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Sometimes, the weather is too hot or cold for us to go on our daily walks with our dogs.

There are also days when we're too lazy to leave our house.

But what about Fido's daily exercise and playtime?

Luckily, we've got the solution for you, my fellow loafer. We all have days when we don't feel like going out.

In this blog, we've listed the best indoor games for dogs. In this way, your Do Nothing Day will still be a great bonding time with your pup.

Playing the games below can be their way of exercising for the day. You can also include their training, which we'll discuss further below.

These fun indoor games can also take the stress and boredom away—for both you and your pup!

Best Indoor Games For Dogs

1. Fetch

First on our list of the best indoor games for dogs is a good ol' classic fetch.

Unfortunately, this game will be hard if you live in a small apartment. Fetch is best for wide and open spaces.

But you can still play fetch with your pup in hallways, stairways, and large living rooms.

My Belgian Malinois loves to play this game! She goes crazy once she sees my sister's soccer ball. Even if we're indoors, she demands me to kick the ball toward her. 

However, when it comes to playing fetch, ensure you're not using a heavy ball or objects. You should also be aware of fragile things around the house (especially in the kitchen).

If you're not fond of playing fetch, a simple catch can be your next option.

indoor fetch

2. Tug of War

Another simple but fun game for dogs is Tug-of-War. It is one of the best ways to entertain or engage in meaningful play with our dogs.

Tug-of-war will not make your dog suddenly aggressive, and letting it win will not make them feel more dominant.

Letting them win makes it more fun and motivates them to play more.

In Tug-of-War, we're exercising our dogs physically and mentally! But be careful not to stimulate your pet overly.

A great thing about tug-of-war is that it does not require much space to play, unlike fetch.

If you plan to play tug-of-war with your pup, ensure he is trained and understands the command “Leave it.”

hide and seek at home

3. Hide-And-Seek

Another classic dog game is hide-and-seek. This game might not be that complex for humans, but dogs love this game.

Hide-and-seek can also mentally stimulate your pet since finding you is not an easy task sometimes.

However, your dog must have a good “stay” command.

But you can still play this game with two people at home. One person hides, and the other stays with the dog.

The person who stays with the dog is responsible for walking the dog around the house and searching for the other person.

RELATED: This Device Creates a Hide-And-Seek Game With Dog Treats

Checklist for Choosing Best Obedience School for Dogs

4. Obedience Training

Indoor games are not the only activity that you can do. This can also be your chance to help your pup master basic obedience.

Obedience training is a great way to keep your dog entertained and occupied.

Consistency is key in obedience training. Basic and essential obedience training includes sit, down, stay, come, and leave it.

A well-behaved dog has learned all of these commands.

If your pup has mastered these basic commands, you can proceed to more advanced ones, such as rollover and go to place.

indoor agility course

5. DIY Agility Courses

Agility courses are not just found in dog parks. Using everyday objects, you can create your own in the comfort of your home.

Agility course training is the best option for active and athletic dogs. However, just like the game of fetch, it requires a lot of space for them to play.

You'll need to clear some space in your living room to avoid damaged furniture.

Try to build your DIY agility course with these items:

  • Hula hoop for them to leap to
  • An open-ended box for them to crawl into
  • A step stool for them to jump on
  • Small containers for them to jump over

An agility course will showcase your dog's power, speed, and stamina.

Moreover, agility training will also highlight their ability to follow commands.

6. Boop the Button

Also known as the ‘Touch’ skill, this game requires keen listening, flexible movement, and little judgment skills.

The ‘touch’ requires the dog to be able to touch the surface by voluntarily touching its nose to your hand or by command. 

The owner will direct the dog to which surface to ‘touch.’

With a clicker, a reward, and a good response, the dog will voluntarily touch their nose to the surface of its hand. This game works better with a clicker.

Although the dog can still catch up with the trick, it can register faster with the sound association.

Rub some of their favorite treat with your dominant hand, then let the dog smell it.

Press the clicker and reward the dog with the treat as soon as they touch your hand with its nose. Don’t forget to praise your dog afterward.  

Repeat this activity until they get the hang of it. Owners may try to vary the placement of the button (palm).

dog playing shell game smartest dog breeds

7. Three Cup Game or Shell Game

The Three Cup Game, or Shell Game, is a simple problem-solving game that can mentally stimulate dogs.

Grab your dog's favorite treat and let your dog watch as you place it under one of the three cups. Then shuffle the cups around.

After that, it's your dog's turn to guess or find the treat. They usually use their paw or nose to tell you their guess.

If they choose the right cup, immediately give them the treat. If they choose wrong, lift the cup that contains the treat, and restart the game.

8. Safe Stair Dash

This game is only for adult dogs that already know how to climb the stairs since young pups don't yet have well-developed joints to take the impact.

Dogs that have any back problems are also forbidden to play this game.

If you plan to play this game with Fido, the first tip I will tell you is to ensure their safety first.

If your house's stairs are slippery, best to find other indoor games to entertain your pet.

This game can also help strengthen basic training skills.

For this game, start at the bottom of the stairs.

Command them to sit and stay while you throw their favorite toy at the top. And when you're ready, tell your pup to “Go!” or “Fetch!”

9. Clean Up

You'll probably like this game if you're tired of picking up your dog's toys or trash on the floor after they play.

In this game, your house will be cleaned, and your pup will be mentally stimulated and learn new skills.

To begin, give your dog his favorite toy. Once the toy is in his mouth, offer them a treat or another one of their favorite toys.

When their mouth opens to take the treat or the other toy, say drop or drop it.

Practice this consistently until your dog can drop the toy with just the drop-it command and without the need to use food or other toys.

Once they know the drop command, have them pick up a toy and give it their drop command as soon as they stand over the preferred container.

If he drops it into the container, reward them with praise and treats.

fun puzzle toys

10. Puzzle Games

Some puzzle games also include sniffing out the treat out of the apparatus.

Some apparatus are designed to have different mechanisms in which the dog may try to slide, press, or pull the handles before they can access the treat.

This is an excellent way for the dog to learn basic problem-solving skills and also for the dog to learn to limit food-guzzling habits. 

Owners may use their dog’s favorite treat when introducing the apparatus. 

Prepare the treat near the apparatus. Introduce the apparatus to your pet.

You may start by moving the mechanisms repeatedly so they can observe how it works.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do dogs get bored at home all day?

Yes, dogs get bored when they are just at home all day.

Try sitting around doing nothing all day. I'm pretty sure you'll get bored too.

Boredom is a big no-no for dogs as it can develop problems such as excessive barking, digging, and destructive behaviors.

Try giving them interactive toys and puzzles to keep their mind engaged. Take the time to play with them. Go on daily walks and playtime.

Are dogs happier indoors?

It's not cruel to keep dogs outdoors, but dogs are pack animals. They thrive when they are with their companies.

It's only natural for them to feel the happiest when spending time with their favorite person or people.

How do I tell if my dog is bored?

You can tell a dog is bored when it destroys or damages furniture like the sofa or pillows.

They also tend to bark excessively, overeat, sleep excessively, and fight other pets.

indoor dog tug game

Indoor Games For Dogs: Summary

Is it raining hard on your place right now? Or maybe it's too hot to go outside.

Nevertheless, we've got the best indoor games for dogs.

These indoor games can be your alternatives to your daily walks and exercise. A dog's exercise is important since it helps maintain their physical and mental health.

Exercise can also help with weight management, joint health, cardiovascular health, and prevent other health issues.

If the weather outside is telling you not to come out and play, try out the best indoor games for dogs.

Play the classics, like fetch, tug-of-war, or hide-and-seek.

If you're looking for mentally stimulating games, try puzzle games, shell games, or obedience training.

If you love to tinker around the house, you can build a DIY agility course training for your pup.

Remember to reward them with praise and treats during these games and training sessions.

These games are not just here to help with your dog's health, but they can also strengthen your bond and build a better pet-owner relationship.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.