If your New York City apartment is among the 69 million U.S. households with dogs, then you understand how important it is to know how to keep puppies entertained. Most dogs are very active and need engaging games to play so that they don’t use their energy to destroy your house out of boredom.
Exercising your dog could be as simple as going for a walk or letting them play at one of over 50 NYC dog parks. However, this can get very tricky during poor weather if you live in a small apartment, as limited space combined with noise restrictions can leave you without any clue of how to entertain your dog.
So, here are some games to play indoors in a small apartment, to make sure you don’t run out of things to do with your dog:
Master the Basics of Obedience Training
Does your dog know the sit, down, stay, drop it, and come here commands? If not, you could start there. Taking the time to teach or remind them of the basics is one of the best things to do with your dog.
Not only is teaching them a great dog mental stimulation game where they use their memory, but proper training also ensures that you can avoid situations where your dog or others around them could be in danger. And you don’t need much space or effort to do it. All you need are some treats to reward them as they learn.
The three-cup game or which hand are very simple dog stimulation games that don’t require much space. All there is to do is to place a treat under one of the cups or in one of your hands and then shuffle it as your dog watches. Then, when they point to where they think the treat is, reveal what is inside. Whenever they get it right, they can have the treat and get rewarded for using their memory.
You could also let your dog sniff your hands to make it easier for them or poke small holes in the cups so that the smell can get out.
Make Your Dog Work for His Food
Food dispensing toys got popular recently as great ways of getting dogs to eat slower and improve their digestion. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You could possibly already have one, as New Yorkers take the first place on the top of states where people spoil their dogs the most. But if not, you can easily make such a toy using a towel with distributed treats on it.
Just roll the towel and place it in front of your dog. As they figure out that unrolling gets them more treats, they can get entertained while using some of their energy and avoiding digestive issues.
Teach Your Dog New Words
The average dog can learn a couple of hundred words and signals. So, teaching them what the objects they interact with the most are called could also make for a great dog mental stimulation game as they require memory use.
You can start by naming one of their toys and trying your best to keep the dog’s attention on it while you do it. Then, as soon as your dog touches it and brings it to you, give them praise and treats so that they associate this action with being rewarded.
Once your dog has learned that specific toy’s name and brings it to you when you call for it, you can try to teach them the name of another. You can even get a bunch of objects they know by name and challenge them to pick them in a specific order.
Toy Tidy Up- Shout out to herding breeds (aussies and aussie mixes)
This is where the previous games can come in handy. If your dog knows the fetch command and has learned to pick specific toys as you call for them, tidying up just got a lot easier for you and entertaining for them.
Just place a basket underneath your hands and pass any object your dog brings you into it as soon as you get it. Soon enough, they would be able to figure out that the goal is to get their toys into the basket.
Jump The Leg
Lastly, if you are looking for physically tiring games for dogs to play in small spaces, you can try jump the leg. While sitting on the floor, stretch one leg against the wall and toss treats to both sides of it. This makes them have to constantly jump over your leg to get the next treat, and even if you do it for only a few minutes, your dog will get tired.
Ultimately, living in a small apartment doesn’t have to mean that rainy days and winter weather will make it harder to care for your dog. You can always make the best of it by playing a few small space games every day.
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/TqTjjl4kwP4
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