I dont know about you guys, but here we are already starting to get cabin fever and we have some dogs who are getting it too!!
It's not easy to get yourself moving in the dark mornings or to stay motivated in the evening when it's dark all the time.
Add in an energetic dog and it's even more of a struggle!
We usually start our day before the sun is up, so my jackets and caps are all equipped with headlamps or small flashlights. It helps to obviously see around the yard but also, if Im walking one of the dogs it's a good warning to oncoming cars.
You can get these at Fleet Farm, Cabellas, Amazon and probably even Walmart.
I am told that having these on in town or housing development can attract some unwanted attention if you're not careful!!! Just be aware of how close to the neighbor's house you get and use at you're own discretion.
Here in the country, Im pretty safe!
Here are some ideas of ways that you and your dog can pass the time and stay occupied during the winter days and nights:
Dogs tend not only to shed in the winter but to get a lot of matts in their fur. Sit down on the floor and enjoy some quality brushing time with your dog.
Don't gag--- the picture is gross but so is a dog with an ear infection. My poodles seem to always have dirty ears or even ear infections. I dont know if they just have weird ear canals or what but Im always cleaning their ears. We also trim nails a lot. Not that their nails always need it, but they can earn a treat if they sit still and when they need it, it's not a huge battle,
............well unless it's Duke!
As you can see from the action shot here, there is always room for improvement when it comes to training.
In the evenings, we try and keep the dogs engaged in some games like "sit stay" retrieving or just play. I remember one night last winter it had been cold for days and we were all going CRAZY, I just geared up and took the dogs outside and jogged in circles in the driveway with a pocket full of treats to keep them chasing after me.
Of course, Duke did it for about 5 seconds and then stood in the middle of my route and barked at me for not giving him treats too.........but hey, he was also entertained!!
Read books with your dogs!
Here's Molly after she had given a clear sign to her family what she thought of their Goldendoodle training research!!
It is true that after work, we definitely want some chill out time. Make that time more enjoyable by giving your dog some kind of exercise or a short quick training session. 3 minutes can be long enough to get the dog thinking about something other than destruction!
......although at this puppy stage, they are always looking for the next good thing to sink their teeth into.
I find myself more shocked if I catch them NOT getting into trouble!!.
Our favorite teething product is a kong stuffed and frozen or marrow bones from the butcher shop. We keep them frozen and only let the dogs play with them for a little while. I also re-stuff the bones.
My kong/bone stuffing is: Pumpkin, kibble, peanut butter and oatmeal. I stuff a bunch of old bones and toys and keep them in a bag in the freezer.
It works great for times like right now. I just caught Nala counter surfing in the kitchen but she now has a bone and is hanging out beside me instead of chowing on the leftover pizza box!! ......Win Win
Include your dog in your holiday decorating!
Our dogs and puppies are a huge part of our families. Here you can see that Sweet Pete definitely has an opinion of what the family decorations should look like, he even added his own signature look this piece!
Our dog Hank used to LOVE popping Christmas bulbs. He would take them off the tree, pop them in his mouth and walk away like nothing had even happened.
Last night I could hear Duke barking like CRAZY while I was outside with River. I thought he was just mad because he wanted to come out too, so I didnt go see what was happening. He was yelling at Willow who was eating my reading glasses!!! Willow is almost 4, she hasnt chewed up anything forEVER but I guess the glasses were just suddenly too must to resist??????
Is it Spring yet????
Go for a ride!!
Another thing that we are trying to get better at is taking the dogs with us when we are going for a short trip or running into town. We did a couple of things last summer and we were half way ther and said, "We coul have brought one of the dogs with?"
It not only gives them something to do but it helps them get used to riding in the car and not being terrified that they are always going to the groomer or the vet.
Todd had a little road trip to make today so he brought Willow with. She got to go for a ride, do something fun and new. She got to be around different people ........and Im still made about the glasses so it got her out of my way for the day!! Win Win WIN!! ha.
Anything you do will help your dog behave better and your winter evenings will be more enjoyable.
Also, going for a 3 minute jog around the driveway with the dog just might get you out of doing the dishes!!!!
Most of all... the winter will go by faster if you and your dog are keeping busy.