Activities For Dogs Who Like Cold Weather

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Introduction

Any kind of dog can enjoy cold weather, but certain breeds are definitely more attracted to the frigid temperatures. The Siberian Husky, Eskimo, Samoyed, Chinook, and Malamute are breeds that are can withstand temperature drops much more readily and easily than other canines. They function best when the conditions hover between minus 20 and plus 10 degrees F. Besides their unique coat and body fat, the dogs are also equipped with specialized feet that have veins and arteries that run close together. This unique formation creates an intricate heat transfer system that warms the arterial blood. They also have free resistant connective tissue and fat throughout their paw pads. Such dogs thrive when the weather gets cold; if your pooch is a chilly weather lover, when winter arrives it is time to plan some fun activities.

Sled Pulling and Mushing

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Cold Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Tow Line
Waste Belt
Sled
Tire
Activity description
In cold regions, competitive dog sledding with Northern breeds is commonplace. In fact, some Inuits and other tribes still rely on dog sledding as a way of life. Recreational dog sledding during the chilly winter months is a great way to exercise your dog and spend valuable time together. Most dogs who excel in the cold weather also love sledding. They like to get out and mush to their heart's content across the frozen landscape. It is also a lot of fun for you to ride along as your dog pulls you through pristine wilderness regions. Just remember, the experience needs to be enjoyable for both of you.
Step
1
Towing
Place the harness and tow line on your dog. Let your pooch get used to the feel of the contraption. The whole time you are putting the harness and tow line on, give your pup words of encouragement. Attach a tire to the end of the tow line. Now start running along through the snow and encourage your canine to run alongside you pulling the tire. Remember to use a command to spur your dog forward such as 'mush', 'hike', or 'pull'. Your dog will associate the word with the action.
Step
2
Attaching the sled
Once your dog is comfortable pulling the tire and readily responds to your commands, it is time to replace the tire with a sled. Offer the same actions and words of encouragement so your dog gets used to the feel of pulling the sled. You must teach your dog to respond to the word stop before you can safely ride in the sled. Run along beside your dog as they pull the sled. Have a leash also attached to your dog. When it is time to stop pulling, you need to stop the animal using the leash while giving the command, 'whoa' or 'stop'.
Step
3
Commands and sledding
Now that your canine is pulling the sled, going forward, and then stopping, it is time to teach the commands to make your dog 'turn'. You will do this the same way you did 'stop' but you will turn left and guide your dog to the left while saying, 'turn left' and the same for 'turn right'. Some people use the commands 'gee' and 'haw' for right and left. Once your pooch has all the commands down and seems to genuinely enjoy pulling a sled it is time to jump on the sled and enjoy the ride. At first your dog may balk because the animal is used to you running alongside, but offering words of encouragement from the sled will quickly make the animal mush.
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Hide and Seek

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Cold Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Toys
Treats
Activity description
After a snowstorm, most dogs (especially Northern breeds), enjoy digging in the snow. Maybe it's the feel of the soft powder between their toes or the coolness that they find appealing. Nonetheless, you can cater to your dog's love of snow digging by playing a game of hide and seek together. This is also a great way to put your dog's sense of smell to the test. You will be amazed at just how easily your pooch can smell through the snow cover. They will be able to readily sniff out a variety of things, not just food items.
Step
1
Item preparation
If the snow has fallen and you have good coverage then it's time to head out and hide some items for your dog to find. Pick treats and toys. If you are hiding toys, be sure to rub your hands over the items so your dog can quickly pick up your scent to locate the items.
Step
2
Hide the treats
Dig a small hole in the snow. Place the item into the hole and gently cover it with snow. Pat the snow down to firm the surface so your snowy companion really has to work to find the hidden object.
Step
3
Find it
It's time to let your dog start hunting the items. If your yard is fenced, then you can let your furry buddy go to find the items at their leisure. If your yard is not fenced, make sure your dog is affixed to a leash while your dog looks for the hidden items. Each time your dog finds the object, give your pet ample praise and encouragement.
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Snowball Catch

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Cold Day
Free
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Gloves
Treats
Activity description
Almost all dogs like to play fetch and your pup will be no different. Why not involve them in a game of snowball catch? It's fun and free. Your dog will have a blast. It is a great game to get the whole family involved in. You can all be involved in tossing the balls every which way so that your snow dog is running everywhere. Remember, this game is not about pelting the dog with snowballs; that could be very upsetting and stressful for your companion. Instead, it's about a game of fetch or keep-away using nature's own ball material, snow.  Snowball catch is a great game for young and old, or even multiple dogs.
Step
1
Snowball making
Grab up a handful of snow and start packing it into a ball shape. If the snow is moist, it tends to stick together better. You might want to use a bag or a basket to place the snow balls in so that you don't have to keep stopping to make more balls.
Step
2
Introduce the game
Toss a few balls and talk in an excited voice to encourage your pooch to take notice of the balls. You might even toss a couple at them to easily catch so that they get a taste for the snow. Don't be surprised if they start actually eating the snow. It's okay and perfectly natural.
Step
3
Keep away
Start tossing balls at each other and play a game of keep away with your pooch. Be sure to let them catch a few balls so they stay interested and keep having fun. Remember to run and offer encouragement to make the game even more enjoyable.
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More Fun Ideas...

Get the Snowman

This is a great game for the family. You can all build a fun snowman together. Once the snowman is created, you can bring Fido out and introduce them to the snowman.  Tell the dog to give the snowman a lick. You can even use dog biscuits to make the snowman's nose, eyes, and mouth. Eventually, you can encourage your dog to tackle the snowman and tear him up. In fact, you can all jump on the snowman at once and smash him into the ground. Your dog will have a great time rolling around and digging in the snow.

Tunnels

Little dogs really like this game. If you get an adequate amount of snowfall then you can start to shovel the snow and create tunnels or pathways for your pooch to run through. Think of it as a mouse in a maze type of game only with snow. You can put a treat at the end of the maze so there is a reward when your dog finds the way through. You can even get down on your hands and knees to help your dog navigate through the pathways. Unfortunately, to play this game with a large dog means that you will need a great deal of snowfall but for a little dog you can usually do it with only about two feet of snow.

Conclusion

Most dogs with a medium to long fur coat enjoy cool weather because they have their own natural coat. Winter time is a fun time for dogs who have adequate fur. Some dogs who lack fur may need a coat and maybe even booties to truly enjoy the cold white stuff. Nonetheless, winter can be fun for any dog with the right amount of weather preparation. Planning outdoor activities is also good for your dog because it gets them out, partaking in exercise and enjoying the crisp, fresh air. The fun activities listed are all great ways to introduce your dog to the frigid season.