Cold Weather Dog Training Tips: Take Your Winter Training Indoors
Cold weather dog training takes some creativity at times, especially when the temps are well below freezing. While your dog still needs physical exercise, adding some additional mental exercise can help both of you from getting cabin fever when you’re limited to the indoors. Here are some cold weather dog training ideas.
This game can be played indoors or out and can be especially fun in the snow. Choose a room and hide treats or your dog’s favorite toys. Let them into the room to search for the treats. You can encourage when they get close but try not to help too much. Let them solve problems. If your pup seems to be getting frustrated, you can tap your foot or nudge the area the food is at. When the deep snow comes, you can toss treats into the snow to let them root around and find them. Remember, anything that engages the nose is healthy.
Long Down Stays
If your dog is a busy body and needs to work on being calm, having them hold a long down stay is an excellent way to work on impulse control. The trick here is not to let them break the down until they are relaxed. Even better, is a dog that is so relaxed he has fallen asleep. A leash will help if he decides to bail to the other room, you can calmly get the end of the leash and lead him back to the place you want him to lay down. When the weather warms up and you are ready to enjoy lunch on a dog friendly patio, it will be much more enjoyable after teaching your pup how to relax.
Another great cold weather dog training activity is to work on your dog being calm during handling. Trips to the vet and groomer will be less stressful for you and your dog the more comfortable they are while being held and maneuvered. Regularly checking teeth, ears, skin, and paws is the best way for you to keep an eye on your dog’s health. We tend to wait until something is wrong (injury/infection) or needs to be done (nail trimming/cleaning) before handling our dogs. By working on handling your dog in your home when they are calm and relaxed, it will make life easier for everyone at their next checkup.
Dog Friendly Businesses
Pet stores can be sensory overload for dogs and keeping a dog’s focus with all those yummy smells, takes a lot of impulse control. Instead, opt for pet friendly stores that are not actual pet stores.
Locally, one mall has broken the brick-and-mortar abandonment by going dog friendly. Yorktown Mall in Lombard has 58 stores inside marked with paw print stickers, so you can shop, and mall walk with your dog. Following Yorktown’s success, Oakbrook Center has also gone dog friendly. See a full list of stores here.
Shopping stores are a great way to environmentally socialize your dog to different sounds, smells and textures. Always be sure to check with your local store’s manager before bringing your dog inside.
Here are a few national retail chains that allow pets:
- Lowe’s and Ace Hardware
- HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls
- Half Price Books
- Bass Pro Shops and Cabella’s
- Tractor Supply Co.
These hotels are also pet friendly:
- Best Western
- Red Roof
- La Quinta
- Holiday Inn
- W Hotels
Taking a car ride often means something to your dog; the vet, the dog park, the groomer, or going on vacation. Many dogs get car sick or loose stools after a car ride because of the excitement and stress. Taking a car ride just to drive around will help desensitize them to the car. Additionally, cooler temps are safer for them if you need to run into a store and grab something. If your dog does have issues with riding in the car, you will want to make the car a neutral place first.
This Post was Updated on January 1, 2022