5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated on a Rainy Day

Chihuahua puppy looking through window

Dogs can have fun even on a rainy day! (Photo credit: Getty Images)

So it’s raining and you have a bored dog in your hands. Sure, it’s easy to have fun when you can get out and run around or take a walk and meet new puppies. But when you sit inside it can get a bit boring.

Don’t worry though. There are plenty of exciting things to learn and games to play that will keep your dog’s brain working and sharp.

Here are some great indoor activities for a rainy day that will keep your dog mentally stimulated.

1. Hide and Search

Hide and seek is a fun game to play that allows your dog to use his super sniffer and his hunting and tracking instincts.

Start off easy by showing your pup that you’re hiding some food in the room, then let them find it. Once they understand the game, have them wait in the other room while you hide the food.

Eventually, you can replace the food with a favorite toy, or even hide and let your pup search for you. This will keep your dog engaged and give him a nice reward for using his brain.

2. Tug of War

Chihuahua Dog Pull Rope Toys

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Tug-of-war is a simple enough game to play indoors, but it’s also a great learning tool. It is an opportunity for your dog to learn what is a toy and what is not a toy, and it is an opportunity for you to teach your dog how to control playful energy.

Just make sure that you are the one who starts the game and that you are in control. If your dog gets his teeth on you or takes the toy without permission, stop playing for a while.

Eventually, your dog will begin to learn the game and learn what is acceptable play behavior. You can learn more about how to properly play tug of war as a learning tool here.

3. Learn new tricks and practice old tricks

Girl holds treat and shakes dog's paw bedroom

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A rainy day is a great time to learn new tricks or brush up on the basics. Learning the basic commands will help your dog with obedience and build the bond you and your pup share. It is also a mental workout for your dog that will keep his brain busy.

Start with the obvious, like sit, stay, and come. After that, you can gradually move on to harder tricks like shaking or rolling over. Before you know it, your pup will be jumping through hoops.

Make sure to mix it up and keep learning new things to keep your dog sharp. Remember that even old dogs can and should learn new tricks.

4. Obstacle Course

An indoor obstacle course is a joy for you and your dog. Simply start with one piece of furniture and teach your dog to go over or under it. Be sure to give plenty of praise and rewards for every step.

Once your dog has mastered one piece of furniture, you can put it on another piece of furniture or add blankets, pillows and other items. Get creative and channel your inner child who was always making pillow forts.

Over time, your dog will have the full routine and receive a great mental and physical workout.

5. Get – and not just any ball

Dog brings newspaper to owner

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Your dog probably likes to fetch with a ball or toy, but you can also use fetch in several ways to get your dog thinking.

You can train your dog to fetch his or her leash or your slippers, or they can bring toys to you to clean up, for example. You can even teach your pup to name specific toys and increase your dog’s vocabulary for human words.

This is another chance for you to get creative, and your pup will appreciate the extra mental challenge.

What do you do to keep your dog mentally stimulated on a rainy day? Do you know of any fun indoor games or activities? Let us know in the comments below!

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