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January 14, 2009

Winter Fun

Filed under: Actvities with your pet — myminizoo @ 7:37 pm

When I went outside this morning  I was shocked at the temperature. I was bundled up to the point where I could hardly walk, but I’m sure I still got frostbite. The dogs require a lot of exercise every day. After about 45 minutes at the park they were still racing around. So I was inspired to think of some things that I could do indoors to burn energy during the cold months.

1) Busy Toys- Kongs are the best toy ever invented. The look like little red snowmen, and are hollow inside. This allows you to fill the inside with food. I fill mine with treats and peanut butter and freeze them. It takes the dogs at least half an hour to get every last bit out!

Less successful is ball in the house… fun but someone usually gets hurt!

2) Bones- A raw beef marrow bone will keep the dogs busier even that a kong. Plus it has the added benefit of cleaning the teeth and exercising the jaw.

3) Games- Find it!- This is a fun game that keeps the dog busy searching around for a treat or toy. Start by telling the dog to sit and stay, show him the treat or toy and then place it a few feet away in plain site. Then return to the dog and tell thim to “Find it!”  The first few times you might have to go with the dog and show him where it is. But, when he gets the picture you can start placing the treat or object further away. You are only limited by the size of your apartment.

4) Hide and Seek- This is fun, but you have to come to terms that you are always the one hiding! Start the same way as with Find it. Place your dog in a sit stay and go hide somewhere easy. Then call your dog. When he finds you make a big fuss over him. This is actually how they start to train search and rescue dogs.

4) Tricks- Teaching tricks can wear your dog out mentally. I’ve always said its way easier to wear a dog out mentally than it is physically. THis winter I’ve been working on “roll over” with both dogs, as well they both learned to turn ( spin in a circle to the left) and to circle ( circle an object). These are fun party tricks and help to keep them active

5) Practise obedience- I try to practise obedience in the apartment, asking both dogs to sit/stay or working on heeling. Its tough to do in a small space, but it gets them working.

Of course you’ll still have to venture outside eventually, so I suggest you get some good snowpants ( thanks Mike) hat and mitts ( thanks Mum)

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