I am grateful that many friends -- some I know personally, and some I know only on the Internet -- came to my rescue with great suggestions. They are posted here. If you have additional ideas that might help someone else who is trying to keep an active dog quiet, please send me e-mail! and I may add your suggestions to this page.
Inside game: find the cookies. A similar game to that above, except place hard treats (I use Charlee Bears) around the perimeter of the room, including on top of sofa cushions, behind chair legs, etc. I have used this as a game for rainy days when the dogs could not get to play outside in the morning. It is also a fairly quiet game for a dog that is under restricted activity.
Shell game. Use three margarine containers, or other small plastic containers. Turn them all upside down. Place a piece of food under one of the containers (hot dogs are easy, hard foods like kibble are more difficult). Move the containers around as the dog watches and tell him to find it. Sherri Perkins
One thing I did while Ty was on crate rest was give her a new big raw marrowbone from the butcher, or a big compressed rawhide bone each day, which gave her a good hour or so of "chewing time" something to occupy her mind for a bit. I never, ever feed rawhide, but the compressed bones seemed fairly safe...CBRs can eat anything -- and rather quickly. Sue Cone
Other bones that also are good: big soup bones and beef neck bones. Be sure to purchase only raw bones, not cooked or smoked.
Fill a Kong with grated carrots and top with a small amount of canned cheese or peanut butter. Pop into the freezer. It will take the dog longer to get all the goodies from a frozen Kong. Jeanne Saddler
Recipes for filling Kongs This Web site is from the makers of the Kong.
Teach the dog to catch food. Start with having the food very close to the dog's face and drop it into his or her mouth. Gradually increase the distance you drop the food. From Helen Phillips' column in the July 1999 Front & Finish, Section II, page 6.
Put your toys away (in a basket, box etc.) Bonnie Baker
Wave or salute. Bonnie Baker
Nod your head "yes" or "no." Bonnie Baker
When Roo was injured and on restricted activity, a friend suggested I teach him some service dog tasks. It was great fun and kept his mind occupied. I taught him things like retrieving (and finding) the telephone, retrieving the TV remote, how to bump cabinets closed, and opening the refrigerator (I used a towel tied to the handle for him to pull. When I wasn't home, I took away the towel so he couldn't go shopping on his own). I also taught him how to turn a light switch on and off. Roo is too small to reach my light switches at home, but it's still one of his favorite things to do. Actually, many of these skills come in handy. Lisa Gross.
For advanced obedience: take and hold. Dumbbell, leather article, metal article, glove, and my index finger.
For agility: I just went through a long recuperation period with my golden after knee surgery. How about training your dog to turn his/her head right or left on command, with the idea you may be able to use those commands for turns and jumps later. You can train "watch me" games (dog has to look at your face no matter where your hands with food in them are or move). I also got butcher bones with marrow in them and parcelled them out every few days, plus a lot of kongs stuffed with carrots since I needed to watch her weight. It is a challenge. I did find my dog accepted the confinement better than I did! Sionag Black
I had a border collie who had to be kept quiet and we had a great game that I called "name the toy." I used a ball, a stuffed bear and a wooden toy horse. The magic of this game is if she picked up the right toy when I said its name she got to play with it. It took me about a day to teach her the names. Diane Hemphill
This is a perfect time to teach object discrimination. Teaching the names of toys such as ball, rope, kong etc. If you do clicker this is a great exercise. If you don't do clicker just a "yes" with a reward. Start with one toy and when your dog consistently touches the toy add the name as a cue. When this is done consistently add a second object but still cue the first object. When your dog goes to the first object on cue ignoring the second object consistently he should know the name of the first object. Then start over with another object and so on. This takes a lot of concentration but little movement. Pat Scott
When my golden had hip surgery years ago, he was also crate bound. I found a great game with him. I could roll him on his back and "slap" his face...IN FUN! not a correction! He thought that was a great game. He would squeal and try to catch my hands in his mouth. While you may not want to try this with your dog, this game was so great for Wiley we play it to this day (and he's now 10). Leah Spitzer
Leah also suggests analyzing what things the dog most loves to do and finding ways to do those things in a more toned-down manner.