Best. Place. Ever.
So…you picked the place you live for a reason. If you’re like us, it’s because your location provides the lifestyle you want to have. Or at least, it makes your desired lifestyle easier to obtain. We moved to the Spokane/CDA area (specifically Post Falls) from Mesa, AZ a little over a year ago. In AZ, we took Tally everywhere with us…but it was such a production to get out of the city and hike or hunt or find a significant body of water (really…ANY water was a miracle). Here in the inland northwest, it’s easy to give yourself and your dog the outside stimulation you both crave! We love raising our kids in such a beautiful place and we love including our dogs in our activities. Last winter, Tally went sledding with us. This year, I am already imagining Tally, Hunter and my babies rolling around in the snow together.
Yep…there are a million of them. It’s too cold, it’s too hot, I’m too tired, I don’t want to load up the kids AND dogs, there are cookies in the oven (whaaaaat???…just my house? Every day??). SO many excuses not to get outside AND take your dog with you. And hey! I’m guilty of using those excuses! Sometimes I just want to go to the park without the mutts. And that’s okay every now and then! But I cannot emphasize this enough: If you don’t get your dog out seeing new things and socializing with other animals/humans, you will not like him. He will get bored and ruin things. And when you DO take him outside of the house or yard, it’s likely to be a crappy experience. Your dog won’t know how to act and you won’t know how to control him. So get outside! It’s good for you and good for your buddy! And if you have struggled taking your dog out in the past but want to make a change, it’s never too late! Practice makes perfect so just keep at it and get those legs moving…whether you have 2 or 4.
Tricks of the Trade
Ya know…it’s daunting to go out in the dead of winter when the sun is hiding 90% of the time. I get it. But there are things you can do to exercise your dog’s brain and body. Here are some things we do:
- Have I mentioned Cabela’s? Go there with your dog as long as he’s got some “shop manners”…which Hunter is still learning. 😉
- The only time my dogs get to dig in my yard is to make snow caves with the kids! Tally loved this last year and it tuckered her out.
- Got a treadmill? Walk/jog your dog on those looong winter days. It HELPS! If you feel nervous about your dog doing this…stop. It’s no big deal. Tally was a bit unsure at first, Burbank we showed her it wasn’t scar you and within 10 seconds she was totally relaxed. Your dog can often do a lot more than you realize…and you can help him by being firm and calm. Youtube has some good videos that can help you get your dog moving on that conveyor belt!
- Sledding! Strap a harness to your dog and have him pull the kids in the sled. Or just have him chase the sleds down the hill! BIG energy outlet.
That’s all I’ve got! I’m excited to learn some more tricks this winter since snow is still a fun adventure to us. Comment below if you have anything you like to do with your dog during the winter! I’d love more ideas.
As for summertime (especially here in the Spokane/CDA area)…it’s pretty easy to finding things to do with your dog. Especially when you include water! See my post “Horses and German Shorthaired Pointers” for more ideas. 🙂
Once you get proficient at giving your dog the mental and physical exercise she needs, this is how she’ll look at the end of the day:
Although in her defense…growing puppies is exhausting in itself!