Can’t go outside? Here are some games you can play inside.

1. Find the treat

Hide bits of treats around the house when your dog is not looking (you can put the dog in the other room after showing them the treats for a good build up). The first couple of times put the treats out in plain sight. You might have to show them where they are until they get into the game. Then start hiding them under and behind things. This can be the beginning of a tracking career!

2. Tear up the box

Hide treats inside a small box – a pot pie box, cracker box, cookie package. Make sure the box is made of thin cardboard. Once your dog gets into this, you can put a box inside a box inside a paper bag. Sure it makes a big mess in the living room, but your Coton will have a great time, and will take a good long nap afterward.

3. Coton ping-pong

As you get ready to go out, have members of the family call the dog, or have one person say, “Find Mommy”, “Find Daddy”, or someone else in the household. When your dog finds you, give a huge verbal praise and send them off to find the next person. You can ping-pong the dog around the house helping them burning up energy they used to get playing outside during warmer weather. Of course dogs always want to know if they are going to come along, so you could incorporate this into the game, but never, ever lie to your dog. They remember. If she isn’t going to come along, don’t fool her! She will learn quickly not to trust you and besides, it’s not kind.

4. Precision toy rolling

This game is best played with a Hertz squeaky hamburger. Lay on the floor nose to nose about two feet from your dog. Turn the squeaky hamburger on its side and roll it toward your dogs nose. After a couple of tries, your Coton will catch on and roll it back to you. You can, of course, show them what is expected. A Coton worth its salt will be able to roll the toy back to you with precision. See how long you can keep the ball (squeaky hamburger, ball, or other rolling toy) going. This is a quiet game, but one that puppies learn fast and older dogs will still enjoy.

5. Dog party

Probably the best exercise for your Coton is playing with a dog friend. Even large dogs can learn the complexities of Coton games if given a chance, and evenings and afternoons with neighbors or friends who have a nice dog are good for the human soul as well. Take some long walks together before going inside for refreshments and some inside games, which can be anything from running around the couch playing chase (you want to move the rocker and other furniture your dogs could run into and hurt themselves on) to the big dog lying on the ground while the Coton pounces as they play bitey-mouth. Highly recommended, we suggest ordering pizza for the humans. Soon the dogs can do sleep-overs and you or your neighbor can be free to be away overnight without having to put your loved one in a kennel.