Activities For Dogs In Apartments

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Introduction

Some dogs in apartments have it rough. Not only do they have limited space to carry on about their business indoors, they're also not able to go outside as often as dogs in houses. They don't even have their own yard area to hang out in, unless of course, there's a balcony they can enjoy. The good news is that there is still a lot of fun to be had in an apartment, to be done when you can't get outside for a long walk. Here are some ideas to get you on the right track. Playing inside can be fun!

Fetch

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Easy
20 Minutes
Items needed
Rope Toy
Ball
Dog Bone
Chew Toy
Activity description

Dogs are easily entertained with a good, cheap game of fetch, which you can do even in the smallest of apartments. Using a toy you already have on-hand, like a rope toy, dog bone, or chew toy, you can add some excitement to your dog's day and keep him entertained for at least 20 minutes. The best thing about this game is that it is very easy to accomplish and doesn't pose any dangers to you, your dog, or your belongings. Just make sure to select the largest room in the apartment, and only throw the toy where it's an open area.

Step
1
Select the toy
First things first, select a toy that your dog absolutely loves. It can be a chew toy, a rope toy, or even a dog bone. Some dogs prefer tennis balls; whatever it is, make sure it's enticing enough to keep your dog focused for the next 20 minutes.
Step
2
Show and tell
This is where the fun begins. Make sure your dog knows that you have the toy. It's no longer on the floor, it's not in a toy chest, it's not anywhere accessible. It's in your hand, and therefore, the dog wants it. Show your companion the toy, and proceed to move it around to capture the dog's attention. It helps to get excited, because your dog will naturally mirror that excitement.
Step
3
Play fetch
Now that your dog has followed you into the area chosen for the fetch activity, it's time to play. Begin by waiting for the dog to sit or stand in front of you. Your dog's eyes will be fixated on the toy, so it's your chance to throw it to an area of the room you find safe. Remember your dog will run excitedly, so make sure it's a safe place with a clear, unobstructed path. It could be a hallway, apartment entrance, or even the balcony. Once your dog returns with the toy, show some happiness, shower your dog with praise and pets, then throw the toy again and again.
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Shell Game

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Moderate
Easy
15 - 20 Minutes
Items needed
Solo Cups (3)
Treats or Dog Toy
Activity description
The shell game is classic, and here to stay. Plus, it's super apartment friendly as it just requires a small portion of the floor. It can take care of 15 to 20 minutes easily, but if your dog really loves the game, and you don't mind playing longer, definitely do! All you need for this game are three Solo cups, or any other styrofoam cups you may already have at home. Glass cups are not recommended, because they could be dangerous if your dog gets overly excited. And of course, you'll need either a dog toy, or a little bag of treats, if you have any on hand. Just remember, even though dogs have a great sense of smell, the toy may be harder for him to find.
Step
1
Set up the game
Start by sitting on the floor in front of your dog. Then place three cups side by side in the middle of you and the dog, so they're forming a line. From there, place the dog toy or treat in one of the cups, but make sure your dog sees you do it. That way incentive is created. There's suddenly more reason to play!
Step
2
Move the cups
Now begin shifting the cups around. There is no wrong way to do it. You can move the far right cup all the way to the left, the middle cup to the right, the left cup to the middle, and more. Keep going until you're satisfied, and then sit and wait. Your dog may lift a paw and place it on the cup that contains the treat or toy. Another way of indicating the treat location would be to sniff the cup they think it's in.
Step
3
The reveal
When a cup is selected, lift it to reveal the reward, or empty space. If the dog wins, a treat is a nice indication of a good job. This makes the game fun, and gives the dog a reason to keep playing with you. It's entertaining for both of you. If it's a lost round, tell your dog it's alright and keep playing. No reward is necessary here, but it may be nice to just pat your dog's head lightly to show that you're happy a guess was even made. It also shows encouragement.
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Doing Chores

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Normal
1 Hour
Items needed
Chore Item Such as Cleaning Rag
Treats
Activity description
Dogs love helping out. They love having tasks to complete, because they are known as "the good boys and girls." They love their humans and anything that makes them happy. So, unsurprisingly, your dog wouldn't mind helping you out with the household chores. It's their time to shine! To impress! Imagine having guests over, and your dog just comes in with a little soda can for you from the fridge! The best part is that this activity is free, with the exception of some treats, which you should already have on-hand. And you can get some chores done while training the dog. Alternatively, you could use a clicker instead of the treats, or along with the treats (if your dog is new to the clicker), but it's not necessary.
Step
1
Select a soft object
There is one major trick that your dog should learn in order to help out with household chores, and that's holding objects. As long as your dog can hold things, they can help you wash car tires, carry things around the apartment or while out and about running errands, even retrieve things from the fridge! So, start by selecting a soft object for them to focus on for the first time. Nothing that can really be ruined. A clean cotton rag from the kitchen can work just fine.
Step
2
Reward, reward, reward
Hold the item in front of your dog and clearly state the item's name. This is important, because that's how they will recognize the item later. Eventually, when you say "get the cotton rag," they'll know what to retrieve for you. Hold the chore item in front of your dog and anytime that the dog sniffs it, give a reward. This can be a treat, a click from the clicker, or both, depending on what you're using. You're going to want to keep doing this until the dog begins to open its mouth. Keep rewarding actions that are slow progressions to holding the soft object.
Step
3
Increase the time
Eventually, your dog should grab the item. Reward this behavior, and keep repeating the steps. Hold, wait for your dog to show incentive, reward, repeat. You want to get your pup to hold the item, but you should never force it into their mouth. Let your dog take the item on their own. The first few times should be short, like 2-3 seconds. If you get past the 4th second, you're in the clear. Keep increasing the time up to 10 seconds, so you know your dog is understanding.
Step
4
Encourage independence
Once your dog has held the object a few times, for at least 10 seconds each time, place the object on the ground. It should be in front of the dog. Then tell your companion to "pick up the cotton rag," or whatever it is you've selected as an object. When the dog picks it up off the ground, reward the behavior. Do it a few times to get your dog to understand. Remember, you'll do this a few times to get your pup used to this new command. And it's all about a small progression. Not every day will be a success. It's important to stay patient. Once learned, your dog can hold a hose, a book, a soda can, clothing, a cleaning brush, and more!
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More Fun Ideas...

Toy Names

Anytime your dog goes to pick up one toy, say the name of the toy out loud, and touch the toy. For instance, if it's a stuffed shark, call it Jaws. Say "Jaws" and touch the toy. Repeat as necessary. Do it with all the toys, and eventually, when you say a toy's name out-loud, the dog will go find that specific toy and bring it to you. Of course, this takes some time and practice, but it can be a fun thing to do together. Working toward a goal!

Tug-O-War

It's a great workout, and a lot of fun, without requiring a ton of space to play. It also helps your dog's manners and impulse control. Simply take a lengthy toy, such as a rubberized dog bone, or rope toy, and hold it in your hand. Make sure your dog is in front of you. The tension for the toy should be too much to bear, so eventually the dog will grab the other end of the toy. Keep holding the other end, and let your dog try to take it from you.

Conclusion

Don't forget, living in an apartment is a fabulous thing, even for a dog! You get to share a cozy space, meet the neighbors, and explore the neighborhood together. As long as the dog is with you, they'll be happy as can be! Plus, there's always fun to be had indoors. Play the shell game, play some safe fetch down a hallway, or do some chores. Anything is paw-ssible!