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Need some enrichment ideas? We've got you!
Browse our list of dog fun DIY enrichment and indoor exercises you can do with your dog! These are great to help them burn physical, and above all, mental energy.
We recommend that these enrichment ideas are practiced with your supervision so that you can be part of the fun, help your dog as needed and ensure all remains safe. If your dog is more interested in chewing, and destroying, switch to a more physical game, before trying again.
Order a little dog bell for this exercise. Place the bell in front of your dog and feed them a treat if they sniff the bell. Next feed them a treat if they touch it, and hen another treat if they touch the bell and it makes a sound. From this point on, wait for your dog to paw the bell! Put it away when not in use.
Got a snuffle mat handy? Is your dog a pro snuffler? Take things to the next level by using a dog calming mask the next time you'd like for your dog to snuffle! This way your dog will get to use their talented nose, more than ever. (Make sure to socialize them to it first, slowly.)
Has your dog figured out his food puzzle? Wrap their food puzzle in a large or thick blanket (thoroughly), sprinkle a few treats here and there within the wrapped blanket and let them figure out how to get to the puzzle inside! Helping them will help increase your bond with your dog.
Got chores to do? The next time you're doing the laundry and placing it from one room to another, get a hands-free-leash, clip your dog to it/you, and place around your home a number of empty Amazon boxes that your dog will need to jump over to be able to walk on with you while you do your laundry.
Got stairs in your house or your building? Depending on your dog's confidence level, you can turn the stairs into an easy agility course bytossing and hiding your dog's pieces of kibble or treats. Go an extra step by using plactic containers to hide each piece to have your dog scavenge using their nose.
Got a pair of old socks? If they have holes even better! Fold a pair of socks into a ball, but as you fold them, place your dog's pieces of kibble inside and present it to him to let the snuffling begin! If you have more than two old socks, you can create more snuffle balls or add even more layers.
Got a few travel bags handy? Grab two socks and put a bit of perfume on both, and place one inside one of the bags and if/when your dog sniffs for the hidden sock in one of the bags, provide them with a reward as you feel that he is strarting to match the scent. This can be a neat party trick!
Got a large cardboard box to spare? Using a pen or pencil, poke multiple small holes through the cardboard so that you can tightly place pieces of your dog's kibble in each hole. That way your dog will need to either push, lick/chew or paw his way to getting each piece from the cardboard.
With the front door or backyard door open (or slightly open, depending on comfort level), hang out with your dog on leash, as you wait for him to share eye contact with you before rewarding them with their kibble or treats, to reward them for ignored any distractions coming from outside.
While your dog is in a different room (or tied away with a leash for a moment), hide multiple pieces of kibble and a few small treats all throughout your living room. Afterwards give your dog the "Search!" cue and watch them look for and find each piece using their amazing nose!
Got a large cardboard box (or small, depending on your dog's size)? Place inside of it a bunch of clean old towels and rags or old clothing before you hide within those your dog's treats and kibble meal for him to have to snuffle and search through it all to be able to find each piece of food!
Got your dog's bed handy? Place it a few meters away from where you are and wait for your dog to step on it, touch it or simply smell it. Everytime he does, toss a treat anywhere in the room! He'll eventually learn that tasty things happen because he's choosing to give you space and be near/on his bed instead.
Got a dog that loves to fetch? Spread around the room different baskets or boxes filled with old linen or towels and toss your dog's ball randomly into the different baskets in order for your dog to have to use all of his senses to quickly determine where it landed! This can be a fun game for you as well.
Place a number of wide boxes, baskets or bins across the room and provide your dog with different of his favourite toys. One at a time, the moment he chooses to carry that toy anywhere near any of the boxes, provide him with a rare treat. This will start to teach him to put toys away!
Got a few egg carton boxes in the recycling bin? Place inside of them a couple of your dog's treats, wrapped in thick paper or towels for your dog to first figure out how to open the cardboard box and then snuffle each piece you put inside. If your dog doesn't eat paper or cardboard you can let them tear it at the end.
Got a few empty toilet paper rolls in your recycling bin? Grab a few and in only one of them place inside of it some of your dog's smelly treats, before folding the end of each roll and hiding them each in different boxes or towels for your dog to have to identify which one has the treat and snuffle it.
Have a large enough treat dispenser ball with a dog that's too skilled at getting all the treats out? Stuff it with brown tissue paper to make it more challenging for each piece to come out. Make sure that you start with only small amounts of paper so that it's not too difficult and ensure your dog feels eager to do it.
Got a few clean and empty water bottles available? Place a few of your dog's more wet-like kibble or treats inside it without the lid and watch your dog try a few different ways to get each piece out. Try different bottle sizes and/or adding brown tissue paper inside to alternate difficulties.
Have a two-step stool? Place a couple of your dog's favourite treats near and around it, and slowly on top of it. Once your dog is comfortable jumping on it, you can begin doing this with something soft underneath the stool like a cushion, so that it becomes a little wobbly to practice balancing on it.
Place two cardboard boxes of the same height 2-3 feet apart. Make sure the boxes are taller than your dog. Place a third box on top of them, creating a roof. Now encourage your dog to go through and underneath the boxes like a tunnel. With time you can cut the boxes smaller to encourage crawling.
Want your dog to go to his bed at the sounds of the dog bell? Click here to find different doorbell sounds to your dog. Play one, place a tasty treat in your dogs bed (show him) and wait for him to go get it. A few moments later repeat, until you do this with multiple doorbell sounds, prior to practicing with your own.
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