Winter Exercise

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by 648117, May 30, 2012.


how much does the colder weather effect how much exercise your dog gets?

Not at all - my dog still gets the same amount of walks 3 vote(s) 33.3%
By dog gets more walks when it's cold 2 vote(s) 22.2%
By dog gets fewer or shorter walks when it's cold 4 vote(s) 44.4%
By dog gets no walks when it's cold 0 vote(s) 0.0%
  1. 648117 Honored Member

    Now that the weather is getting colder (where I live anyway), I was wondering how much exercise everybody gives there dogs in winter.

    I'll admit that during winter our cavaliers didn't get walked much, but they didn't really mind - they had each other to play with and free access to the backyard. But they didn't really like the cold and they even put off trips outside for the toilet as long as possible and made them as quick as they could.

    But I think Holly is very different. She is a very busy little dog so I think as she gets older she is going to be less and less able to cope with a day without a walk (at the moment she gets a walk everyday except on agility class day, and she usually gets a training session and a kong ot other chew in the evening) and will likely need two walks a day when she is an adult.

    So, my question is; how much does the colder weather affect how much exercise your dog gets?

    Additionally, if you still walk your dog every day in winter - how bad does the weather have to be for you to miss the walk? (eg, just cold, rain, snow, extreme wind etc) and do you change the time of day that the walk takes place? (eg to avoid walking in the dark)

    And if you have to miss a walk what do you do to keep your dog entertained and use up some energy?
    Dogster likes this.

  2. sara Moderator

    Well Mouse doesn't get walked (unless it's in my coat :) ) below about 5C Boo will go until about - 10C But Oliver LOVES winter, and will walk (in booties and a coat) until about -30C as I dont think it's healthy any colder. I dont like strong wind, so I usually dont go when it's windy (winter or summer!), and I wont walk in a thunderstorm (not safe!) We dont mind the rain though, and will walk in a non-windy rain. And Ollie and I like nothing better than walking in a snowstorm!
    Dogster likes this.
  3. Pawtential Unleashed Experienced Member

    We are kind of backwards here. Last year we had 1 light dusting of snow all year - O--N--E--...*sigh*

    I hate the summer - we get into the 110'sF / 40C range with humididty that sucks all the life out of you so we do almost NO walking in the summer. When you get up and it is already so muggy you can't breathe - Ayla and I don't even think about it.

    We have an indoor dog gym [swimming pool, maze, agility course, race lanes] that is semi local and we can go there to let the dogs burn it out plus they come to work with me, do laps in the house and the have each other to wear themselves down with. I am working on building a climate controlled indoor training arena for times just such as this. For now - in the summer all work with me is done indoors. If it is safe to do so and someone else wants to take the dogs out to play they can, but Ayla and I retreat to the batcave!

    So in the spring, fall and winter - we hike, go to the lake, run the farm, do agility and have a great deal of fun outdoors. Bring on the winter!
    Dogster likes this.
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    for me, for my part of america, (it's early summer here now)
    it's not so much the temperature that slows down our outdoor time or exercise,
    it is ICE.
    If it is 15 degrees below zero---- we are out there,:) and if the snow is SOFT and snow is NOT covered with crunchy top layer of ICE (usually caused by a temporary warming and then REfreezing)
    then my dog gets plenty of outdoor time, although, in shorter, frequent sessions,
    as opposed to hours nonstop of summer outdoor time.

    Where i live, this ice-topped snow tends to happen more in February and March, when warmer days sort of come and go, melting the snow tops just a bit, and then next day is cold, so it gets crunchy ice on top of the snow. I won't let buddy run around much in THAT kind of snow, cuz, he scrapes up his legs, and also, it sort of yanks/grabs on his leg as he runs, punching his lil leg in/out of that ice layer.

    If the streets are icey, it is my own fear of falling that makes walks very very short. I mean, really really short walks. Like a block or two, tops. My dog goes nutz with that lil of exercise. but I hate walking on, and driving on, ice. :cautious: very much.
    whereas in summer, buddy gets about 6 to 8 miles per day, with 2 miles being the bare minimum on NONicey day.

    but yeah, overall, Buddy does get less exercise in the winter time, and usually, less food, too, to balance that, to keep his weight nice. although, i do let Buddy be a few pounds bigger in wintertime, to help keep him warm, and i keep him slimmer in summertime, to help him tolerate the extreme heat we get here.

    I usually bring his agility stuff indoors, and train him a lot more in the winter, too, play with him more, find puzzles and 'games', take him visiting ppl, etc, to try to help keep him sane.:LOL:
    Dogster likes this.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I think you are super wise, super great dog owner, to be factoring in your dog's needs for exercise and entertainment in the winter time! GOOD ON YOU!

    Here are some other threads,

    which might give you ideas to help your dog stay sane in wintertime.
    LIke Pawtential says, there are doggie playgroups, dog classes, doggie daycare, doggie swimming pools, etc, too.

    Besides tricks training, and indoor agility,
    my dog hugely enjoys indoor hunting, where i show him an item, put him in a stay, leave room, and go hide item.
    For beginner dogs, hide it in fairly easy places, or even put dab of peanut butter or tuna on it, to help him get idea of game.

    My dog knows tons of toys by name, so i can send him off to find a named toy, too. Keeps him busy for a while, he feels he "did something" and seems so proud to finally bring me the "Zebra" or whatever.:ROFLMAO:

    You can also hide yourself, or another family member, my dog thinks this is big fun. Again, put dog in a stay, while you hide, and then call him once (so he still has to hunt your down, not follow sound of your voice).

    I also hide puzzles, usually just homemade lil plastic water bottles or tubs, with holes punched in them, and a few treats inside. sometimes i put in one treat too big to fall out of the hole, so he can figure out how to rip it up to get treat.

    and of course, tricks lessons are GREAT way to help a bored dog feel better.
    Dogster likes this.
  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I've also trained my dog to run laps on cue, inside the house,
    or out in his yard.

    I just "captured" this in my dog, CLICK/TREAT,
    and added in a verbal cue.
    My dog does this whenever a family member arrives home, we call them "Victory Laps":ROFLMAO: the whole family coming in at once, almost makes Buddy's head explode.:LOL:

    but pack members= get greeted with leaping whining, quivering joy, and THEN---
    full Victory Laps....around, and around, and around...
    AND AROUND.....zooming and zooming, just exploding with joy. We actively encourage this behavior, and don't think of zooming dogs as a "problem" but instead, rather enjoy the show.

    so, there's another way to get a dog moving in winter, is teaching laps on cue, indoors or outdoors.

    Fetch is especially fun in the snow, too.:ROFLMAO:
    Dogster likes this.
  8. Anneke Honored Member

    Winters don't get that cold here(Holland) -15C was the coldest, last winter and that doesn't last long. And it doesn't snow much eather. We LOVE the snow, so when there is enough snow(not the kind that melts away immidiately) we go out and have fun.
    Since I am a dogwalker I HAVE to go out and do two one hour walks with other peoples dogs. And then go and take my own dogs out. So I have a snow-suit to keep me warm. I wrap myself up as warm as I can, because I am out 3 hours and can only warm up a bit in the car:D
    It's summertime that gives us problems. We have had a week of 25C+ and the dogs were really hot(not to mention the heat in the car...) so I cut all walk short and took them to water, so they could stay cool.
    As for my own dogs, there was hardly any walking, just a short one in the morning(still about half an hour), in the afternoon a drive to our favorite swimming spot and the evening run involves water too and is shorter than usual.
    But in winter it's me that gets cold:rolleyes: not the dogs.
    Cooper will actually get mad at ice, because it covers his swimmingspot:D
    He will take a quick dip even if it freezes his coat, silly dog.
    Dogster likes this.
  9. 648117 Honored Member

    Holly already does zoom around the house most days on her own and she uses the furniture as spring boards to bounce off of.
    And she chaces one of the cats, but I don't really want to encourage that as a way of using up winter energy :LOL:
    It doesn't get so cold here, usually only snows a few times a year and the snow only actually stays about once or twice.

    I think it's more the dark I worry about. I hate walking the dog in the dark so when it gets dark too early for me to get home and take her out she might have to miss walks.

    She will still be doing agility and obedience class over winter (unless it's to icy or snowy to drive) because both those classes are held inside.

    I'll have a look at those other threads.
    Dogster likes this.
  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    lol, about the cat.
    there's a thread or two on that "cat-chasing" around here.

    yeah, i carry a flashlight, and i feel pretty safe in my neighborhood anyway, and my dog i feel is also a safety factor, imo. But not all neighborhoods are generally safe, and some ppl carry tazors or the like,
    nor do all ppl see their dogs as an extra safety bonus.

    Guess you can just get dog to do laps or walk around in her own yard instead.

    yeah, the extra hours of darkness are a bummer, imo. One of my favorite things about spring, is the way it stays light so so late into the evening.:D
    I always walk Buddy last thing at night, even if only to corner and back, to help him fully empty out his bladder for the night.
    Dogster likes this.
  11. Dogster Honored Member

    Shivon doesn`t like the cold that much. She gets less walks, but more playtime in the yard, and inside. She`s fully dressed outside, LOL:ROFLMAO:
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  12. Pawtential Unleashed Experienced Member

    We have to see a picture of this!!
    Dogster likes this.
  13. 648117 Honored Member

    Here's a photo of Holly in her new coat, I think she looks funny in it because her hair sticks out:

    I had to put it on her at obedience class today. She started to shiver while we waited for the class before us to finish.
    dogcrazy, Dogster and tigerlily46514 like this.
  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    WHAT A CUTE CUTE DOG, and that is one cute doggie coat!!
    Dogster likes this.
  15. Dogster Honored Member

    In this pic she just has her coat on cuz it wasn't thaat cold this winter. But she also has a sweater
    dogcrazy, tigerlily46514 and 648117 like this.
  16. dogcrazy Experienced Member

    So cute!!
    tigerlily46514 and Dogster like this.

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