How to have a happy and trained dog all winter long
26 Jan 2011
When it is hard to work with your dog or properly exercise him, here are some ideas that can help.
Work in your garage-You can practice loose leash walking, heeling, stays, come when called. At least you are both protected from the wind and the snow.
Play the recall game in your home- Call your dog back and forth between you and another person in your household. Use dog's name only, as soon as your dog turns toward you when he hears his name, praise like crazy (Yeah!!!!) and kneel down to welcome him to you. Give a yummy treat when he gets to you and lot of petting. Now the other person playing the game does the same. Back and forth your dogs goes, having fun, learning to heed his name, and getting some exercise.
Play retrieve- Play retrieving with a ball or favorite toy. First get the dog interested in the toy by waving it around, tugging, bouncing the ball, etc. Now throw it and say "Fetch" or "Get it". When your dog goes out to pick the toy up, call him using his name, and as he comes back, praise, praise, praise.
Dogs like a high pitched voice, so you guys, get your girlie voice out. When he returns to you hold a treat near his nose to get him to drop the toy, give the treat, and you are ready to go again. You can do this in the house or garage, just choose your largest room, and work in the longest space. Repeat until your dog has had enough exercise.
Play Stairball- Sit at the bottom or top of your stairs and play retrieve up and down the stairs, Follow above directions to get the dog to give you the ball or favorite toy. Don't play this game if your dog has any physical problems, and don't overdue even with a healthy dog. Running up and down stairs is good exercise but a little goes a long way.
Work on Attention-Say your dog's name in an upbeat friendly voice, when he makes eye contact, give him a treat and praise. Can be done all day long
Get your dog a Flirt Pole -A flirt pole is like a large kitty teaser made much larger and more durable for dogs. Most dogs love this as they get to chase and grab or pounce on the toy at the end of the pole. My dog, Dharma, will bring this to me when he wants to play with it. It is not easy for him to get to, it is in a corner of my family room, behind a toy basket, and in its plastic wrapper. That is how much he loves it. Can be played outside or inside.
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Linda Steigner Lukens