Dogs often have seemingly boundless energy, and what’s important is for them to have an outlet for it. Exercises, games, and other forms of physical activity are necessary for them to not only have somewhere to expend all that energy, but also to keep them physically and mentally healthy.

You’ll want to train and exercise your dog regularly to keep them fit and in a healthy weight range. Over time, this routine can also improve their muscles and bone strength. But how do you get your dog to remain physically active if you live in a small apartment and constraints like the weather or your personal circumstances don’t allow you to take them outside?

Even if you have limited space and a busy schedule, it’s still possible to slot in some much-needed play time for your dog indoors. Have training and exercise essentials like custom Martingale collars and high-quality dog toys at the ready, and try the following exercise and training routines with your dog indoors:


1) Indoor Fetch

Fetch is one of the common games you can play with your dog, and one that they’ll love to indulge in. This easy and familiar game can also serve as a form of training, as your dog can learn to respond to your commands and to fetch specific objects to bring back to you.

You may be wondering how it would be possible to play fetch in a small apartment. Truth be told, you don’t need much room at all. Just find a space with enough distance in your home. It could be a hallway or a stretch of open space from one room in the apartment to another. If you’ll be playing indoor fetch elsewhere in your apartment complex aside from your home, just make sure your game is not disruptive to other residents.

The game is quite simple, as it mainly involves throwing your dog’s favorite chew toy or a ball and commanding them to fetch it. This allows them to stretch out their legs and put their energy into running, as well as bond with you during play time.


2) Tug of War

Another indoor game you can play with your dog is tug of war, which can be done with their favorite tug toy. This competitive little game will allow them to exercise while also having fun. A bonus is that it doesn’t require much room—in most instances, just your living room will do. This will be a great activity for when your dog is bored and they want something to use their pent-up energy on.

If you don’t have available tug toys for this game, you can always just DIY one. To do so, take sturdy old T-shirts or rags and cut them into strips. Braid them into a rope to strengthen them, then secure both ends. Voilà—you’ll be ready to test out the toy with your dog in a one-on-one battle.


3) Hide and Seek

As a kid, you may have enjoyed hide and seek for the undeniable excitement of finally spotting someone in their hiding place. Your dog might be keen on the same game indoors. 

First, set up a “home base” where you will command your dog to stay. Then, after you’re done hiding, simply shout “ready!” so that they can start looking for you. On top of being an exciting physical activity, it will be mentally stimulating for your dog to check various locations to figure out where you are. Their joy upon finding you may also have them looking forward to a few more quick rounds of hide and seek in your apartment.

If they’re still unfamiliar with the game, hide somewhere easy to give your dog a boost of confidence. Then, gradually look for more complicated hiding spots. Once they find you, consider giving them a reward such as praises or a treat.


4) An Indoor Obstacle Course

For a particularly energetic dog, why not arrange an obstacle course for them inside your home? This doesn’t have to be overly complicated, nor does it require too many sections. Moving a few chairs around to create hurdles or creating a small maze out of boxes could be just as fun for you and your dog.

Your indoor obstacle course can do a lot for your dog’s problem-solving skills, as they’ll be challenged to figure out different ways to get through particular obstructions. You can also fine-tune their training as you command them through specific obstacles and have them follow your instructions to help them reach the finish line. Sweeten the deal for them by rewarding them with a treat at the end of the obstacle course, or praise them once they manage to figure it out.


5) Treadmill Walk

Lastly, if you have a treadmill at home and if you think your dog is physically up to the challenge, you can have them walk on the treadmill so long as they’re under your close supervision. This is especially useful during days when you’re both stuck inside, perhaps due to bad weather. Through a treadmill, your dog can still take a leisurely walk, even indoors.
Begin by having them watch you first as you use the treadmill. Don’t immediately put them on it and expect them to keep the pace immediately. Let them take their time to become familiar with the machine. Use only the lowest speed possible as they get used to it, and only gradually increase the speed when you’re sure that they’ve become more comfortable with the treadmill.


Being stuck indoors shouldn’t mean that your dog gets deprived of some much-needed exercise. As seen from the examples above, it’s all about adapting to the circumstances and committing to a routine that will ultimately keep your dog happier and healthier.