DIY indoor dog obstacle course

When the weather drives us indoors, keeping our dogs occupied and active can be a challenge. Entertain your canine companion by building your own indoor dog obstacle course.

For many active and high energy dogs, spending the day inside can be boring. Typical indoor activities might not be engaging enough to keep your pup happy. It’s time to get creative and use the things in your home to make a new and exciting game you can both enjoy – a dog obstacle course!

5 crafty indoor obstacles for dogs

Building an indoor dog obstacle course doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Check out these simple tips to turn your house into a fun play space for your dog.

Illustrations courtesy of Jessica Hong.

1. Tunnel

All it takes is a few dining chairs and a large blanket. Line up two rows of chairs back-to-back. Leave enough space in the middle of the rows for your dog to safely run between.

If you want to make it a little more realistic, take a large blanket and drape it over the chairs so that it creates a dark tunnel for your dog to run through. Remember to have a tasty reward at the other end.

2. Hurdles

Grab a small foot stool for your dog to leap. Bigger dogs should be capable of clearing the foot stool no problem, but smaller breeds should be more cautious. Teach them to jump onto the stool and then down the other side.

3. Army crawl

Teaching your dog to crawl is a great exercise. You’ll need a low table, like a coffee table, that your dog can comfortably fit under.

Encourage your dog to crawl on his belly under the table from one end to the other. This obstacle is better suited to small and medium breed dogs, but depending on the height of your table, a larger breed may enjoy this game too.

4. Zig zag

The zig zag obstacle is an excellent training exercise for dogs. Set up a row of small obstacles on the ground, like boxes, chairs, or even shoes. The goal is to get your dog to zig zag through the obstacles all the way down the line.

This one is best taught using the “follow the leader” technique. Encourage your dog to follow you through the zig zag. Incentivize with some tasty snacks if he doesn’t seem interested.

5. Stairs

Stairs are a built-in obstacle for your dog. Having him run the stairs a few times will get his blood pumping and intensify the obstacle course.

This works best on carpeted stairs. Smooth materials can be slippery, and you want to make sure that your dog doesn’t get injured while playing.

Put it all together

Now that you have a few basic obstacle ideas, it’s time to put it all together into a full indoor dog obstacle course. The possibilities are endless, so get creative! Remember to change up the obstacle course occasionally to keep your dog from getting bored of it.