Five Indoor Dog Games


shih tzu puppy

Sometimes it is hard to get your dog outside for his all-important walk. Here is a list of indoor games to play with your dog when it’s too cold, the snow’s too deep, your dog is sensitive to heat, or the weather outside just won’t let up long enough to let you your pooch out.


This fun game can get your dog moving indoors, which can help with those dogs that are super energetic. I like to use a soft toy (pogo plush) so if it hits something (my aim is not always the best) I do not have to worry about breaking it. If you own a house with a basement or long hallway those are ideal, fewer items in the way. Stairs are another great way to wear out an energetic dog.

Hide the toy

I love to have my dogs lay down and stay in the living room, while I take one of their toys into the bedroom and hide it. After hiding the toy I will give the “find it” command and off they go. There are many ways to play this game, you can have your dog find you, find your keys, or find something else. The possibilities are endless. With this fun game, your dog exercises both his body and brain.

Roll the Ball

For this game, you’ll want a large ball that won’t pop (yoga balls pop after about 5 minutes.) Try a basketball, soccer ball or a big Tuff ball. Get down on your hands and knees and push the ball, then have your dog push the ball. Once your dog figures out how to push the ball, have him push the ball to you.

Find the treat

Take three or so old cups and your dog’s favorite treat. Turn all the cups over. Hide a treat under one of the cups and see if your dog can find the hidden treat. If you want to make the game more challenging after putting the treat under a cup move the cups around then have your dog find the cup with the treat.

Kibble Hunt

Chances are good when you feed your dog her bowl is empty after a few seconds. To help slow your pooch down take a minute and instead of feeding her in just one place mix it up. your dog’s food and hide small piles of it around your house. Start by making the piles easy to find then later depending on how quickly your dog catches begin making the piles more difficult to find.

These are just a few suggestions to get you started with indoor games to play with your dog. Use your imagination, combined with what your dog enjoys, and you’ll be able to come up with even more games you can play when the weather won’t let you take your dog out for a walk.

What do you do to exercise your dog when you can’t get outside?


  1. LOL! I love that find the treat game. It’s like Three Card Monte with your dog!

    Seriously, I think I’m going to teach my dog to “find it.” That sounds like a good way to keep her mind occupied on long winter days.

  2. Both of my dogs think the “find it” game is great fun. It wears them out fairly well because it works both mental and physical. Let me know how it goes.

  3. My dog loves the inside frisbee down the hall and as a bonus I keep the door at the end open so it will bounce into the next room.

  4. Cassandra Connolly-Brown says:

    My dog is a parson Russell and requires a lot of exercise. I live in a place where we get a lot of rain and my backyard gets very soggy. Her favourite game is ‘find squeaky.’ She tears up most toys, but a few years ago I got her this thick plastic one that looks like some kind of alien chicken. It’s indestructible and squeaks without a squeaker she could accidentally swallow. She has gotten exceptionally good at finding it. Sniffs it out very quickly, so I’ve started putting it in places that take a bit of ingenuity to get too. Sometimes she has to climb, jump, or tip things over. It’s great and gets out a lot of energy.

  5. Cassandra I understand completely about how quick they get at “finding it.” I hid the toy in the washing machine, Sadie found it in about two minutes. I’m always trying to find new places to hide the toy because they also remember where it’s been and look for it. Our kids are just too smart =)

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