Winter coming up makes me think of indoor games for the dog, and me to play. So we don't lay around getting fat. Her current fav is Stick in the Pond. The pond will be around all winter and she is half Labrador. Last winter she jumped on the ice and licked at it a lot.
So when I had a "pure bred" pit, he loved to play with large rocks and bowling balls. The bowling balls did less damage to my house when he rolled them up and down the hall licking it and snorting. My current Labrador-Pit "Lady Jane Dog" ignores the bowling ball - shes afraid of it.
My greyhound loved certain "tuff toys" and always ran around with her nose through the dougnut so her face was surroubded by the tiger colored dougnut, but Lady just likes to chew on it.
She play a bit of tug and of course Ball is fun, but she mozzies after the ball doncha know, not like chasing Stick. So maybe we'll do Walk and Sniff, with Stick and Ball out back after our walk.
How do you guy play with your dogs and exercise them in winter?
oh yes - seems none of my dogs are socialised to other dogs so dog parks are out. A thought of getting her a cat but the wife is allergic to cat fur. Jim
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
Loc: San Diego CA
With my dog, the colder it gits, the more she needs to run outside.
The stuff we do inside is more just mentally stimulating for the dog. Two things we do are; play go find the toy, and go find somebody. The first one is more like retrieving so just start out easy on the dog so they figure out what you are looking for them to do, and when they do it lavish the praise and or treats on 'em. Tica can find some pretty will hidden stuff now, although it may take 5 min or so of sniffing around vigorously. Do that 3 or 4 times and we are up to 20 min.
With the second, they are learning the names of people in plain view and going over to great them. This one was definitely harder and took more patience to get her to do. But each dog is different; go with your dog's strength and branch out from there. Tug-of-war is another.
We walk! I put on the winter hunting gear (well that is what I did use it for) and we walk; Bear love the snow so no problem. In fact HE is willing even when I would just a soon stay in the warm house! He does prefer to not walk in the COLD run off of the snow; in fact I think that is what got him to not want to step into a lake thinking it would be cold. He did get to where when he was REALLY HOT this summer to where he found that water was something to lay down in!!
We do more stuff in winter than in summer. She likes that better. I take her camping and she pulls my stuff in the sled. I take the kids and she pulls them. She runs next to my bike. She really doesn't like to play that much. She just likes to run and try to catch small creatures. She is not very good with other dogs either.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
Aside from walking and hiking, I got my little dude one those hollow blue balls and he absolutely loves that thing. It's great for playing fetch or tug and since it's hollow we can even use it in our apartment without disturbing my neighbors downstairs. He even brings it to bed with him sometimes.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
While dog-sitting my daughter's 18-month-old half Lab, Hanover, who is half Golden Retriever and a Guide Dogs for the Blind "Second Career" dog, I have found that he can have very few toys because he is such a mighty chewer. He will have the squeaker out of a stuffed toy in less than 60 seconds. Even the largest size Ultimate Kong got big gouges chewed out of it rather quickly. About all he can have is the largest size Nylabone for a half hour after meals and his Ultimate Kong rubber ball. I'm getting him an Ultimate Kong flexible frisbee, too, but he can play with that only under supervision (i.e., fetch in the back yard).
He actually was dropped from Guide Dog training only because of health reasons (frequent vomiting). Since my daughter is a veterinarian, she's been able to control the vomiting by finding a food he's not allergic to.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey