Best Indoor Exercises for Shih Poo: Keeping Your Pup Active and Healthy

As a Shih Poo owner, you know that these adorable furry friends need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. While outdoor exercise is ideal, bad weather, city living, or health issues may prevent your pup from getting the physical activity they need. Don’t worry, though – there are plenty of indoor exercise options to keep your Shih Poo moving and entertained. In this article, we’ll explore the best indoor exercises for Shih Poo that will help them maintain their physical and mental health, and keep them from getting bored.

Why is Exercise Important for Shih Poo?

Why Is Exercise Important For Shih Poo?
Exercise is important for all dogs, and Shih Poos are no exception. They are a lively and active breed that needs regular physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. There are many reasons why exercise is important for Shih Poos.

Exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining Shih Poo’s physical health. By engaging in regular physical activity, they can maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity-related health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and joint issues. Also, exercise helps to keep their joints flexible and improve their mobility, which is especially important for older Shih Poos. Regular exercise can also help regulate their digestive system and prevent constipation.

Just like humans, dogs also need mental stimulation to keep their minds sharp and healthy. Exercise is a great way to give your Shih Poo the mental stimulation they need. It can reduce stress and anxiety levels and prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors. Regular exercise can also promote healthy sleep patterns, which is important for your Shih Poo’s overall well-being.

Incorporating regular exercise into your Shih Poo’s routine can also strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. By engaging in physical activities together, you can establish a sense of trust and mutual respect. This can also help to prevent and resolve behavior problems.

Additional Shih Poo Exercise Tips

To reap the benefits of exercise, it’s important to establish a regular routine. You can start with short walks and gradually increase the duration and intensity of their exercise routine. Incorporating fun activities such as playing fetch, tug of war, and hide and seek can make exercise more enjoyable for your Shih Poo. Using treats and positive reinforcement can also motivate them to engage in physical activity. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian to determine the ideal exercise routine for your Shih Poo.

Physical Health

It’s no secret that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good physical health. The same is true for our furry friends, including Shih Poos. Consistent workouts keep our canine companions in tip-top shape, reduce the risk of obesity and various health problems, and help them live longer, happier lives. In fact, according to shih-poo-health-exercise experts, regular exercise is just as important as a healthy diet and regular vet checkups. Let’s explore the reasons why exercise is so crucial for our Shih Poos’ physical well-being.

Mental Health

The mental health of Shih Poo is just as important as their physical health. Dogs, in general, are social animals and require mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. A lack of mental stimulation can lead to boredom and anxiety in dogs, which may result in destructive behavior or excessive barking.

1. Interactive Toys: Interactive toys, such as puzzle toys, can help mentally stimulate your Shih Poo. These toys require your dog to figure out how to get the treat or toy out of the puzzle, keeping them entertained and engaged. You can make your own puzzle toy by hiding treats in a muffin tin with tennis balls covering each section or making a DIY snuffle mat.

2. Obedience Training: Training sessions with your Shih Poo can provide them with mental stimulation while also reinforcing good behavior. You can teach your dog basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, “come”, and “heel” to keep their mind active. End each training session on a positive note with plenty of praise and treats to encourage good behavior.

3. Nose Work: The sense of smell is the most developed sense in a dog. You can engage your Shih Poo’s natural instinct to scent by creating scenting games like “find it” where you hide treats around the house and let your dog use their nose to find them. This activity exercises both their body and their brain.

4. Playdates: Dogs are social animals and enjoy spending time with other dogs. Arrange a playdate with another friendly dog, so your Shih Poo has someone to play with. Make sure that the dogs are familiar with each other and are similar in size to avoid any injuries.

Incorporating these mental exercises into your Shih Poo’s exercise routine can help to reduce anxiety, boredom, and strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. For more ideas on fun indoor exercises, check out our fun Shih Poo exercises article or learn how to create a routine for your Shih Poo’s exercise in our Shih Poo exercise routine article.

Remember, a happy dog is a healthy dog, and regular exercise is essential to achieving both physical and mental well-being.

Top Indoor Exercises for Shih Poo

Top Indoor Exercises For Shih Poo
When it’s too cold or rainy outside, or if you just don’t have time to take your Shih Poo for a long walk or run, there are plenty of indoor exercises you can do with your furry friend. These exercises will help keep your Shih Poo physically and mentally stimulated, while also strengthening your bond together.

Hide and Seek: This classic game is a great way to engage your Shih Poo’s senses and improve their tracking skills. Start by hiding a treat or toy in a room and encouraging your dog to find it. Gradually make the hiding spots more challenging, but always make sure your dog can find the item. This game is great for mental stimulation and tiring out your pup.

Stair Running: If you have stairs in your home, then you have a great exercise tool at your disposal. Shih Poos are small, so running up and down a flight of stairs can be an effective workout. Start slow and steady at first, and gradually increase your speed and the number of trips up and down. Avoid this exercise if your Shih Poo has joint issues.

Obstacle Course: Set up an obstacle course using household items, such as chairs, boxes, and blankets. Encourage your Shih Poo to climb over, crawl under, and weave through the obstacles. This exercise is fun and challenging, as well as great for building your dog’s coordination and agility.

Tug of War: A classic game that pretty much all dogs love playing. Grab a rope toy or plushie and have a friendly tug-of-war match with your Shih Poo. This game is great for bonding and exercising your Shih Poo’s muscles.

Fetch: A timeless classic game where you throw a toy and your dog brings it back to you. Fetch is perfect for indoor exercise. Just make sure you have enough room for your Shih Poo to run around and avoid accidental collisions.

Brain Games: Keep your Shih Poo’s brain sharp by playing brain games such as puzzles, treat-dispensing toys, and training games. These games will help your dog learn new skills and stimulate their intellect.

Remember, it’s crucial to provide your dog with consistent daily exercise. Incorporating these indoor exercises into your daily routine can be fun and beneficial for both you and your Shih Poo. Plus, these exercises are great for keeping your Shih Poo entertained when you’re not home.

Hide and Seek

Looking for a fun and interactive way to get your Shih Poo moving indoors? Try a game of hide and seek! This classic game is not only entertaining for your furry companion, but it also provides a great workout as your pup scurries around the room searching for you. Not to mention, it’s a clever way to stimulate their natural hunting and tracking instincts. So, let’s dive into how you can play hide and seek with your Shih Poo and how it benefits their physical and mental health.

Stair Running

Stair running is an effective way to provide indoor exercise for your Shih Poo. This exercise activity can be completed using the stairs in your home. You can make this exercise more interesting and challenging by adding some variations to it.

Here are some variations of stair running that you can try:

  • Up and Down: Start by having your Shih Poo run up and down the stairs. You can call out his name and encourage him to run faster. This exercise will help to increase your dog’s heart rate and stamina.
  • Side Stepping: This exercise involves having your Shih Poo run up the stairs sideways, alternating between left and right. This activity helps to improve your dog’s agility and balance.
  • Sprinting: This exercise involves having your Shih Poo run up the stairs as fast as possible. You can use treats or toys to encourage him to run faster and reach the top of the stairs.

Stair running is an excellent exercise for your dog’s physical health as it helps to improve their cardiovascular fitness, build strength in their legs and core, and burn off excess energy. It is an activity that can be done indoors, making it an ideal choice for colder or wetter months when it may be difficult to take your dog outside.

It’s important to keep in mind that if your Shih Poo has any joint or mobility issues, you may want to avoid this activity or modify it to make it easier for them to participate. As with any physical activity, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before starting a new exercise routine.

Remember, a happy and healthy Shih Poo is the result of regular exercise, a healthy diet, and lots of love and attention!

Obstacle Course

One fun indoor exercise that can provide both mental and physical stimulation for your Shih Poo is creating an obstacle course. The great thing about this is that you can customize it to your dog’s abilities and personality. Here are some ideas for creating an obstacle course:

  • Jumping obstacles: Use pillows, couch cushions or low stools as obstacles for your dog to jump over.
  • Tunnel: Use a blanket or sheet to create a tunnel for your dog to run through.
  • Weaving: Use cones or chairs to weave in and out of.
  • Balance beam: Use a sturdy board or a piece of wood as a narrow balance beam.
  • Climbing obstacles: Use boxes or steps for your dog to climb over or on top of.

To create the obstacle course, set up the different obstacles in a designated area of your home, and guide your Shih Poo through each obstacle. Make sure to reward your pooch with praise and treats as they successfully complete each part of the course. You can also time your dog and see if they can beat their previous record.

Additionally, if your Shih Poo is hesitant to go through any of the obstacles, try using positive reinforcement and encouragement. Never force your dog to do any obstacle they are uncomfortable with. The goal is to have fun and provide a stimulating activity for your furry friend.

Tug of War

One great way to promote a healthy bond between you and your Shih Poo while also providing them with some indoor exercise is through a good game of tug of war. This high-intensity exercise is perfect for burning off excess energy and strengthening your little pup’s muscles.

To play, all you need is a sturdy rope toy and some open floor space. Holding onto one end of the toy, encourage your Shih Poo to grab onto the other and start pulling. Use positive reinforcement like verbal praise or small treats to keep them engaged and motivated.

It’s important to keep in mind that tug of war can be a bit of a perplexity for some owners, as there is some debate surrounding whether or not it promotes aggressive behavior in dogs. However, if you establish rules and boundaries early on, you can enjoy a fun game of tug of war with your Shih Poo without any negative consequences.

To help reinforce good behavior, establish a “drop it” command to encourage your Shih Poo to release the rope toy when playtime is over. You can also use this opportunity to work on your pup’s obedience training by incorporating commands like “sit” and “stay” before starting or ending a game.

Tug of war is a great way to let your Shih Poo burn off some energy and enjoy some bonding time with you. Just remember to prioritize proper positive reinforcement and training to ensure a positive experience for both you and your furry friend.

Tug of War Exercise

Great for bonding and burning off excess energyCan promote aggressive behavior if not properly trained
Requires minimal equipment and can be played anywhere with open spaceOwners need to establish rules and boundaries to ensure a positive experience
Provides high-intensity exercise and strengthens musclesMay not be suitable for older or smaller Shih Poos who may be easily overpowered


One of the most classic and effective indoor exercises for Shih Poo is playing fetch. Not only is this activity great for their physical health, but it also stimulates their minds and improves their overall well-being. Here are a few tips to make playing fetch more enjoyable for your furry friend:

  • Use a soft toy: Shih Poos are small dogs with sensitive teeth and jaws, so using a soft toy is essential to prevent any potential injury. Be sure to select a toy that is appropriate for their size and strength.
  • Choose a spacious area: Playing fetch in a confined space could lead to accidents, so it’s crucial to choose a spacious area with no obstacles. This provides the perfect opportunity for them to run and burn off some energy.
  • Start slow: If your Shih Poo is a beginner, start by throwing the toy short distances to prevent exhaustion. As they become more comfortable, you can gradually increase the distance and intensity.
  • Make it interactive: Instead of just throwing the toy and waiting for your Shih Poo to bring it back, make the activity more interactive by using a “give” and “take” approach. This helps to keep them engaged and active throughout the game.

Playing fetch with your Shih Poo is a fun and effective way to help them burn some energy, stay active, and improve their mental well-being. Remember to always provide adequate supervision and make safety a priority. By following these simple tips, you and your furry friend can enjoy hours of fun playing fetch indoors.

Brain Games

There are a lot of fun and stimulating brain games that you can play indoors with your Shih Poo. Not only do these games keep your dog entertained, but they also help to improve their cognitive function and problem-solving skills.

1. Treat Dispensing Toys
One of the easiest brain games to play indoors is with treat dispensing toys. These toys are designed to release treats when your dog interacts with them in a certain way, such as rolling them around or pushing them with their nose. Not only does this game provide mental stimulation, but it also rewards your dog’s curiosity and keeps them engaged for longer periods.

2. Find the Treat
This game is a great way to test your dog’s hunting skills and ability to follow their nose. Hide treats around the house and encourage your Shih Poo to sniff them out. Start with easy hiding places and gradually make it more challenging. You can also make it a timed challenge to add an extra level of excitement.

3. Name That Toy
This game helps your dog learn the names of their toys and improves their association and memory skills. Take two toys and present them to your Shih Poo, naming one of them. Encourage them to pick up the toy by name and reward them with treats. Gradually add more toys to the mix and see if your dog can remember them all.

4. Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys are interactive toys that require your dog to solve a puzzle to get to their treats. Some require your dog to slide pieces around, while others require them to push buttons or move levers. These toys provide both physical and mental stimulation, and can keep your Shih Poo entertained for hours.

5. Follow the Leader
This game improves your dog’s focus and obedience skills. Take turns being the leader, guiding your dog through a series of simple commands such as sit, stay, and come. Reward your Shih Poo for following commands correctly and switch roles so that they can be in charge too.

By incorporating these brain games into your indoor exercise routine, you can help to keep your Shih Poo mentally stimulated and entertained, improving their overall well-being.

Additional Tips for Indoor Exercise

Keeping your Shih Poo active and engaged while indoors is important, especially during harsh weather conditions or when it’s too late to go outside. Here are some additional tips to ensure that your furry friend is getting the most out of their indoor exercise routine.

Set a Routine
Just like humans, dogs thrive on routine. Set aside specific times during the day for indoor exercise, and try to stick to them as closely as possible. This will help your Shih Poo develop a sense of structure, leading to improved behavior and overall well-being.

Use Treats and Positive Reinforcement
Incorporating treats and positive reinforcement into your indoor exercise routine will help motivate your furry friend and make the experience all the more enjoyable. Reward good behavior during exercises, such as successfully completing an obstacle course or finding a hidden toy during a game of hide and seek.

Get Creative
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your indoor exercises. Your Shih Poo will appreciate the variety, and it will help keep them mentally stimulated. Try setting up an indoor agility course with household items, or create a scavenger hunt with hidden treats.

By using these tips, you can ensure that your Shih Poo remains active and engaged while indoors, leading to improved physical and mental health. Remember to always monitor your furry friend during indoor exercise, and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns. With a bit of creativity and structure, your Shih Poo can have just as much fun indoors as they do outside.

Set a Routine

Establishing a consistent routine is crucial for ensuring that your Shih Poo gets enough exercise and has a healthy lifestyle. Without a set routine, it can be easy for exercise to fall by the wayside, leading to potential health problems for your furry friend. In order to maintain a regular exercise schedule, it’s important to implement certain strategies that make it easier for both you and your pet. By following these tips, you can create a structured routine that fits your lifestyle and meets your Shih Poo’s exercise requirements.

Use Treats and Positive Reinforcement

When it comes to indoor exercise for your beloved Shih Poo, using treats and positive reinforcement can be a great way to keep them engaged and motivated. It’s important to remember that positive reinforcement doesn’t just mean treats, but also includes verbal praise or pets.

Using treats during training or playtime with your Shih Poo can be very beneficial if done correctly. Firstly, make sure to use small, low-calorie treats to avoid overfeeding and potential weight gain in your pet. You don’t want to undo all of the hard work you put into exercising them!

Next, use the treats as a reward for desired behavior. For example, if you are playing hide and seek and your Shih Poo successfully finds you, give them a treat and lots of verbal praise. This will reinforce the behavior and make them more likely to continue to do it in the future.

It’s important to not rely solely on treats as a form of positive reinforcement. Instead, mix it up with verbal praise and pets to keep your Shih Poo engaged and excited. This variation will keep them guessing and make the experience more fun for both you and your pup.

Here’s a table summarizing some key points to keep in mind when using treats and positive reinforcement for indoor exercise with your Shih Poo:

Use small, low-calorie treatsUse treats as the sole form of positive reinforcement
Use treats as a reward for desired behaviorOverfeed your pet with too many treats
Mix it up with verbal praise and petsUse negative reinforcement, such as punishment, to correct behavior

By using treats and positive reinforcement in conjunction with indoor exercises, you can keep your Shih Poo motivated and engaged while also strengthening your bond. So why not incorporate this technique into your next indoor exercise session with your furry friend?

Get Creative

When it comes to indoor exercises for your Shih Poo, sometimes the best activities are the ones that you create yourself. Being creative with your exercises can not only keep your pup physically fit but also mentally stimulated. Here are some ideas for getting creative with your indoor exercise routine:

  • DIY Agility Course: Create your own obstacle course using household items such as chairs, blankets, and pillows. Use treats and positive reinforcement to encourage your Shih Poo to jump over obstacles, crawl under chairs, and weave through blankets.
  • Pillow Stepping Stones: Place pillows in a line on the floor and encourage your pup to step from pillow to pillow using verbal cues and treats.
  • Introduce New Toys: Switch up your pup’s toy selection to keep them interested and engaged. Toys such as puzzle feeders can provide both mental and physical stimulation. Try hiding treats in different toys and encourage your pup to use their problem-solving skills to find them.
  • Dance Party: Put on some upbeat music and have a dance party with your Shih Poo! Use treats and positive reinforcement to encourage them to dance with you or on their own.
  • Miniature Fetch: If you don’t have much space indoors, try playing miniature fetch. Using a soft, lightweight toy, throw it a short distance and encourage your pup to retrieve it and bring it back to you.

Getting creative with your indoor exercise routine not only keeps things interesting for your Shih Poo but also helps boost their physical and mental health. Don’t be afraid to try new things and switch up your routine for optimal results.


In conclusion, keeping your Shih Poo physically and mentally fit is essential for their overall well-being. Regular exercise can help prevent health issues such as obesity, joint problems, and heart disease. Additionally, it can improve their mental health by reducing anxiety and boredom.

Remember, there are plenty of indoor exercises that you can do with your furry friend, such as hide and seek, stair running, obstacle courses, tug of war, fetch, and brain games. These exercises are not only beneficial but also fun for you and your pet.

When setting a routine for indoor exercise, make sure to consider your Shih Poo’s age, health, and energy levels. Use treats and positive reinforcement to motivate and reward them for their efforts. And don’t hesitate to get creative with your exercises. Mix it up and keep it interesting for your furry friend.

In conclusion, finding fun and engaging indoor activities is key to providing your Shih Poo with enough exercise and stimulation, especially when outdoor exercise is not possible. With the right routine and plenty of positive reinforcement, you can keep your furry friend healthy and happy for years to come. So go ahead and give these indoor exercises a try! Your Shih Poo will thank you for it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Shih Poo?

A Shih Poo is a crossbreed between a Shih Tzu and a Miniature Poodle. They are small, active and extremely friendly dogs.

Why do Shih Poos need exercise?

Shih Poos need exercise to maintain their physical health, mental health, and to burn off excess energy.

How often should I exercise my Shih Poo?

You should aim to exercise your Shih Poo for at least 30-60 minutes a day, split into two or three sessions.

Can Shih Poos exercise in small spaces?

Yes, Shih Poos can engage in exercises that can be done in small spaces like inside your house or apartment.

Is Hide and Seek a good exercise for Shih Poos?

Yes, Hide and Seek is a great exercise for Shih Poos as it can help improve their mental stimulation and physical activity.

Can Shih Poos play fetch?

Yes, Shih Poos love playing fetch and it is a great way to exercise them indoors.

How can I set a routine for my Shih Poo’s exercise?

You can create a routine by scheduling specific times of the day for exercise. Make sure to include your Shih Poo in your daily activities and adjust the schedule as needed.

Should I use treats for indoor exercise activities?

Yes, using treats and positive reinforcement can make indoor exercise activities more fun and engaging for your Shih Poo.

Is an obstacle course a good exercise for Shih Poos?

Yes, creating an obstacle course is a fun and engaging way to exercise your Shih Poo while also increasing their agility and coordination.

Can Shih Poos benefit from brain games?

Yes, brain games can provide mental stimulation for your Shih Poo which can improve their overall cognitive health and decrease boredom.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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