Thursday, March 5, 2015

Five Things to Do With Your Dog This Winter

Yesterday, winter storm Thor dropped between 8-10 inches in our area. Dobby and Tess have differing opinions on the snow-Tess loves it but it gets stuck in her fur and Dobby hates it no matter what! We try to make as few trips out into the snow as possible and prefer cuddling instead!

If you're anything like us, cabin fever has already set in and you're looking for something to keep your dogs entertained. Here are a five things you can do with your dog to get their minds and bodies working:
1. Doggy Pushups-This activity requires little space and is a great mental exercise for your dog. Begin by putting a handful of treats in your pocket. Next tell your dog to sit, after he sits tell you dog to down. Reward your dog! Congrats, you've just done one doggy pushup. Continue the same exercise but increase the amount of pushups each time before you give the treat. Ex-a treat after one, a treat after three, a treat after five, etc. Here's a video of an English Bulldog from Off Leash K9 Training, Atlanta's Youtube Channel:  

2.Recall Games-There are plenty of easy recall games you can practice with your dog without even leaving your house. Get two types of treats, preferably one that your dog will go crazy for and one that's not as high in value. I like to use dog biscuit treats and hotdogs as my treats for this game. Show the dog the biscuit treat and then toss it away from you. As soon as the dog gets the treat, call him back to you and give him the higher value treat.
A fall game of recall at the park
 As soon as he gets the treat, call your dog back to you.
3.Get Out of the House for Obedience-There are a lot of indoor places where you and your dog can go to practice sit stays, down stays, heeling, etc. You can even go just to walk your dog around and get some exercise rather than taking a walk in the snow. Petco, Petsmart, local pet stores, Home Depot, Lowes, and a bunch more stores allow well-behaved dogs in their stores, just make sure you call ahead and double check that you can bring your dog. We actually made two trips to Petco last week to practice because it was so cold and snowy outside.

 4.Hide and Seek-Start by having someone hold your dog. If you don't have anyone else and your dog has a solid stay, then you can make your dog sit or down stay. Show the dog a cookie, then go and hide somewhere. Start with something easy like hiding behind a chair and slowly increase the difficulty as your dog learns how to play the game. Once you're in position, call the dog to you. Let him search to find you. When he finds you, make it a party! Give him lots of verbal praise and of course, the treat.
It's hard to get a picture while hiding from a puppy!
5.Treat Toys-Dobby loves chasing his IQ Ball around the floor to get the treats out of it. He could play with the thing for hours. The great thing about treat toys is that they get the dog moving, make him use his mind and reward him for doing so. There are tons of treat toys on the market from rolling/wobbling dispenser types to even more challenging moving puzzle types.
How much snow did you get this week? Yesterday, it snowed so much that its taller than Tess. We had to kick a path out for her to go potty this morning!
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  1. Great ideas! We love hide and seek!! Have a great weekend!

    1. Hide and seek is great for the dogs and the humans!