Modern Australian

3 Vigorous Indoor Exercises for Your Dog

  • Written by Mat Coulton the owner of

Life's Boring Without a Dog!


Your playful pooch needs exercise even when it is raining or miserably hot outside. It is always a good idea to have a few indoor exercise ideas ready for those times when it just doesn’t work to have a good old romp outside.


These 5 ideas are a snap to train and will give you plenty of options for getting a little peace and quiet while your dog rests after a little bit of running about in the house.


1. Fetch


Easy to train and a lifetime of fun, fetch is a go-to game that is great for indoor or outdoor exercise. Any dog can learn to love this fun game, although canines from the herding, sporting and working groups tend to take to it the most quickly and intensely.


If your dog does not seem to show a natural interest in the game, here are a few tricks to try:


  • Get your dog interested in playing a vigorous game of Tug of War, then toss the tug just a few feet away. If your buddy brings it right back, play some more tug and let them get a chance to win. Repeat, adding distance to your toss over time.


  • Try playing fetch with a soft plush toy if your pup has no interest in the ball. It may just be they do not like the feel of a tennis ball in their mouth.


  • Use small food rewards like small pieces of chicken to entice your dog to play fetch. Start by rewarding any effort to touch the ball with their nose, then any effort to pick up the ball, then any effort to bring the ball towards you. In a few short sessions, you dog will be dropping that ball in your lap for a piece of chicken!


No matter which method you use, once your dog gets the hang of this fun game, you won’t have to reward them to play it, the next toss will be reward enough.

Want a little time off from fetch? Consider an automatic ball launcher made just with your dog in mind! Most models have an adjustable toss distance, making them great for indoor and outdoor play, learn more here!


2. Treadmill


If you have an electric treadmill, you can train your dog to enjoy using it for a little exercise on a rainy day. You do not need special equipment either, although a clicker definitely helps.


Just break any activity you want to train down into tiny steps in the ultimate direction of the final behavior, rewarding liberally before raising the bar to the next step.


With the treadmill training, start by just rewarding your dog for getting on the treadmill (from the back), staying on for a few seconds, then dismounting on command, all with the machine off. Once he has that down with plenty of practice, turn the machine on very slowly while he is on it, quickly reward while he is on it, then turn off the machine and reward again.


Over time you can increase the duration between rewards until your pup is using the treadmill with confidence.


A few safety tips for treadmill training:


  • Never tie or chain your dog to the treadmill. In fact, you never even have to put a leash on your dog for this training!


  • Progress at a pace that sets your dog up for success. If she is failing persistently, you are trying to move to fast.


  • Focus on reward, ignore failure. If you punish your dog during training sessions, it should not surprise you that they do not look forward to learning.


3. Recall Drills


Although anyone can work on training the dog to come when called, kids are especially fond of this game, giving you the luxury of wearing out the tikes and teaching the pooch a valuable life skill at the same time.


  • Give everyone that is playing a small baggie with some of your dog’s dinner kibble ration and a few tasty tidbits of cheese, hot dog, or cold cuts mixed in for extra motivation.


  • Start the game by standing in a large circle, taking turns calling your dog, then giving her a treat when she gets to the right person.


  • Widen the circle and start taking up posts in different rooms, and even different floors of the house. Make sure that the energy stays excited and the treats are flowing generously!


  • Add some challenge to the game by incorporating a little hide and seek. Make a huge deal out of being found behind the curtains or other tucked-away spots!


Hopefully you now have some inspiration for some fast games to play to keep your pup in great shape as well as more calm and balanced, even when the weather outside won’t accommodate the usual outdoor fun.


"Hopefully you now have some inspiration for some fast games"

Mat Coulton | WILEYPUP.COM


Feature on Modern Australian | NEWS COMPANY
1300 205 504

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion