Whether or not you have a winter-loving dog, the chances are that you aren’t going outdoors far enough to meet your dog’s energy needs.
Negative degree wind chills are definitely normal here in Chicagoland, but this doesn’t make it any easier when the temperatures dip. While you may dream of warmer days when you snuggle under a blanket on your couch, your dog may show some less than stellar behavior simply because he is stirring crazy. When the house stays longer than usual, it is not necessarily comfy for your dog – he wants to be outside – sniffing and exploring, running and zooming – and burning his natural energy.
Whether or not you have a winter-loving dog, the chances are high that you aren’t going as far as your dog’s energy needs are outdoors. Your dog needs to use his energy productively, or some end up eating that shouldn’t be, being chewed that shouldn’t be, or being destroyed that shouldn’t be. Poatem you can relate?
The nice thing about your dog in the winter is that he does not have to spend hours outdoors to keep him from getting cabin fever. With just a little planning you can maximize your outdoor experience and more quickly warm both you and your dog back inside. Here are just a few ideas to get you running the rails.
Keep walks short and sweet continue to take your dog on walks, even on cold days. Once temperatures drop below zero, makes walks shorter and more frequent. It is definitely troublesome to get bundled up during the day more frequently to face the elements, but shorter walks more often mean that your dog isn’t getting too cold and is still having plenty of time to explore the neighborhood.
Make the most of your walk
During your short walks in winter, use your time wisely by packing the walk with a great deal of physical and mental exercise. Pepper practice (sit, fall, go, heel, let’s go) during your walk to make sure that your dog does double duty and gives his mind and body a workout.
Create a scavenger hunt
If you have a dog that likes to sniff out treats, put out a few hidden treats in your fenced yard. Your dog will love to sniff around and find hidden treasures while on his usual private backyard time. He is a fun guy and you can watch from the window with a steaming cup of coffee.
Give some agility to your winter yard
For more athletic and adventurous dogs, add a few fun obstacles. Design a ramp or balance for your dog to explore with a few milk containers and a wooden plank or two. Enjoys spending winter days running to her family’s clubhouse playing deck – and then sliding down the bottom.
Try something new
Try a new trail or mode of transport to improve your normal winter routine. Trails are much more enjoyable for humans and dogs when they are covered in snow and tumbling along trails can be an extra fun way to explore winter together.
The weather is too cold (or too dark) to go the streets, remember that obedience practice and training is a wonderful way for stifling dogs to work, burn energy and feel content. For a day of socialization, training and fun, you can practice at home or bring your dog to our studio.
Our option is ideal if you are searching for a winter activity for your dog that packs in a full day of activities. Dogs get a day filled with command snouts, obedience training with plenty of distractions and pack walks that work on exercise, lead manners and socialization. While our day program is outstanding at any time of the year, it can be particularly useful for you and your dog during the cold winter months.