Winter Dog Training Tips
Staying Sane with Your Dog in the Winter
This winter has already proven to be a cold one, but we haven’t even seen the worst of it yet. The snow is coming and we all know what that means, our two legged and four legged children all cooped up with nowhere to go. Less exercise can mean more trouble for you and Fido. Instead of waiting for the inevitable chaos of a snow day start preparing now.
Practice Your Dog’s Basic Manners to Ensure a Smooth Transition
Take a training class, whether you and Fido just need a refresher course or some first time training. An indoor class during the winter months helps get you and Fido out of the house while providing a good foundation of doggy manners to prevent unwanted behaviors. Don’t worry if you can’t find a class you enjoy, just make up your own home training program. You can always search for new tricks to teach and keep things interesting.
Plan Some Fun and Safe Activities to Enjoy Together
Turn the dreaded snow day into a great interactive family day. Make sure you have some games that get your children involved with Fido. This will not only prevent boredom for the dog and kids, but help encourage appropriate interaction between them.
Provide Individual Activities for Your Human and Canine Kids
Make sure your dog and children also have plenty of separate activities too. Board games and puzzles are great for children, but don’t forget Fido’s puzzles. There are countless types of interactive puzzle toys and feeders for dogs; make sure you have a variety to choose from.
Prepare for Indoor Exercise
Some days will just be too darn cold to spend more than a 5 minute potty break outside. This can wreak havoc on your high energy, super active dogs that can’t handle a day without a walk or run. Some people have invested in a doggy treadmill, but their are many ways to keep your active dog happy with indoor exercise. If you have a safe set of stairs with carpet try playing fetch up and down them to create your own doggy stairmaster. You can also look up some DIY agility equipment, your very own agility course will keep children and dogs entertained for hours. Don’t forget lots of toys and chews! Keep Fido guessing by locking up his toys and only allowing him access to one or two at a time. Rotating through toys will keep him more interested. You can also buy new toys that are special and only come out for snow days!
Brave the Cold
Occasionally you just have to layer up and head outside. The upside of winter walks is that few others are out and about resulting in a more pleasant walk especially for nervous and reactive dogs. Know your limitations, even long-haired breeds will get cold when it is below freezing and if you have a short-haired breed don’t forget his coat.