How to Exercise Your Puppy Indoors
When the weather is warm or sunny, walking your dog or taking them to the park is a great way to exercise. But when the weather gets too cold, or damp, or stormy (or even too hot) for your pup, you may have to think of ways to give him the exercise he needs inside. Bad weather doesn’t have to equal a bored dog.
Learning how to exercise your dog indoors is especially important for people with very young pups. Remember that puppies under 14 week are still developing mentally and physically. Even though they may seem confident, it’s wise to limit their exercise to fenced yards and protected areas. They’re not ready to take on strange dogs or people quite yet. Indoor exercise will be especially important for pups 14 weeks and younger.
Of course, you must still take your pup or dog outside regularly to relieve himself, regardless of the weather. But how do you give your puppy or dog the exercise they need when long walks outdoors are not an option? Here are some tips.
1. Exercise with Your Pup
If you’ve ever tried to do sit ups or floor exercises near your dog, you know they’re very interested in everything you do on the floor. Instead of fighting them off, make them a part of your exercise routine. It’s easy to run up and down steps with your dog right behind you. If he loses interest, motivate him with a toy or a small bit of a dog biscuit. When you’re on the floor, it’s also easy to play hide and seek using a plush toy or a favorite ball. Shape magazine offers more ideas on how to exercise with your dog here.
2. Start Training Your Puppy Indoors
Consider training your dog to do simple commands indoors as a way to exercise their mind and their body. “Sit,” “come,” “stay,” “down,” and “leave it” are essential commands if you want a well-behaved pooch. Once these basic commands are mastered, you can move on to more play-oriented commands such as “fetch,” “shake,” “play dead,” and “roll over.” English Springer Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers, Border Collies, Standard Poodles, and Golden Retrievers are known to be especially good at fetch. Even if your dog takes a little longer to learn your commands, the time and mental energy involved in training is a great way to keep an energetic dog engaged on a rainy day. Teaching these commands will also come in handy when your pup is ready for outdoor play. Get tips on teaching commands by clicking here.
3. Play Soccer
Find a ball that is too large for your dog to pick up with his mouth. Soccer balls and basketballs work well for large dogs. A baseball or tennis ball may work for small pups. Gently kick the ball between your feet, and then pass it off to your dog. See if your dog will try pushing it along with his nose or paws. Keep showing them how to move the ball, using your feet, and then pass it off to the pup. Most dogs will quickly catch on that they should move the ball back to you; they will use their nose to nudge it along. Dog breeds bred to find and return prey, like the Redbone Coon Mix, German Shorthair Pointers, and Labrador Retrievers should pick up this game quickly. But even if your pup doesn’t catch on right away, keep trying. They’ll get the hang of it eventually.
4. Train Your Dog to Help Out
Even after your puppy grows into an adult, you’ll find he can get restless or bored while you’re doing chores. Why not take time now to teach him to do his own chores? Teach your pup to pick up his own toys. This activity not only helps him understand what’s his, it will actually come in handy when you’re in a rush to straighten up. However, be careful about training your dog to put other things in his mouth – asking him to pick up children toys or laundry is risky both as a choking hazard and because the dog is likely to chew the items.
5. Field Trips
On gloomy days when you and the dog are getting bored, why not take a field trip? Not only do pups love car trips, but many pet stores, especially pet super stores, also encourage you to bring your leashed dog inside. Remember that these store trips do not replace daily walks outdoors, but they can be a way to give your dog a bit more excitement on bad-weather days when walks are short. If your dog has not visited these stores before, he may be nervous on his first visit. Give him time to adjust as you enter, and keep the visit short. As your pup becomes used to the environment over time, they will learn to enjoy the outing. Just remember to give your dog plenty of time to empty his bladder before entering the store. Bring a paper towel or two, in case he piddles inside.
Keystone Puppies cares about your dog’s well-being. Dogs need daily outdoor walks, and when the weather is poor, they also need to exercise indoors. If you haven’t decided which breed of dog is right for you, research over 200 breeds here. Want to search for your new puppy now? Click here to get started.