Wednesday, January 28, 2015

10 top ideas to keep your green dog busy and active during the winter months!

Snow can be a whole lot of fun as Gracie and I found last year on our mountain.

We love playing snow fetch! But you can't stay out in that cold for very long, and us dogs need lots of exercise, both mentally and physically, to stay healthy and happy.

So what do we do on cold, rainy and super snow days? We play lots of games inside, then when it's safe, we go out and have a good play in the snow.

A lot of folks ask us what games we play indoors; because mental games can wear out us herding dogs just as much as physical exercise, keeping us from getting into trouble after a long, dark winter day.

So we thought we would share how we play, stay occupied, have fun, learn, exercise and stay happy when we can't get outside for our usual hikes, agility and long walks.

Here's our list of our favorite indoor games and activities:


Gracie, Rach and I love to learn new tricks and perfect ones we've already learned. On my other blog, we posted recently a big, big, big list of dog tricks that we have either mastered or want to learn eventually. We suggest you go and visit and get some great ideas.

Over the years we've video taped and added to our YouTube channel lots of tricks that Gracie, Rach and I have learned. It's a great resource to get more ideas. From simple sits, downs and bangs, to pulling off Mum's socks (I love to tug!) to leg weaving, roll over, circus dog and more.

Here's one of our vids on YouTube, a video of Rach learning 'circus dog'. This trick is great for young dogs to learn more about how their back legs work, because if dog's have a better understanding of their body, they can stay safer during activities.


Indoor games and activities are another thing that Gracie, Rach and I love to enjoy with Mum. Here are our favorites:

Hide and seek - Mum puts me in a stay down stairs, then goes upstairs and hides (sometimes in a closet, sometimes in the bathtub, you get the idea). Then she calls me to come and I find her to get a treat!

Find Target - This is one of my all time favorite games. Mum uses a yogurt container lid as a target, she puts me in a stay, then goes in another room and hides the target, releases me and then I have to find it to get the treats.

Table Games - Being the agility dog that I am, part of that is learning to 'down' on the table immediately. So during the winter, we like to work on this part of my agility inside, but it's a fun game for any dog! Mum sends me to the table (which is really our ottoman), and the faster I get down, the more treats I get! Rach is really enjoying this game.

Walking on a Treadmill - This is a little advanced, but a great activity to get pawsome exercise when you can't get outside because of the deep freeze temps. It's helping your dog learn to walk on a Treadmill. Here's a great resource to learn to teach your dog to walk on a treadmill.


There are lots of fun, intelligent, interactive and puzzle type games on the market, and Gracie, Rach and I love to play with them. But did you know that you can make yourself some really nice and fun interactive and intelligent games with items around your house? are some ideas:

The Muffin Tin Game - from our friend Astrid. Take a muffin tin, put a treat in each space, cover with a toy (make sure they're safe ones, K?) and let your dog learn to take the toy out to get the treat!

Hide a ball - Take an old blanket or towel, hide a ball or other green toy underneath and let your dog learn to find the ball under the blanket or towel. When they find it, give 'em a treat.

Hide a Treat - you know those stainless steel bowls you use to feed your dog their dinner? Well, they can become a pawsome hide a treat toy! Just put a little treat on the floor, then put the bowl upside down over it, and watch your pup use their brain to get to the treat. Even better, use three to four bowls and hide treats under just a couple of them. It's a great interactive toy!

Have fun and keep warm!

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