Even if it is cold, the dog must get outside and get enough exercise – provided, of course, he is physically fit. These exciting winter games will help you keep your dog busy during the cold season. In addition, many ideas can also be implemented at home.
If there is enough snow, you can build a small course for your dog: a small wall to jump over, a big ball for the dog to climb or a board on the snow globe becomes a seesaw.
As long as the snow cover is not too thick, you can also practice circuit training outside – under difficult conditions: mark a circle with branches, stones or small snow holes. Let the dog run outside of the circle while standing in the center. You can change pace and direction.
A small course can be fun. © stock.adobe.com/Kzenon
When there is snow, balls often sink in. If the dog grabs the ball, it will also pick up a lot of snow. If you still don’t want to miss out on the ball fun, you can fall back on the following alternatives:
Light balls are suitable for playing in the dark. They are clearly visible even in thick bushes and can also be found in thick fog.
A Frisbee is a sensible alternative. © stock.adobe.com/Uschi
Dance with your dog: if your dog is the right size, you can let it run through your legs. Try going forward and backward.
Your dog can also jump over your outstretched arm, or you can create a bridge with your body for it to walk under.
Make your dog spin, clockwise and counterclockwise. These elements from dog dancing can be implemented indoors and outdoors.
Small dance interludes also succeed in winter. © stock.adobe.com/Yuri Kravchenko
In winter you meet fewer people and dogs than in the warm season. Take the initiative yourself: Find contact with other dog owners using information sheets in the supermarket or on social media. Apps also help dog owners to team up with like-minded people.
For outside and inside: Instead of throwing the food bag or hiding it on the floor as usual, there are many other options. Hang it on the doorknob, on a branch, lay it on a chair or bench, clamp it in a half-open drawer or a crack in a tree.
When searching, your dog now has to carry his nose up, which for many dogs takes getting used to. A filled food bag motivates the seeker to try harder.
Hanging the bag on a branch brings variety. © stock.adobe.com/Christian Müller
Overcast winter days are ideal for training at home. Think about it: which exercises are not really sitting yet?
Regardless of whether you want to work on the reliable recall or on staying, all of this can be perfected at home, where nothing distracts the dog. The big plus: You are also more relaxed and that carries over to the dog.
You can train undisturbed at home. © stock.adobe.com/gpointstudio
This exercise is particularly useful for nervous dogs that are very barking when they visit: The aim is to use a signal to send the dog to its resting place. He should lie there quietly until he receives the release signal.
Throw a treat on the dog’s place and praise him as soon as he hits the blanket, basket or couch. Show him to stay. Reward that too and sit next to him.
Caress him until he relaxes and closes his eyes. If that works, support this sending with a signal word (blanket, basket, couch). As soon as it lies there, you will “chill” – very gently and without any commanding tone.
The exercise can be expanded as required. Send the dog from another room, another floor, from the front door. You have all winter time for it and in spring a dog that calms down on the signal.