If you’re like most Shih Tzu owners, you love spending time outdoors with your pup. However, winter weather can make it difficult to keep your furry friend active.
Fortunately, there are plenty of indoor activities that can help your Shih Tzu stay busy and burn off excess energy.
10 Indoor Activities to Keep Your Shih Tzu Busy in Winter
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1. Create an Obstacle Course
One great way to keep your Shih Tzu active indoors is to create an obstacle course. You can use household items like chairs, blankets, and pillows to create a fun and challenging course for your pup to navigate.
Some other household items you can use are:
- A milk crate, stool or another sturdy item to balance on
- Box with two opened ends to crawl through
- Hula hoop
- Frisbee or ball to catch mid air
- Plastic cups
Be sure to supervise your dog while they’re playing, and make sure the obstacles are safe for them to climb over or under. The great thing about this game is you can gear it to your dog’s liking and abilities by using the types of tricks they enjoy.
If you’re feeling creative, you can even turn this into a game of fetch by hiding a toy or treat at the end of the course for your dog to find.
2. Play Hide and Seek
Another fun indoor activity for Shih Tzus is hide and seek. This game is a great way to help your dog use their sense of smell to find you. To play, simply choose a room in your house and have your Shih Tzu stay in it while you hide.
Once you’re hidden, call your dog’s name and see if they can find you.
You can make this game more challenging by hiding in different places each time and if you have more than one dog, that will make it even more fun.
3. Tug of War
Tug of war is a classic game that’s great for helping your Shih Tzu burn off energy. This game is also a great way to bond with your dog and build their strength and coordination.
To play, simply grab a rope toy or old towel and let your dog tug on it as hard as they can.
Be sure to supervise your dog while they’re playing and to only let them play with toys that are safe for them.
If you don’t have a rope toy, you can use an old sock or t-shirt. Just be sure to wash it afterwards!
4. Play Fetch
Fetch is a classic and great way to keep your Shih Tzu active indoors. If you have a small space, you can play fetch in your hallway or living room.
To play fetch, simply throw a toy for your dog to catch and let them bring it back to you. You can also use a ball or Frisbee for this game. If you don’t have any toys, you can try using a household item like an empty water bottle.
Just be sure to supervise your dog and use items or toys that are safe.
5. Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts are a great way to keep your Shih Tzu’s mind active. To play, simply hide a toy or treat somewhere in your house and let your dog find it.
You can also use this game to teach your dog basic obedience commands like sit, stay, and come. Simply have your dog sit or stay while you hide the toy, and then let them find it when you say the command.
6. Stairway Dash
If you have a staircase in your house, you can use it to help your Shih Tzu burn off some energy. To play this fun game, stand at the bottom of the stairs and call your dog’s name. When they reach the top, give them a treat or toy.
Start at the bottom of the steps for the greatest amount of exercise with the least risk to your dog’s joints. Begin by throwing the toy up to the top landing and putting your dog in a sit-stay position.
Keeping your dog in a stay will build up, followed by a “ready, set, go,”.
Allow your dog to return down the stairs at its own speed. Encourage a slower descent since it is the downhill trek that poses a risk of harm.
Your pup will certainly need a nap after numerous repetitions of this fun game.
7. Blow Bubbles
Blowing bubbles isn’t just for kids! Dogs love bubbles and this activity is not only fun for your Shih Tzu, but it’s also great for their mental and physical stimulation. To play, blow a few bubbles and let your dog pop them.
You can even turn this into a game of fetch by having your dog chase the bubbles around the room. Just be sure to use dog-safe bubble solution and to supervise your dog while they’re playing.
Give Bubbletastic Dog Bubbles a try! These bubbles are bacon scented to ensure your Shih Tzu will be even more motivated to pop them.
For a different spin on hide and seek, give this toy a try. Simply stuff the squirrels in the tree trunk and watch as your dog has fun trying to sniff and pull them out.
Join your Shih Tzu in on the fun by tossing the squirrel filled trunk, place it on the ground, or take the squeaky plush toys out and toss them for a game of fetch.
9. Play the Clean Up Game
Have fun and teach your Shih Tzu to clean up at the same time. Start by having your dog retrieve a toy while you hold up the box with toys for him. Tell him, “Drop it.” When he drops the item in the box, be sure to give your dog plenty of praise, like lots of kisses and belly rubs.
Repeat with the next toy. Once he understands it and has it down, set the toy box down on the floor and have him approach it. Use the same phrases for each command every time.
10. Play the Cup Game
For starters, get at least three cups or containers, something that you can hide treats under.
To play, set the cups upside down, placing treats under only one of the cups. If this game is new to your Shih Tzu and has never played before, you can start out by showing her where the treats are and then cover them up.
Once she gets the hang of the game, be sure to make it more difficult by not letting her see which cup the treats are under.
These are just a few indoor activities that you can do with your Shih Tzu to keep them entertained during winter or any time they are stuck indoors.
Be creative and have fun! Your dog will love spending time with you no matter what you’re doing.
Who knows, you might even enjoy some of these activities as much as your Shih Tzu does.
After all, winter doesn’t have to be boring!