In the winter months, most dog owners dread the daily walk. On cold and rainy days, there is a good chance that your dog dreads the daily walk, too. Unfortunately, if you have a high energy dog, you probably already know the repercussions of skipping your dog’s daily exercise. Bored dogs get into trouble — they eat couches and shoes and trash cans. The walk in the rain is definitely better than having to buy a new couch. But you do have options on cold or rainy days. Instead of spending your hour of exercise outside, here are a few ways to exercise your dog and stay warm and dry at the same time.
1. Indoor Fetch
As long as your don’t mind your dog running through your house at full speed chasing a tennis ball down the steps or hallway, indoor fetch is a great way to burn up some energy. Of course, if you have a high energy dog, you are probably used to this behavior anyway. Tossing a tennis ball or favorite toy down a hallway or across the room is almost as fun as throwing it in the backyard. It also offers the occasional addition of “find the toy” when the ball ends up out of sight and your dog has to sniff it out.
2. Tricks and Treats
Training exercises are another good way to spend quality time with your dog indoors. Intelligent dogs will benefit from the time spent learning and practicing new tricks. If you run out of ideas after sit and roll over, you can get a book of simple dog tricks or look up ideas online. With enough cold and rainy days, you might even be able to teach your dog to fetch your slippers and get you a soda from the fridge.
3. Hide and Seek
This is a game that is played both the old-fashion way with you hiding and your dog finding you or with your dog finding toys that you have hidden. While you cannot ask your dog to count to twenty or a hundred to wait to search for you or his toys (unless you teach your dog how to “stay” in step 2!), you can have a friend or family member keep your dog occupied for a few minutes while you hide or stash some of his toys. When you have found a good hiding spot, call your dog and see how long it takes to find you. This is a great game to occupy your kids and dog at the same time; everyone can play hide and seek together. Reward your pup with affection or a treat when he or she finds you. When hiding toys, ask your dog to go get the bone or whatever you call the favorite toy. You can help your dog by “searching” as well if he or she seems to be having a hard time finding it.
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