Posted in Puppy Training, Seasonal, Training

Indoor Brain Games for dogs

Ok, I don’t know about where you live but here last night we got our first good snow storm and it is cold. My GSD loves the snow and is spending all of his free time begging to go outside. My short hair pit bull how ever is not so excited to go out side. Lets face it I am not either. So below in this post and several others for the next few days I will be posting Indoor boredom busters.

1. Play The Which Hand Game

If you’ve been thinking about teaching your dog some scent work games this is a great game to get you started. The only thing you’ll need is some dog treats. If you don’t have dog treats on hand you can use fruits & veggies (be sure they are on the safe list, Dog Safe Human Food, or make some Homemade Chews, Homemade Chicken Jerky or other homemade dog treats.

How to play the which hand game with your dog:

  • Place a treat in one of your hands.
  • Close your fists and hold them out in front of your dog.
  • Let the dog choose which hand it’s in.
  • When your dog sniffs or paws the correct hand open it up and give them the treat.
  • If he chooses incorrectly don’t discourage him, it takes a few tries to catch on.
  • A gentle “touch” command will be helpful.

Our dogs have excellent noses but they need to learn to utilize them.

Just like us they’re used to relying on visual cues in their normal day to day activities. Simple nose work games help hone in their natural sniffing ability, and it’s a nice mental workout.

2. Try The Three Cup Game

One step up from the which hand game this game is also commonly referred to as the shell game. You place a treat under one of 3 cups and have your dog choose the correct one. Once they get the hang of it you can start mixing up the cups so they’re not just relying on visuals.

3. Play Hide and Seek With Your Dog

This is by far one of my dogs favorite indoor games. Have your dog sit and wait while you go find a hiding spot. Call them once when you’re hidden and praise them enthusiastically when they find you.

4. Play a Game of Tug for a Nice Workout

If you’re snowed in you might not have an opportunity to get in your regular amount of exercise with your dog, but that’s where tug comes in handy. Not only is a game of tug great for teaching your dog some basic impulse control, it can be a great workout for you both.

5. Make a Scavenger Hunt or Play Find The Treats

Grab some smelly treats and have your dog stay while you go hide them around the house. Start with some easy hiding spots and work your way up once your dog is accustomed to using his nose.

6. Teach Your Dog to Fetch My Slippers/Paper

Dogs love having a job to do, even if it’s something as simple as fetching you your slippers. Make them feel extra useful by teaching them the names of some items you wouldn’t mind them retrieving for you. If you want to impress all of your friends teach your dog to fetch you something from the fridge. To make it easy on your dog tie a towel around the handle so it’s easy to pull open the door.


Well that should be enough games for today, check back tomorrow for more indoor boredom buster games. I hope you and your pup enjoy the snow and as always if you have any questions feel free to email me at



I am a down home Country Woman, and I love to train dogs, and horses. I have produced my own training curriculum through my years. The following blog posts are all my beliefs and how I like to train. If you ever have questions or comments that you would like to email me directly please feel free to email me at

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