7 Ways to Train Your Dog During Winter

January is Train Your Dog Month. January also brings cold weather so how do you train your dog and keep them active during frigid temperatures. Some of our dogs love the cold and snow but do you? There are many ways you can keep your dog active during the winter months and we’d like to share a few.  Here are 7 ways to train your dog inside and for those of you that love the cool weather we share some interesting ones.

  1. Indoor Games & Play – Grab a toy and get your dog excited.  Play fetch with your dog inside and if there are two of you have your dog run back and forth between you trying to get the toy. It’s called “Monkey in the Middle”. Reward your pup after a few throws by giving the toy or ball and let them play.  This promotes fun and stimulates their mind and body.  Another great game to play is “Hide and Seek” – it can be done with a treat or toy being hidden and they have to find it. Or if you want to practice your recall – so they come when called – you can hide and have them find you! If this is something you don’t have time to do consider an enrichment daycare like what we offer at Muttz with Mannerz.
  2. Fun with Agility – A great way to entertain your dog is to create indoor or outdoor courses for them. you can use broomsticks, poles, rocks, or cushions to create the course and have them weave in and out, luring them with a treat if you need to. Tunnels can be created using a blanket and 2 chairs. If you are outdoors you can go to the park and use benches and playground equipment. Our Indoor Fun with Agility class is a great option for you as well!
  3. Indoor Walks – As long as your dog’s knees are healthy, and they can walk and run, there are ways to do indoor activities to keep them agile. Many have treadmills in their homes that they use for their own physical well-being – so why not teach your dog to walk on the treadmill to get some exercise? When done safely it can be a great way to exercise your dog and keep them fit. Take the time to familiarize them with how the treadmill works and go very slow to start. Don’t have a treadmill? What about stairs? If you live in a multi-level home, take advantage of the free workout equipment available to you. Walking or running up and down your stairs will provide a great workout for both you and your dog.
  4. Exercise the Mind – Remember in addition to physical exercise that mental exercise is just as important. Taking a Trick training class is a great way to challenge both. Teaching “Spin”, “Rollover” or “Back up” will get your dog’s mind and body moving. You can also find many puzzle games, or a snuffle mat to entertain them by using their nose. Puzzle games that hide treats for your dog to find are not just fun for your dog, but also strengthens their cognitive abilities as they try to uncover and find the treats. We offer both Enrichment Daycare and Fun with Tricks training class at Muttz with Mannerz.

  1. Go Skijoring – Have you heard of dog sledding? What about Skijoring? Skijoring is a combination of cross-country skiing and dog sledding. To skijor, your dog will need to get a dog sledding harness which is attached by a rope or towline to a harness that you wear, and using skis or poles, you power yourself while your dog pulls you. As long as your dog is 35 pounds, healthy, and has the energy and stamina to pull you around it’s doable. If you are unsure if your dog is physically able, check with your Vet.
  2. Get off the couch – Get outdoors for a walk or hike. Grab your coat, your dog’s coat if they wear one, put your hat and mitts on and go for a nice, brisk walk or hike. York Region has some great trails to take your dog on. Consider joining a community walking group. If you want to take it up a notch then why not try snowshoeing? The learning curve is not that great – all you need to do is strap on some snowshoes and walk a few feet to try it out. Snowshoeing is fun and easily accessible to many of use, and one of the fastest-growing winter sports. If you haven’t done much hiking or are used to only summer hikes, take it slow and plan only half the distance for a hike or snowshoeing. If not a walk or hike, then try out some play in your backyard.
  3. Take them for a Date – When the Pet Stores open take your dog for an adventure and visit the local Pet Stores where you can walk around in the warm heated environment. Let your dog pick out a new treat or toy. Some other date ideas are;  attend a fun training class like agility, plan a playdate with one of their doggy friends, or drop them off at enrichment daycare or attend a puppy social to allow them to run around and give them a chance for some fun with other dogs.

Whatever you decide be it indoor or outdoor fun take the time to exercise your dog’s mind and body so they can stay healthy and fit. When you do you’ll be amazed and how happy and relax they are. If you are looking for a safe place to allow your dog some socialization and indoor fun our Enrichment Daycare is an option to consider. Here are the details >> https://www.muttzwithmannerz.com/doggie-daycare