How to Exercise Your Dog During the Winter
Exercising during the cold winter months can be a hard task to accomplish for both you and your dogs. Beeing locked indoors day after day can be stressful to your pups, especially if you have a high energy dog like my boy Bruin. Here are a few activities I do with Bruin and Gretchen (my dogs) during the winter months to tucker them out and make sure the dogs get the exercise they need to be healthy and behave in the winter..
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1. Snow shoeing!
This is what I did today and what inspired this article! It was great exercise for him running through the deep snow plus it got me out of the house and exercising too!
Locally I highly recommend Lake Massabesic! Otherwise just search for a good spot in your area with lots of room and snow! Make sure your dog is warm with a dog jacket of some sort, plus many can hold supplies.
2. Run them on a Treadmill!
Nothing is better than a walk outside, but some days it is just too darn cold or windy outside. I taught Bruin how to walk and run on our treadmill and it is a great way to burn his energy. Dogs naturally love to migrate. If they were in the wild that’s what they would do to find their food. Take your time introducing your pup to the treadmill. Treating him each step of the way. Once they understand what you want; they will thoroughly enjoy themselves and the exercise they are getting.
3. Doggie pushups!
My dear friend and dog trainer, Cathy Clark, taught me this one. Have your dog sit then lie down then back to sitting. Do about 3 sets of these, 10 repetitions in each set. Not only is it great exercise – it’s training and bonding with your dog!
4. Mental Stimulation!
Dog need physical exercise and mental exercise. If you are doing the same exercise routine every day your dog can get bored. They are extremely smart and need their brains stimulated too! Take advantage of being snowed in and teach them a new trick! Another way is to have them sit and then stay. Make them stay for 10 minutes. It takes a lot of concentration for them to stay there!
5. Play date with Friends!
We all know at least one other person who owns a dog. Find a fenced in area or big living room and let them romp around together!
A change of environment and the interaction with another dog will help break up the winter boredom, improve social skills and is quite fun to watch.
Also great for your personal relationships and a chance to catch up with friends.
6. Take a training class!
I have taken Bruin to a couple of different training classes. Basic obedience and also agility! I always choose to do them in the winter, so we have something to do during the cold months that’s indoors! After Bruin passed his agility class, the facility also offered open gym on certain days. We would pay a small fee and be able to practice his agility with all their equipment. Nothing exhaust Bruin more than learning something new in a new and different environment.
In a time crunch – train your dog at home with a training video!
Obviously thinking of different ideas to exercise your dog during the winter months can be difficult, but with some creative thinking and winter gear it is possible!
Comment below and let us know what fun activities you do with your dog during the long cold winter months.
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