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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Winter weather activities

Can any of your readers suggest some activities for my family and our dog? Our husky is called Blaze and he’s 20 months old and needs lots of exercise. We take him for lots of walks but would like some other activities to do with him, especially now its winter and sometimes my wife and I need a bit of an incentive to take him for a walk! My kids are 12 and 14 and we’re an active family – enjoy biking etc.


Greg, by email


  1. Hi Greg
    Have you considered doing some fun scent-work exercises during walks? There are a few training clubs (including mine) that teach owners how to apply these games so that both the owner and dog benefits.
    Dog's have a super power and it simply needs to be unleashed! Dog's live in a world of scent and their nose has the ability to locate and discriminate different smells, which when harnessed is both fun and useful.
    By building simple exercises you can soon have your dog locating your mobile phone or car-keys!
    Also a good scent-work session will tire him out quicker than any walk around the block can. This is what makes scent-work extremely useful! Anxious dogs can finally find a role and gain confidence. Hyperactive dogs can put their excess energy to a positive use!
    And it is tremendous fun for both the dog and the owners.
    Dog's with very little obedience training shine at this so no previous training is required. We start teaching the dog to find a pre-scented toy or a treat bag and progress to items such as car keys. Once the techniques are learned you can easily hide articles during walks or simply drop the article behind you as you are walking and then send him back to search for it.
    Other activities to choose can be 'agility', 'competitive obedience' and 'Rally-O'. Yet scent-work is one of the easiest and most natural for a dog to perform and succeed in but often the most overlooked.

  2. It is always more difficult in Winter but lots of agility clubs train indoors and it is great fun (and very tiring) for your dog. We signed up with one that used an indoor riding school one evening a week and our dog loved it.

  3. As above: scent work, agility, flyball, fun obedience (they cover sits and stays but also odd ones such as fetch my slippers, musical sits, ect) your kids may also enjoy the doggy dancing classes which would be similar to the ashleigh / pudsey routine.