I have been cold all week. I cannot warm up. Even at night, even after a hot shower. It's getting old fast. Probably has a lot to do with the temperatures this week. -41 C with the windchill. Serious. That is cold. Colder than normal too. I don't remember it staying this cold for as long ever before. I know, it's winter. But it's barely winter... we needed a bit of a gradual cold.
The dogs are a little stir crazy- when it is this cold they don't last long outside. I do have boots for some of them. But Wicca and Pixel have never been succesful at keeping them on. And I tried to put some on Leo and he fell over. lol. It is not worth it really- so we have been doing things in the house to tire them out.
With six active dogs in the house- I have to be pretty creative but here are some of the things we do. Some things are just normal training things, but others are just for fun.
Peanut Ball- this tires them out physically and mentally.
Food Games- I have a few of the plastic Nina Ottoson games, they all know the trick to them already, but it is still entertaining.
Find it games- depending on the dog the game varies. For instance Wicca looks for wintergreen (for nosework), Pixel looks for her dumbbell, and the other dogs search out a food container.
Shaping- I used to just shape tricks, but after the Sue Ailsby course I use shaping to get movement and thinking too! So for example I'll choose head motion and shape a nod, or a headshake. Or I'll choose feet and get high steps, or single leg lifts. I set a timer- 2 minutes. This probably tires them out the most.
Tricks- so many tricks, so little time! Brit recently has perfected the dead dog, and is working on roll over. Pixel is learning how to take a bow, and Leo is learning how to wave. V is learning how to say his prayers. I choose pretty random things each time, and have lots of half learned things that aren't on cues yet. So sometimes I'll finish off one of those.
Training- working on specific things for each dog. (the ones that are training for something anyway!). Go outs, scent discrimination, signals for Pixel. Stays, transition games, and finishes for Brit. Targeting, backchaining on the contact board, and impulse control games for Leo. Wicca does cavaletti's, and back ups, and stretches for her physical problem.
Some of these things can be done in 10-15 minutes, and others require a bit more time. But really- I am telling the truth- I can tire these dogs out way quicker mentally than physically. And on bitter cold days like this, I am grateful for that !
If I had the space I'd get a treadmill, but I just do not have the room for one in my tiny little house. Maybe one day. When I win the lottery (which is a post for another day...)