Help! My Dog Is Going Crazy!

It is ridiculously cold outside this week. I don't know if you guys have noticed at all...

My problem with this kind of weather is that I dress super warmly - so while I may not be freezing my toes off, I need to remember that the dogs I'm walking probably are. I have to be super aware of their comfort and make sure I'm not pushing them to be outside longer just because I could go longer.

But, as I learned today, once the sun starts to set, even my super layers aren't adequate for any real length of time in this weather.

So, if you're not as lucky as I am and can't walk your dog in the middle of the day while the sun is shining, you may be wondering what you can do with your dog to tire them out. Never fear, I have suggestions!

1. Play a vigorous game of tug or fetch around the house. This is a great way to get some of the excess energy out. Make sure you're making your dog respect your rules and boundaries when playing, it isn't a free-for-all!

2. Practice loose leash walking around your house. This is an amazing way to fine-tune your leash skills in a low-distraction environment. If your dog is an absolute pro at this, be creative and think about what kinds of auditory, visual or smelly distractions you could introduce to make it more challenging. (turn on the radio or tv, play some youtube videos of conversations, doorbells or wildlife sounds, have another person do a crazy dance in front of your dog, leave a few crumbs of tasty treats in your path)

3. Work on some basic obedience commands. I love working on placement commands, sits, downs, ups, stays, and comes. For extra points try tethering your dog at one end of the house, walk to the other end (while still in view) and see if they will still "sit" and "lay down" when you're a distance away.

4. Pro-star options: See if you can make your dog "heel" around the house with you without a leash. OR visit one of many dog-friendly stores (like your local pet store!) in Calgary and go on a shopping spree!

Remember friends, just because it's cold outside doesn't mean that your dog doesn't need their regular physical and mental exercise!

Until next time, Happy Trails (and warm toes!)

Holly, Duke and Jax