I got this email from Eric the Dog Trainer, and with this nasty cold and often damp or snowy weather, I thought it was a good topic for today, especially as we have several new puppies in our circle:"Penny, Here I am sitting in my house watching the snow falling at a very rapid rate. I really don't a mind some snow but this year we are getting nailed here in Western MA. The big problem is that after the last snow storm, it rained which put a thin sheet of ice over all the snow making it next to impossible to walk in.
Yesterday I was going to go for a walk with my pup but by the time I made it to the backyard I felt like I had run a marathon. This can be a tough time of the year to exercise your dog. As I was sitting here watching more snow dump on us, I decided to make a list of all the ways to exercise your dog inside and I am going to share it with you.
Dogs need physical AND mental exercise. I've included both in my list. Here you go:
Search and Rescue - Especially good if you have kids.
Tell your kids that you going to play a game with your dog. They have to go and hide somewhere in the house. They have to be very quiet and let them know that their dog is going to rescue them. Hold your dog as they go hide. Once they are hiding tell your dog "Find them" and let him go. Your kids will love playing this game. Make sure you tell the kids to make a big deal when the dog finds them.
Find it - A variation of the above but done with toys. Stuff a kong toy with some of your dog's favorite treats right in front of her. Tell her to stay and go hide the toy. Once it is hidden release your dog from the stay command and tell her, "Find it." As your dog gets good at this make it more and more difficult to find the toy.
Tug o war - One of my favorite games. Can be played in a very small area and really gives your dog a good work out.
Retrieve up stairs - This was a favorite for my Belgian Malinois, Suede. I would stand at the top of the stairs and drop a ball down them. He would run down, retrieve the ball and haul back up the stairs. Ten minutes of this can wear out any dog.
Tricks - What better way to give your dog some mental stimulation than tricks. Teach your dog to roll over, sit pretty, shake and play dead. These are easy tricks to teach and it will tire your dog out.
Obedience - Another great way to mentally stimulate your dog when he is bored. Work on sit, down and stay. Start working on the time your dog does a stay and distractions.
Work on nagging behavior problems - What better time to finally put an end to those behavior problems you've been putting up with. Now is the time to teach your dog to stop barking on command. End begging at the table. Teach your dog to never steal anything off the table ever again.
Turn a snow day into a productive day with your dog."
As we all know a tired dog is a good dog!
See the 40 tricks that this adorable dog learned:
It was wet, cold and dreary this morning. So Jay and I went into our little town for two reasons. Three, really, as Jay wanted to buy cigarettes at the cheap place. One was to buy some screws for installing the windows. The other reason was for me to go to the chiropractor. I had called their office and they said come on in.
When I was grocery shopping by myself on Saturday, the cashier put the two bags up on the top of the carousel for me to put in my cart. As I reached over and picked up the second bag, I blurted out "Oh, this is too heavy", but the damage was done, I had put my back out. She had put all the heavy things in one bag! I asked her for another bag, so I could transfer some before I loaded them in the car. So I have been suffering since Saturday, hoping that the lower back pain would go away, but it didn't, so I had to cough up my co-pay for that.
We had hoped that the drizzle would stop, and hoped even more that the sun would come out, but we had dressed accordingly, so went to work inside the cargo trailer, and framed up for the window over the kitchen counter.
Our high, 52 deg. was last night at midnight, and it has been dropping steadily during the day.