Cold, rain, snow, and ice will complicate our dogs’ exercise and coaching plans – however, winter weather shouldn’t cancel them!
It is terribly difficult to stay your canine relations happy throughout the ravages of winter. Even people who sleep in the hotter southern states might face long stretches of forced idleness from winter rains. while not ample enrichment activities, weeks and months of short, dark days will flip even a relaxed canine into a hyper hound.
Fortunately, the ever-creative trendy dog coaching world has come back up with unnumberable ways in which to stay our dogs happy in inclement weather, in order that dogs and humans will pay longer nestled along before of the nice and cozy hearth and fewer time worrying regarding trauma or drowning (see “Winter Warnings,” next page).
KEEPING ACTIVE within the WINTER
One of the most effectiveways in which to forbid your dog’s winter crazies is to supply her with a goodsort of enrichment activities. Some square measuressimpleand might be enforcedin real-time, whereas some take a toucha lot of investment in time and resources. Let’s begin with easy:
Indoor Fetch. If there’s only 1 of you and your dog can fetch, you’ll be able to stand at the highest of the steps and toss her ball or toy to very cheap, have her run right down to catch on, run keep a copy to you. If she’s going to chase it however not bring it back, have clothes hamper packed with toys or balls, decision her back, and simply keep throwing new ones. after you have thrown all of them, go down the steps, collect them, and convey them keep a copy. If you don’t have stairs (or she can’t do stairs) use a protracted corridor. Get the additional advantage by putt barriers across the hall for her to leap over as she runs back and forth.
Jump the Jumps. once I was a wee kid, I wont to take broomsticks and mop handles and lay them across chairs all around the house, so run with my Rough sheepdog, Squire, as he sailed over my makeshift jumps. you’ll be able to do the same! If you favor, you’ll be able to get sections of PVC pipe at an ironmongery store. begin with the poles on the bottom and use a treat to induce your dog to steer over them, then trot over them.
When she is prepared for a lot of, use poles to create low X-shaped jumps before you utilize straight poles to create higher jumps. (Note: Young puppies shouldn’t jump tillthey’rethe right ageto not be injured by the continual impacts. sit down with your vet to createpositive jumping could be a safe activity for your pup.)
Round Robin Recall. you would like a minimum of 2 humans and a dog WHO likes to come back once she’s entailed this game. The larger your house and also a lot of humans (within reason!), the better.
Put Billy (B) on the third floor, Janey (J) on the second, mommy (M) on the bottom floor, and pop (D) within the basement. (If stairs aren’t safely carpeted or dog has to bother with stairs, place all humans in numerous rooms on the constant floor.) every human has scrumptious treats and a toy that the dog likes for reinforcement once the dog arrives. Write up a random business order and provides everyone a replica to confirm 2 humans aren’t business her at constant time and let the fun begin.
Be sure everyone encompasses a fun party with the dog once she gets there! This not solely burns off dog energy, it provides the youngsters one thing to try and do, and it helps improve your dog’s recall.
Ball Pit. For this one, you would like a kiddie pool and a generous provider of non-toxic, durable ball-pit balls. place a towel right down to cowl very cheap of the pool (so the sound doesn’t startle your dog), fill the pool with balls (no water!), and let the fun begin! If your dog doesn’t want it in real-time, toss treats and favorite toys into the pool and let her – or facilitate her – dig for them.
Snuffle Mat (and different food toys). Interactive food-dispensing toys square measure an easy resolution to several dogs’ winter blues. we tend to notably like “snuffle mats,” wherever you bury treats within the material fingers of a rough mat and let your dog head to it. If you’ve got a dog WHO desires to eat the mat or, in distinction, simply isn’t interested, there square measure several different choices, together with treat-dispensing toys your dog pushes around, and puzzle toys she has got to solve to induce the treats. (See “Play together with your Food,” WDJ April 2019).
Flirt Pole. this is often merely a durable pole with a rope mounted to at least one finish and a toy mounted to the rope. you’ll be able to build one or purchase one. To play, exchange one place and swing the toy around for your dog to chase. (You also can apply “Trade” to induce the toy back once your dog has grabbed it; see “Trade Agreements,” WDJ February 2017).
f your dog tends to bodyslam you (or your kids) whereas enjoying this game, stand within associate exercise pen for cover whereas your dog chases the toy around the outside of the pen.
These toys square measure on the market in higher pet provide stores and from on-line sources like Chewy.com and Amazon.com. Outward Hound makes one known as the “Tail Teaser” and sells it with an additional replacement toy for $13; Chewy.com conjointly sells one known as the Pet fit Life Plush Wand Teaser Dog Toy for $11.
Nose Games. Scent work is astonishingly effortful, and since most dogs like to sniff, it’s conjointly terribly satisfying for them. It’s conjointly typically a straightforward game to show. Have your dog sit and wait (or have somebody hold her collar). waiting for a treat, walk six feet away, and place it on the ground. come back to your dog, pause, so say “Search!” Encourage her to run out and eat the treat.
After many repetitions, let her watch you “hide” the treat in a straightforward spot (on the ground behind a chair leg, etc.). come back and tell her “Search!” step by step hide the treat in tougher places, then multiple treats, and eventually have her in another area whereas you hide treats. this could keep her quite busy and tire her out nicely. (For far more info, see “How to Show Your Dog to Play Nose Games,” WDJ Gregorian calendar month 2019.)
Treadmill. currently, we’re moving into activities that need a lot of investments in time and resources. First, of course, you would like a treadmill. make certain to induce one that’s safe to use with dogs. Dog-specific treadmills typically square measure tinier than human merchandise (some square measure created only for small dogs!) and have fitly sized side rails (for safety, to stay the dog from worsening on the sides).
You will have to be compelled to do a really gradual introduction, associating the machine with treats and toys till your dog is extremely snug being close to it, so thereon, before you even think about turning it on. make certain to not exaggerate the exercise; sit down with your veterinary surgeon regarding what proportion exercise is acceptable for your dog to begin with and the way you must increase the time (gradually!).