December 12, 2008

Beat the winter boredom blues!

Unless you live in an area that boast balmy temperatures year-round, the arrival of winter weather can leave some of us buried beneath the snow. Try these suggestions to keep you and your fur baby entertained this winter - both indoors and out!

* Bring your dog with you on outings such as getting a tree or visiting family & friends during the holidays

* Go sledding with your dog

* Have a snowball fight instead of the usual game of fetch

* Go snowshoeing or x-country skiing with your dog

* Play hide & seek, inside and outside
- use a glove with a treat inside or one of their favorite toys

* Teach your pet to 'name that toy' - start with one of your dog's favorite toys, and as you show it to him, give it a name (like teddy, kong, ball etc.) Toss the toy a short distance away and ask him to 'fetch teddy'. If he runs to grab it, praise him and treat him - even if he doesn't bring it back to start with. Repeat this a few times until you are sure he understands. Once that's accomplished, toss the toy into a pile of other toys and practice it this way, so he has to choose the one specific toy over all the others. Once he can do this without any trouble, start teaching the names of other toys in the same way.

* Once you've got 'name that toy down' you can both move on to 'tidy up the toys' - once your dog is reliably returning to you with his named toy from the toy pile, have a basket or box in your hand as he brings it back and hold it out for him to drop the toy into. Praise him for getting it right and he will quickly realize what you are asking him to do. Keep practicing until he is bringing named toys and dropping in the box all by himself to get his reward!

* Cuddle up together under a warm blanket and watch the snow fall outside

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