Activities For Dogs With Owners Who Like Snowboarding

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Introduction

Snowboarding is one of those classic snow sports, right up there with skiing and sledding. Snowboarding is a very popular activity with humans if the X Games and the Winter Olympics are anything to go by, but how much do dogs like to "shred the Gnar" when it's snowing outside? Moreover, what kind of activities can a dog owner who loves to snowboard engage in with their dogs in snowy terrain? Below are a number of activities that all meant to be attempted out in the snow with at least one dog and at least one human. Give these a try the next time you head out snowboarding and your dog is sure to appreciate the change of pace.

Snowshoeing

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Cold Day
Moderate
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Protective dog booties
Snowshoes
Snowshoeing Kit
Snowshoeing Poles
Activity description
Snowshoeing is an activity that's heavily been inspired by Skiing, Snowboarding, and Ice Hiking. The activity involves strapping what essentially amounts to two miniature snowboards to the soles of your snowshoes and then going out for a nice trek along a snowy trail. Snowshoeing is a great activity for dogs and humans who are still getting used to the snow because it allows both parties to develop their "snow legs" (read: helps your leg muscles get used to walking on the often uneven terrain associated with snowy environments) so to speak. Most snowshoeing kits can run from anywhere between $50 to $100 or $200 based on the quality and amount of gear included.
Step
1
R&D (research and development)
Snowshoeing kits can come with a variety of pieces of equipment, but you may not need to use all of them depending on the type of terrain you and your dog will be trekking across; snowshoeing poles, for instance, are really only necessary for environments with incline or heavy amounts of snow to them. We would advise reading about any areas you might be considering snowshoeing in and bringing the correlating gear.
Step
2
Suit up
After you've conducted some R&D, you'll likely have a better idea of what you need to bring along for your snowshoeing trip and what you can leave behind. As with many activities that involve walking for long distances, planning is key; learn to discern which pieces of equipment, types of emergency supplies, and kinds of food you will and won't need. Be sure to bring along any gear your pup may need, such as protective booties for the feet.
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Snow Scavenger Hunting

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Cold Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Scented Items
Bits of food
Favorite Toys
Activity description
This activity is an oldie but a goodie, so to speak. This modified version of a classic game of scavenger hunting involves placing your dog's favorite toys, bits of food, or scented items all around an area and then encouraging your dog to use their nose to find them. We placed this activity after snowshoeing under the assumption that, either by snowshoeing long enough or by virtue of some other sort of alternative means, you and your dog have acclimated enough to the snow to be able to traverse snowy terrain without a snowshoeing kit. The reason being is that snow scavenger hunting can become a very physical activity, so you'll need to be as mobile and flexible as possible.
Step
1
Choose wisely
The location you and your dog are going to be scavenging around, the types of items or types of food you're going to be encouraging your dog to try and find, the spots you're going to hide those items or pieces of food in; you'll want to choose all of it carefully. You can read about any area you're thinking about scavenger hunting around online but the items and food you use are completely up to you.
Step
2
Plant carefuly
In order for your dog to find the items or pieces of food with their sense of smell, they'll need to be able to smell whatever it is you've hidden underneath snow, dirt, or grass. It's important to bury the items so that your dog can't see them, but don't bury them so deeply that you're dog won't be able to smell the items or food beyond the terrain.
Step
3
Watch and stay close
After you've completed the first two steps, all that's left you to do is let your dog take a crack at this unique activity. Keep close to your dog to ensure that they don't veer off into unknown territory but try to refrain from guiding your dog to the items or pieces of food unless a lot of time has passed and they still haven't found the items.
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Duo Snowboarding

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Cold Day
Moderate
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Snowboard
Dog Snow Gear
Human Snow Gear
Activity description
We've finally reached it: the most difficult activity on this list is also, potentially, the most rewarding if attempted safely and properly. Snowboarding with your dog can be great fun, provided that the both of you are properly geared and acclimated to snowy environments. As we'll break down in further detail below, we highly suggest trying this activity by first allowing your dog to run by your side as you snowboard down a relatively level slope before you let them set a paw on a board themselves. We'd also advise against trying this activity in any heavily wooded areas, as your dog will not be able to change the direction they're heading in.
Step
1
Shred together
When you and your dog initially try this activity, be sure to snowboard together; shred down a slope that's not very steep with your dog by your side so that they can get a sense of the momentum and energy associated with snowboarding. You don't need to keep your dog on a leash for this activity (in fact, we highly advise you don't use a leash unless it's a hands free leash attached to a dog harness) but aim to snowboard at a slow enough pace and on a gentle enough environment for your dog to enjoy the fun.
Step
2
Shred individually
After enough time has been spent snowboarding together, your dog will eventually be ready to shred on their own. Before you let your dog get on a snowboard, mentally map out the path and trajectory of your dog's snowboarding route and be sure that there are no trees, or anything that would require sharp turning to avoid. When you let your dog atop a board, they'll only be able to sit or stand as the board moves forward, so always keep that in mind when attempting this activity.
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More Fun Ideas...

Take The Ski Lift Together

While this last activity is less physically intense than many of the others on this list, it's still a great way to get your dog used to snow while also giving the two of you a chance to bond during one of the quieter, more peaceful times during a typical visit to a snowy area.

Snowy Hide and Seek

This modified version of a classic game doesn't require too much effort to attempt; the next time you and your dog are out in a snowy area, have your dog sit still as you cover them in snow up to their feet. Run away and hide and wait for your pet to dig themselves out of their small snow snare and sniff you out.

Conclusion

Certain dogs have been born and bred to be able to handle the snow with ease; breeds like Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Saint Bernards may take to the activities listed above a lot more quickly than a Labrador Retriever or even a German Shepherd. However, we implore you not to get discouraged if your dog doesn't seem to gel with the snow initially. As the old saying goes, "good things come to those who wait," and if you wait for your dog to become acclimated to the weather and terrain of a snowy environment, you'll likely find that they enjoy the snow just as much as a breed that'd be considered a "snow dog."