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Hi there, this is my first time on this site. My husband and I adopted our first dog almost a month ago from our local shelter. She is a lab, collie mix, and oddly enough she's a good match with us even though we're in an apartment building. She's pretty mellow, and has only barked inside once ever (this morning actually) inside, she is the perfect dog.

We're working with her outside, because she has some social issues. She's not sure about other dogs, and flat out scared of people unless she's gotten to know them (she coward from my husband the first time we saw her). She also doesn't seem to be a fan of bad weather, in particular wind. We had snow last night (PS we're in Canada) and it was really windy this morning...she basically did her business and wanted to go back in. Believe me, I'm so not opposed to not having to go out in the bad weather...I am however worried for her. I want her to get her exercise and stay stimulated.

So I guess I'm looking for inside activity ideas. We play with her ball down the hall, and she does well with that, eventually it turns into cuddles with mom. Some one suggested a laser pointer to us... and she gave me a look as if to say, "seriously"? I made her an obstacle course, and she had no interest, it turned into cuddles with mom once again. I've tried running around the apartment with her and that gets her going, sometimes a little too rough, but she's learning. I also hid some training treats around and had her stiff them out... I'm looking for other ideas. What indoor activities do you find work?

Thanks in advance
 

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Congratulations on your new dog--she sounds like she's a great fit with you and your lifestyle. If she is fearful of people and things outside, you will want to start counter-conditioning her to those, teaching her how to behave properly while walking. Try taking a look at this thread, I know it is probably way TMI, but you can get a lot just skipping around.

http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training-behavior/reactivity-progress-techniques-suggestions-78554/

My dog is also afraid of strangers, especially males. What works very well for us is to give males a ball, with instructions to throw the ball for him right away, and not try to "make friends", bend down, hold out a hand, etc...This thaws things out much more quickly (throws ball=buddy for life). Since your dog is ball-motivated, this might work well for you. With women, I just ask them to ignore him and he does fine. You may find that your dog improves a lot over time as she becomes more comfortable.

You've already found my favorite inside game, which is "find it". I use bits of freeze-dried food (dry and not greasy), and hide them all over the house, sometimes in boxes with a hole in them also. This kind of mental stimulation can be even better than physical exercise at times. You can also hide her ball and reward her by throwing it. Another great toy is a "flirt pole"--basically a toy on a string at the end of a pole. I would stay away from laser pointers--heard too many horror stories of animals getting obsessed with them.

Training tricks is also a great way to stimulate the mind, and get a bit of exercise. See how many things you can teach her. You could also look into doing a doggie daycare or daycamp now and then. My dog goes to daycare twice a week and it is very helpful for dog and people socialization. I do think that dogs need to get out a bit no matter the weather, the outdoors is so rich in smells and sights compared to indoors. Even just a half hour a day is so helpful, and you can work on counter-conditioning at the same time.
 

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Welcome to Dog Forum and congratulations on your new pup! I agree with more mental stimulation - brain work is more tiring than physical work. :) Also keep in mind that she's only been with you a short time, so as she settles in, she may become a bit more confident and more interested in playing.

The reactivity link is a fabulous resource! Check out the Training and Behavior Stickies for more good resources for training techniques and ideas. For fear and general discomfort with things / people, take a look at Debbie Jacob's fearful dog site and google Sophia Yin counter-conditioning and Donna Hill counter-conditioning
 

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I'm glad that she does not like the laser pointer! The last then you want is a light obsessed dog that spends her day staring at beams of light waiting for them to move.

Everyone has given you some great ideas. I can add buying, or making, a flirt pole and letting her chase that.
 

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If you have sufficient indoor space, I second the flirt pole-type toy suggestion. My dog loves his Kong chase-it. We also play a lot of indoor ball games. I've been substituting indoor exercise for some of his evening walks since it's getting darker and colder earlier, and he's a big baby about the cold.
 

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101 things to do with a box (Karen Pryor) is a lot of fun.

Everyone has given you some great ideas. Let us know how it goes with what you try and congrats on the new dog. :) Take a look at the training and behavior stickies. You'll find a ton of good info there for first time dog owners.
 

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One that hasn't been said: Puzzle toys!!! Ezra gets fed out of a puzzle toy for every meal (Kong Wobbler). It keeps him working for his food.
 
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If you have a lobby area in your building, take your pup down there for training sessions as well. Teach her to sit or down when people come and go, and give her a treat. It may help her get used to people. Also, use the stairs for a couple of flights, when you take her outside for potty breaks, or just walk her up and down the stairs for a bit of exercise. You could walk one hallway, use the stairs up a flight, walk another hallway, stairs, etc.
 
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I used to throw the tennis ball down the steps and she would run down, fetch and run back up. Endless up/down running, but it worked to tire out my pup when she was less than 1 year.
 

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Great suggestions from above, and greetings from a fellow Canuck! I'm out her in the frozen southwest, also called southern Alberta lol so, believe me, I understand wind! The chinooks here can easily get to 110 km/hour. Our snow falls are always large and I'm not looking forward to -30 temps :( (it's already -20 here)

I like to get my lab mixes crazies out by throwing the ball down the hall, of course she doesn't bring them back (she's not a good retriever lol), play find it with dinner, and use the treadmill. I bought one off of kijiji and Tessa has taken to it rather easily. She loves it and run on it till the cows come home.

Oh and puzzle toys, puzzle toys, and more puzzle toys!
 
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