Taking dogs out in bad weather is never fun. It’s cold, or wet, slippery and uncomfortable. It needs to be done. Our loyal four-legged companions need to potty and need to exercise.
Winter is difficult for Graham and I. Taking him out in the cold isn’t too much of an issue… I bundle up and he gets dressed in his Land’s End jacket and booties. Sure we slip and slide a bit but I know he’s always there to help me if I start to go down. With a simple phrase that asks him to potty on command and that knowledge that I’m safe with him, pottying isn’t a problem. Exercise, however, still is.
So what do I do when there’s no way I can let him run in the snow?
Simple. I work him in my apartment. We have training sessions or play hide-and-seek. Is he rusty on a command or two? Perfect, let’s work on that! Do I need to teach him something new, such as getting onto my new grooming bench? Let’s do it. The mental stimulation keeps him active and prevents boredom from setting in. He also receives those delicious treats and I enjoy every moment of working with him.
Sometimes it’s nice to also throw in a game or two. My favorite is when I work on his recall. To him, we’re just playing hide-and-seek.
My apartment is small but it has plenty of nooks and crannies. I’ll find a closet to hide in, or crouch behind some furniture. Then I’ll call Graham to me. We can do this all day and it helps strengthen our bond as well as keeps us both on our toes.
At the end of the day we cuddle up on the couch and watch some tv as the wind howls outside.