat, reveal the treat and reward your dog. For a competitive spin, time each dog. The quickest canine is dubbed the winner. If you don’t engage with other dogs for group play, this is still a fun game to play with your dog one on one. On Thursday, my pal Katie from Slim Doggy and I revealing results of the Dognition test (on our respective dogs), which is also a fun indoor way to assess your dog’s ability to problem solve and much more, so stay tuned.
Set up a few mats on the floor, just as you would when playing the human counterpart version. Dogs must go to their mats and sit when the music stops. Before the music starts again, remove one mat. Owners may encourage their dogs, but no pushing or pulling is allowed. The last dog with a mat wins.
Remember the childhood game “Simon Says”? Dogs form a line in front of the “barker.” As commands are given, each dog reacts. Use fun, basic commands like “Sit,” “Down” and “Stay.” The last dog remaining is named the champ.
Paint Like “Paw-casso”
Dogs channel their inner Rembrandt with this activity. Mix together cornstarch, flour, water and food coloring to a thickened consistency. Or alternatively, use nontoxic acrylic paint. Put paint on art paper, place plastic wrap on top of it and let Bowser walk all over it. Remove the plastic wrap, allow to air-dry, then proudly display.
Winter skies need not deter the fun that can be had indoors. Keep the cameras ready, as these magical party memories are the kind that can be shared time and again.
What do you do to pass time with your dog when the weather is less than cooperative outside?