Indoor Training Games and Brain Games for Dogs


During Mr. N’s therapy work, we play a lot of “games” with the kids at the shelter. A lot of these games utilize the same foundation skills (targeting, fetching, scentwork etc) so once your dog knows the basics, you can use it for many different tricks.

Now that it’s getting colder, indoor games are a good way to expend your dog’s energy. These are the games that I play with Mr. N and the kids (still working on the jump rope). And I’m always looking for new things to teach him. I need to come up with some Christmas-themed activity for December. Find the reindeer maybe?



  • Hide in box
  • Walk around box
  • Jump on top of box
  • Fetch box
  • Put back/front paws on box
  • Laundry (putting socks in basket)
  • Toy cleanup (putting toys in box)
  • Grocery shopping with play food
  • Bring newspaper
  • Bring tissue when you sneeze
Some of the things that Mr. N fetches.
  • Door opening/closing (I tie a sash/towel to the knob)
  • Pull little wagon
  • Dog bowling with cans
  • Touching object (wand/stick etc)
  • Ringing bells (I have potty bells I put on a door knob)
  • Roll out carpet/yoga mat
  • Push ball with nose/paw
  • Play piano
  • Push bell/button
  • Push shopping cart while standing on hind legs
  • Find your mark (stand on dot, mat)
  • Which hand has the treat?
  • Which flower pot hides the ball?
  • Find keys
  • Jump over leg/arm
  • Jump rope
  • Jump through hoop
  • “Around” – Extend both arms out straight, dog goes around you in a circle and jumps over each arm in turn

What’s your favorite indoor game(s)?




16 Responses

  1. Janet Keefe

    November 24, 2014 11:09 pm

    I would love to know how you trained Mr. N to put toys away in the toy box. What a great and extensive list….we have so much we can work on! Last winter we mostly played scent games using boxes. I definitely plan to teach Luke to ring bells as well.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  2. Jackie Bouchard

    November 25, 2014 3:32 am

    OMD, he's so cute! And so well trained! We need some bad weather here. It's almost always nice enough to go for a walk, so that's pretty much what we do every day! If we got some bad weather, I could stay home and do some training!


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