Rainy Day Dog Training

Sometimes the weather doesn’t allow us to get out and exercise our dogs as much as we’d like. Sometimes the skies open up and bad weather is predicted for days on end. When this happens, our canine companions can start to feel cooped up and agitated. Most dogs need daily stimulation to feel fulfilled and relaxed, otherwise they resort to less desirable behaviors. So, what to do on a rainy day? How do we keep our pups from destroying the house or barking through our Zoom calls? Here are some rainy day dog training exercises to keep your pup happy, exercised, and entertained!

Trash Enrichment

What’s trash enrichment you ask? Well, it should really be called ‘recycle enrichment’ if we’re being specific. If you have any cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, or paper towel rolls, you can use these as homemade enrichment toys for your dog!

  • CardboardBox: Put some tasty treats inside a box of any size and close the top. See how long it takes your pup to figure out how to get to the treasure!
  • Plastic Bottle: Put a few treats inside a plastic water bottle and close the cap. Present it as a crinkle toy for your dog and see if they can retrieve the treats. Just make sure to watch that they don’t swallow the cap!
  • Paper Towel Roll: Have an empty, cardboard paper towel roll hanging around? Put some treats in there and then fold down the edges. You’re dog can either work open the ends, or simply shred the paper to get to the treats!
  • Egg Carton: Fill each egg cubby with some treats, and then close the top of the carton. See if your dog can work open the egg carton!

Nose Work

Dogs loves to use their nose, and sniffing things around the home is a great rainy day dog training activity. For example, have you ever tried gambling with your dog?

  • The Shell Game: Originally a gambling game, the shell game is when an object is placed under one of three cups and then shuffled around. The gambler then has to guess which cup the object is under to win money. Well, in this instance, you can use a dog treat for your dog, and there won’t be any swindling! Get three cups and place a treat under one. Ask your dog to sniff out the treat, and then reward them when they guess right. To add complexity, you can move the cups around!
  • Pick a Hand: In this game, place your hands behind your back and then put a treat in one of them. Offer your dog both closed fists in front of you. See if they can sniff out which hand the treat is in. To make the game more complex, rub the treat on both your palms to get the smell there, and then offer your hands again. See how smart your dog really is!
  • FInd-It: We’ve talked about the Find-It game before on our blog, and playing it on a rainy day is perfect! Reread the post if you need to freshen up your find-it skills!

Practice Session

A rainy day is a great time to freshen up some old behaviors. Grab a treat pouch or keep some in your pocket, and then ask your dog to go through all their known tricks. Even if you feel like this is a cake walk for your dog, it’s always good to stay on top of things. Plus, mental stimulation is just as exhausting as physical. So, always keep your dog’s brain working and those mental pathways strong!

Play Hide-and-Seek

It might not seem like, but playing hide-and-seek is a great rainy day dog training activity! Ask your dog to wait, and then hide yourself somewhere in the house. When your hidden, call out your release word and then let the games begin! Your dog will have a blast trying to find you, and you can even throw them off (we don’t like to use the word ‘cheat’…) by moving around. Once they do find you, it’s playtime! Reward them with a tug session or their favorite stuffed animal. This will be a fun game for both of you!