We all need winter activities! It’s inevitable, we get flabby and lazy during the winter with out them. It’s cold who wants to brave the elements unless they have to? Guess what, most dogs are the exact same! Winter in coming! No, seriously, don’t laugh, it is! I know it comes every year, but this year is different! No one knows what’s going to happen this winter. Not only do we have to worry about the normal winter woes we have to worry if Covid-19 going to make another round causing massive shutdowns and disrupting life again? Are we going to be stuck in the house for months on end with nothing to do but watch paint dry? There is honestly no way of knowing what the future holds, but no matter what happens the real trick is to always keep it new. Keeping both you and your dog occupied it’s always better to have a plan than be caught unprepared.
Winter and I have a love hate relationship; sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. I don’t like being cold but I love the snow. My dogs on the other hand have a wonderfully thick undercoat to keep them warm. I swear goldens would make GREAT sled dogs! They absolutely love being out in the snow and they have the energy too. Keeping our babies occupied during the winter is a constant struggle and we all know, a bored dog is a destructive dog! Tug-o-war, fetch, and all the other games get boring for us and them, so we try to keep things fresh and new. Trying to find winter activities to keep our dogs entertained is a constant search, but cycling through a couple helps to keep the boredom from setting in.
Doga or Dog Yoga
As soon as my yoga mat comes out all three dogs think it’s time to play (the cat too). The floor is there territory and once you enter you are at their mercy. Instead of shooing them away include them! Yoga is a great way to keep your winter muscles limber throughout the frigid season, and nothing beats those winter blues quicker than bonding with your pooch over your dusty yoga mat. Doga debuted over a decade ago in New York City. Since then it’s popularity has grown to other major cities across the U.S., but, for us little country bumpkins, finding a class can be very difficult, if not impossible. So, how do we learn if no classes are offered? Well… books, DVDs, and YouTube of course! This makes doga the perfect winter study.
Freestyle Musical Dancing with Dog
If you haven’t seen doggie dancing, you are seriously missing out! It is seriously one of the most fun on our winter activities list! What’s better than watching? Doing! This is a great way for both of you to really stay in shape after binging on holiday dinners! Spend those quiet evenings cutting a rug with your four-legged partner. If you’re lucky enough to find a class that absolutely wonderful! For the rest of us we have to rely on DVD’s to train, which can be a plus if everything has to shut down again. There are three organizations in the foreground of doggie dancing Musical Dog Sport Association, Canine Freestyle Federation INC., and The World Canine Freestyle Organization. Through them you are able to find all the information you need to get started in the wonderful world of freestyling with your dog.
It’s not just for police dogs anymore! Over the years nose work has become a full-fledged sport that mimics working scent dogs. Dogs follow a scent through the air to find its origin. You and your dog can compete against other pupper’s sniffers or just have fun at home. Sadly, classes are very sparce, so if you’re interested in training your dog nose work you’ll have to again turn to the internet. There are online courses and DVD’s to help you along the road to nose work excellence!
Awesome Winter Activities: Trick Dog!
Teaching your dog to rollover, fetch, or dance has been around for quite a long time, and, thanks to the internet, learning how to teach your dog tricks has never been easier! There are countless resources for trick training, and once your dog has them down you can even compete for trick dog titles with the AKC! What’s even better? By the spring you and FIFI will have a bunch of tricks to show off! There is nothing more impressive than a dog that can perform.
Getting your dog to use their natural talents is seriously fun! Sure, some breeds are better at tracking than other, but all dog’s sniffers are better than ours. And boy, do they like to use them! Tracking is another great activity that can be trained at home. Like nose work, tracking engages your dog’s olfactories, but there is a difference. In tracking the dog is following the “track” along the ground instead of in the air.
Many of us have exercise equipment for our own use and a treadmill is an excellent tool that can be used by both you and your dog. Like any new activity it will take some time getting Fido used to the treadmill but with positive training he’ll be running like a pro in no time. You can find a ton of videos on YouTube to get you started. Just remember never leave your pup on a treadmill unattended.
Try one, or try all the winter activities! No matter what surprises this winter holds for us, and I’m sure it’s got a few up it’s sleeve, we can keep ourselves and our puppies occupied and healthy all while staying warm and dry. You don’t have to have the next all-around champion dog, just having fun spending time learning together over the winter is what really matters. Let the snow begin and when the flowers return you both can show off a whole new arsenal of tricks and dance routines. You’ll be the talk of the town!