Winter has us indoors, Shamas is restless. tips?

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Winter has us indoors, Shamas is restless. tips?

This is a discussion on Winter has us indoors, Shamas is restless. tips? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; it's so cold outside right now that Shamas won't go outside He does his thing, and comes right in, gingerly liftin his feet, because of ...

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Old 01-02-2018, 09:30 PM
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Winter has us indoors, Shamas is restless. tips?

it's so cold outside right now that Shamas won't go outside He does his thing, and comes right in, gingerly liftin his feet, because of the cold on his pads.

For walks, we're warming up the van before driving 25min to Petsmart and Chapters...which we do almost every day for about an hour.

But this is not enough. He's restless, and antsy. He's starting to stalk the cats to amuse himself. His toys are being torn to shreds, and he's raiding the litterbox.

I have a nice open concept house, and have been allowing the kids to play fetch inside with him, and we do little training sessions to work on focus exercises. He didnt come with any prior training for all that he's 5 years old, so he only knows SIT, LAY DOWN, SHAKE PAW so far.

Seems to me that this is a perfect time to train some tricks/basic skills. I am working on HEEL, and WATCH ME.

When he gets too focused on the cats, I leash him, and he's taken slowly, and at a controlled pace only as close as he can control his impulses-which is about 5 feet. There, we sit and watch, and have a conversation and treats. He's starting now to ask me to take him over, instead of going into a headlong dash to catch the animal that he so eagerly wants to play with. Only Matt, our biggest is not a source of intense excitement, because Matt is 16lbs and cool as a cucumber. Shamas seems to have Prey Drive from about 12lbs down

What else can I do to occupy Shamas until the temperatures get back up? Useful commands, games, etc are definitely appreciated.

It's not fair to be cooped up all day, but we have -15 to -20 as base temps right now, and he can't handle those temperatures....especially once you factor windchill. Today I picked up his coat and harness, and he took one look at me and curled up in his kennel. I got him out, put them on, and he went BACK in his kennel. Can't get much clearer than that!
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:43 PM
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Some game suggestions

Hi! My dog and I are also facing the same dilemma, except she loves to be outside but it is just too cold for her regular walks. We have been walking inside stores like you are, but there are a couple games I play with her that you didn't mention that she loves. One is very simple, called "find it". Basically, what I do is start by putting a treat in plain view and say find it. once she eats the treat i tell her good girl. Repeat this a couple times. Then I start making them slightly less visible, behind a chair leg or behind a door frame. basically I increase the difficulty, until I can hide it under stuff and she will find it. I found this on the internet somewhere while googling indoor games. Another game I play with my dog is a variation of fetch, where I get her to sit, then I tell her stay, and then I throw the toy. She has to stay for as long as I wait, then I tell her "okay" and she can go get the toy and bring it back to me. This would require that he knows stay, but training that is really easy! What worked for me was to stand infront of my dog, and get her to sit. Then I would say stay, and reward after about 5-10 seconds if she didnt move, then gave her a treat. I didnt add any distance or time until I could get her to stay still reliably. Then, I added distance, and now I can go behind a closed door and wait for 15 seconds and she will stay. My trainer told me it was key to make sure you only added either distance or time in the beginning, because adding both can be overwhelming and is basically setting her up to fail. We are still working on it, but it really only took me a couple weeks to get her to that point.
Hope this helps, and good luck staying out of the cold!!
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:46 AM
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When it's just too cold to play outside, we do a few things:

1) We learn a new trick! YouTube has a bunch of free instructional videos on how to teach certain tricks - my favorites are Kikopup and Zak George

2) We bust out our fitness equipment. I have some equipment from Fitpaws and during the crummy weather, I try to work on canine conditioning. I've also taken online fitness classes, which are fun.

3) If you have a pet rehab facility near you, you can call and see if they have an indoor pool. I took my dog twice last week and a 30 minute swim really tuckered her out.

4) You can sign up for a class at a local training center. Some training centers will allow their students to rent the building (or a portion of the building) if it's not being used. Even if the rental isn't an option, taking a new class will likely give you things to work on at home.


These are just some things that I like to do to occupy our time.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:53 AM
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I never thought about walking in PetSmart! Great idea! We're in the same boat. It's so cold here. Carly doesn't mind going out in the backyard, but I don't like to leave her out there too long in these temps, and our walks have ceased until it warms up (maybe today we'll do a short block walk...it's supposed to hit 16 degrees...heatwave!).

We have a hallway that works well for playing fetch or just running up and down. I also will toss a ball down our short, one-flight of steps for her to chase, but I always worry that she'll hurt herself running down so I don't do that too often. I have been working on "find the treat" games around the house, but I know she can use more physical exercise. Maybe we'll try your petsmart idea today!
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:06 AM
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I never thought about walking in PetSmart! Great idea! We're in the same boat. It's so cold here. Carly doesn't mind going out in the backyard, but I don't like to leave her out there too long in these temps, and our walks have ceased until it warms up (maybe today we'll do a short block walk...it's supposed to hit 16 degrees...heatwave!).

We have a hallway that works well for playing fetch or just running up and down. I also will toss a ball down our short, one-flight of steps for her to chase, but I always worry that she'll hurt herself running down so I don't do that too often. I have been working on "find the treat" games around the house, but I know she can use more physical exercise. Maybe we'll try your petsmart idea today!
It's surprising how many stores allow dogs in

we have been to Petsmart, and Chapters(sometimes the other dogs overwhelm Shamas)

Lowes, Canadian Tire, Barnes and Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond are a few others. Home Depot. Of course, it's up to the individual manager, so check your locall store, but we generally get a great reception at stores.

The general rule of thumb is that the dog must be friendly, and controlled on a leash. So I take Shamas on a harness, with his Martingale on his neck, just in case I need better communication. and a pocketful of treats.
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:17 PM
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Interesting idea for future dogs... It can get as low as -20 here, and our PetCo and Barnes and Noble are next to eachother! I'll have to ask!
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:29 PM
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We have Petsmart and Chapters side by side. It works great..we start in Petsmart, to get his wiggles out, then wander over to Chapters for the mental stimulation of being on his best behavior
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:05 PM
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I just played this game with my friend's dog and I never saw her lab so focused and obedient. Also I have taken her for a couple of dead sprints down the street and back; any longer than that and she starts holding her feet wierd

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Last edited by keddre; 01-03-2018 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:53 AM
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We have Petsmart and Chapters side by side. It works great..we start in Petsmart, to get his wiggles out, then wander over to Chapters for the mental stimulation of being on his best behavior
I've never heard of Chapters. I did take Carly to Pet Smart yesterday...she loved sniffing around and the staff was so nice! I've been there before but not with our dog. I also learned that the management at our Lowe's and Home Depot allow dogs in the store, so we may have to make the rounds until the cold snap is over!
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:11 AM
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I think Chapters is our Barnes and Noble. It's a HUGE bookstore, as big as Petsmart, and they run their own line of Kindles, called the KOBO.

We've been frequenting them for years, because they have a Starbucks in the store, and we like to grab a coffee and wander amongst the books.
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