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Both of my dogs are short haired dogs. One is a mixed breed that looks like a dachshund, and the other one is a bull breed mix. It's snowy and icy out and I don't know what to do with exercise. The snow came yesterday and it doesn't seem like it's going away soon, so they need to exercise somehow. :(
I've heard one way of exercising inside a house is playing with pull ropes, but they don't respond to them. I just end up shoving the rope by their face, and they just don't care, kind of like what a baby does when it doesn't want to eat. My smaller dog does love chewing the ropes, but the moment I touch it, she doesn't do anything with it. So ropes are out of the question... :ponder:
I feed my dogs on their walks to prevent them from pulling and eating poop and garbage, so they've not been eating their full amount lately.:(
So my two dogs are mostly spending their time in their crates, with a little bit of time outside of their crates, while inside. The snow just makes everything harder, please help! :(
 

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1. There are things you put on your boots to give you traction, so you can still walk your dogs on icy days. Rubber, pull on, with metal spikes.
2. I just happened to be reading a thread (elsewhere) about teaching dogs who don't tug to tug. And one thing mentioned was to find a toy that they find super enticing and tease them with it. Put it on the end of a rope or flirt pole. Make it hard but not impossible to obtain, you might find their inner 'tugger'. That could even mean infusing a tug with super smells (as long as your dog won't injest the toy).
3. Put sweaters on your dogs to keep them warm. If they are active, they shouldn't get too cold. I make dog sweaters out human sweaters, cut off the sleeves, gather in the 'extra'. Little dogs can go into children & baby way from a local thrift store.
There are other ways to indoor exercise a dog than tug too.
Hope that helps.
 
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Do you not like the snow, or do your dogs not like the snow?
 
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Bundle yourself up, get warm sweaters/coats for your short-haired dogs, and continue as usual as you would in warmer weather. Weather should not hinder outdoor exercise unless there's a hurricane or some other sort of dangerous weather going on. Ice, snow, and rain are no excuses for lack of exercise for dogs.
 

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Most dogs do fine in cold weather. You can get them coats and boots if you think they need them. If they eat trash on walks, condition them to wear a basket style muzzle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FABgZTFvHo

You can teach tricks inside and obedience train. Food reinforcement is possible and preferable when training and teaching tricks. No need for them to spend most of their time in a crate or miss meals, if you use your imagination. Play the find i game. 101 things to do with a box. You can find both of these described if you google.
 

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One of mine loves the cold weather but despite being a husky mix is too enthusiastic and slips on the ice (almost fell into the road today and we were just walking normally on a loose leash!) and my other boy HATES the cold and I'm struggling to find him a jacket that fits well enough and is warm for him to tolerate it (he already has boots). My two are also on crate and rotate-so they spend lots of time crated, too. Unfortunate, but necessary.

We stick to lots of brain work indoors instead, and I just do LOTS of training sessions. You might be able to throw a ball in the house and dog proof an area, or a flirt pole in an empty room. Work on body awareness exercises and strengthening - such as tricks like sit pretty or handstands (if your dog is capable of doing them safely-if not, build up those muscles and just don't do those particular tricks!). There's quiet a bit you can do indoors when the weather is truly awful, in addition to your regular (or slightly shortened) walks.
@timber, I do agree that those aren't excuses to not exercise-but they are good reasons to not exercise OUTDOORS. If we can't do a 15 minute walk without slipping into the road, I don't bother-safety first. There's lots you can do to make up for being unable to run dogs outside, and only a mild amount of creativity is required. This is a VERY common situation for people downtown, who's dogs don't get along with others, or in areas that are subject to extreme weather. Frostbite, falling on ice, and safety in rain are all legitimate obstacles to overcome-they just happen differently in different areas, and certain ones are compensated for more easily than others. Lots of weather conditions can be considered dangerous. We get frostbite warnings tons, along with ice puddles and black ice-even at -20C, which is nice weather during the winter here. I agree that you should tolerate what you can, but there's lots of good reasons to not let your dogs run free outdoors for exercise.
 

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For many dogs, going out for walks is actually not so much about the physical exercise but instead about the mental stimulation of getting out and about. Nosework in the house is a good temporary solution for bad weather days, but you'll need to find a more permanent solution for dealing with the snow.

Even if your dogs are short-haired, they'll be fine in cold weather and snow as long as they have a layer on. Unless they're very cold-sensitive, they won't need boots.

Winter takes up quite a long time of the year! You'll need to make peace with it :)
 

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@Shandula, you make a good point. I'd say it's both, but I guess I'd have to experiment to see. Bones, my bbm, was quick to do his business, and on the times he didn't have to, he went straight back to the door. While, Coffee, my small dog, took a while and actually walked around a bunch to poop... She even pulled to try an d get at the neighbor's husky. It's her very first time ever seeing snow, since she's under a year old.
 

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@travelingswift, I know! It's why I know I can't continue staying holed up with them. I'm just so lost and have no idea what to do. I just don't know what to do. :(
I tried booties with Bones last year, but they just came off... It was a waste of money. :(
I live in a trash neighborhood with no sidewalks, so I would have to walk on salted roads if I walked my dogs on them... But booties don't work for Bones.
I do find that is true. Walks began to be 500% better once I started feeding them their kibble as rewards during walks.
 

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I was just curious. Both my sister's Dachshunds are absolutely OBSESSED with the snow, they love to tunnel, and bunny hop, it's pretty funny.
 
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@travelingswift, I know! It's why I know I can't continue staying holed up with them. I'm just so lost and have no idea what to do. I just don't know what to do. :(
I tried booties with Bones last year, but they just came off... It was a waste of money. :(
I live in a trash neighborhood with no sidewalks, so I would have to walk on salted roads if I walked my dogs on them... But booties don't work for Bones.
I do find that is true. Walks began to be 500% better once I started feeding them their kibble as rewards during walks.
Do you have access to a car? Is it possible to drive to a dog park or other local park so that you can get off the streets with them? Salted roads are problematic as that will bother their skin :( Too bad the boots didn't work out. Even if you can't go to the park every day, 2-3x a week to let them blow off some steam would be nice!

When my girl is driving me up the wall but I *really* don't want to take her for a walk in the miserable weather, I hide bits of her kibble around the house/room (we have a small-ish apartment so I hide them everywhere) so she has to scent them out. It usually keeps her busy for 30-45 minutes as she'll keep sniffing around even if she's found them all (gotta double check right?).
 

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What about taking the dogs to doggie day care once or twice a week? Do they do well with other dogs? They might enjoy interacting and playing with other dogs. That will get them some exercise and stimulation during the week.
 

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I've used vaseline on paws for salt; it also reduces the snowballs that build up between dog toes on cold days. By the time you're back, it should be gone.
 
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Great tips in here!

I struggle with winter exercise too... nobody shovels their sidewalks in my subdivision and with snow packed down to ice then more snow and more ice weather-cycle we get, it's too dangerous and difficult to walk on sidewalks, so we're forced to the street which is even more dangerous. On the weekends I take them to the forest preserves for their walks, but during the week the sun sets while I'm still at work so I can't make it there.

My dogs definitely enjoy the mental stimulation from their walks more than the physical stimulation. Riley (my Kelpie mix) LIVES for his walks, Ember (my ACD mix) could take or leave them. She's happy with anything. As long as she's doing something or you're engaging her in some way, she's good. So, Ember is pretty easy to entertain, but no matter what you do with Riley, he's always looking for that leash in your hand to signify GOFORAWALK! time, ha.

I'm going to try some of the games suggested in this thread. My challenge is figuring out how to separate the two dogs while I am doing this.

I also wanted to suggest a product called MUSHER'S SECRET as an alternative to booties... I buy it on Amazon. I've tried so many different types and styles of boots and they were a total waste of money because they NEVER stayed on. Musher's Secret is a wax based spread that you put on their paws. You can use it in the summer too for protection from hot asphalt. It is the BEST EVER. Riley gets massive snow chunks built up in his paws without it, to the point where they hurt him, but when I put this stuff on NO snow build up whatsoever. Even on a 3mi hike through inches of fresh snow. If you don't want to use that, you can use plain coconut oil too, but you'll probably have to reapply it if you're out for a while.
 

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Have you done any nose work or any other brain stimulating exercises with them. Those will actually tire them out just as much running around outside. You can easily do them inside and they only take 10 minutes or so.

Here's a good article on the basics of nose work

K9 Nose Work: A New Recreational Sport for You and Your Dog

and here's another that has lot's of indoor game ideas including a few simple nose work ones

33 Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors - Puppy Leaks

Youtube is a good resource for ideas too
 

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