When your dog is laying around the house, with nothing to do, looking up at you with those big dark eyes like there is a void that needs to be filled, it’s time for you to step in and do something about their boredom.
We’ve got a list of 10 activities that you can do with your dog on sunny days, rainy days, hot days, and cold days, so there’s always something you can do to keep them busy.
#1 – Hide & Go Seek
This is an activity that your dog will love because it is going to stimulate their mind, while also giving them their favorite treat at the end — their owner!
You want to make sure that you’re doing this in a big area, like a park for instance, so that they have plenty of room to run and you have plenty of room to hide.
Start by having your dog stay, or someone hold them in place while you find a spot to hide. Then, let them sniff you down and get excited when they finally pick out your hiding spot!
#2 – Bike Riding
If your dog is bored, they’re building up energy. That built up energy is usually going to be transferred to your favorite sofa pillows, or your expensive dress shoes as soon as you leave the house.
Instead of letting them build up energy, and think of all the things they can destroy when you’re not looking, consider taking them on a bike ride with you. If they don’t have a problem pulling on the leash, they can run next to you while you go exploring on the bike.
Just remember to take extra water, because constantly running can wear your dog out fairly quickly.
#3 – Tug Of War
Some of you are going to love this, while others are going to hate it, but one fact remains when you’re playing tug of war with your dog – they absolutely love it.
If your dog doesn’t show signs of aggression, or have sharp puppy teeth that are going to nick into your fingers, get a rope you can play with, or even an old sock with knots tied into it.
Teach them how to pull on it, the command to let go of it, and then keep your fingers out of the way when they try to cinch down on the toy to get a better grip.
#4 – Frisbee At The Creek
Most dogs love playing fetch. They also love playing in the water. Frisbee at the creek combines both of these, and lets your dog have a little adventure at the same time.
The only thing it requires is a frisbee, and a creek, preferably with a dock. When you’re ready and the dog is chomping at the bit for you to throw it, give the frisbee a good toss, and let your dog jump off the dock to go chasing after it.
Just make sure that you’re doing this in freshwater, or an area of saltwater that isn’t known for a high population of sharks, because the thrashing and splashing will attract them.
#5 – Agility Training
A lot of people won’t have the space to make their own obstacle course in their yard.
If you don’t, look in your local area for an agility course, and find out how much it will cost you to take your dog every other weekend.
If you do have the space, though, you can build an agility course that your dog will always be ready to go and navigate.
#6 – Puppy Play Time
Dogs and humans are both social creatures. If you have friends with dogs that are also building up energy, and not getting out to play nearly as often as they should, it’s time to arrange a get-together.
Letting your dogs play together is a great way for them to blow off steam, and also get the much needed socialization that dogs require.
It can be done at your house, or theirs, or even the park if you don’t want a bunch of rambunctious dogs running through your living room.
#7 – Trick Training
All dogs love doing tricks because it stimulates their brain, and it makes you happy when they pull it off. Your dog will always love making you happy.
When you know they’re getting bored, go back to the drawing board and either work on the old tricks you’ve already taught them, or break out some new tricks that you know they’re capable of performing.
Using either treats as rewards, or getting them used to clicker training and your enthusiasm at the end of a successful trick is the best way to keep them looking forward to learning more in the future.
#8 – Treadmill Treks
Dogs love running with you.
For rainy days when your dog needs to get out of the house for a walk, but you can’t really justify having them track all the water and mud through your house, the next best bet is to jump on the treadmill with them.
If your dog isn’t already proficient on the treadmill, start out slow and get them used to having it move under their feet. Then, as you turn up the speed, you can jump on with them and both of you can get a great workout together!
Just be prepared to have your dog start sleeping on the treadmill, and trying to get on it every time you do. You’ve just created a monster.
#9 – Nature Walks
Getting out into the great outdoors is refreshing for both you, and your dog. Take them on a hike through your local forest or park to let them get a bit of fresh air, and take in all the new sights and sounds.
You just want to make sure that you’re staying safe while you’re trekking through the woods. There’s a lot of areas that have poisonous snakes, who love to catch some sun on the same trails that you’ll be exploring.
#10 – Dog Scouts
You’ve probably heard of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, right? Now, there’s also Dog Scouts where your dog can earn merit badges just like the boys and girls do.
These small groups get together to train their dogs as a pack, and work on a wide variety of activities. When your pup has perfected the activity, they get the merit badge.
Any time your pet is looking up at you like they’re bored out of their mind, you can revert back to this list and pick something new out to do with them.
These 10 activities are great ways for you to bond with your dog, while also stimulating their brain and helping them to burn off excess energy.
Andrew James, Shepped.com
Andrew James is the founder of Shepped.com. Shepped provides the training and tools to help you become a better owner for your German Shepherd (or any other) dog. From breed history, training guides and equipment to behavior issues and tips on how to keep your furry friend healthy and happy – we got you covered!