In winter, you do not need to stop sports training. Even cold people do not have to give them up. During frosts, we only carry out less static exercises – e.g. long stays – and more dynamic ones: walking at the leg, changing position during walking and distance, retrieving (you cannot only use a metal pole). See how you can play with your dog in the winter.
How can you play with your dog in winter? Steps and jumps in the snow
Snow does not interfere with training in sports obedience (obedience, PT), dancing with a dog or frisbee. However, you must remember the principle that while obedience or most of the steps of dancing with a dog can be practiced even on asphalt, jumping must necessarily take place on grass or on the ground. It can be covered with a soft snow blanket, the condition is only reasonably level ground.
Therefore, before training, you need to trample the terrain to see if there are any treacherous breaches under the white down.
How can you play with your dog in winter? Snow gears
It is a bit harder to practice sports that require a good running surface, such as flyball or agility. Some enthusiasts do it in the snow, but in such conditions it is difficult to achieve good form. In the case of flyball, the biggest problem in winter is not the dog, but the person who stands on the machine, blocks it with his weight and loads the balls. The machine slides in the snow and with each falling of it a speedy quadruped hits the legs of the loader. Therefore, it is better then to train on a machine, the back of which is lined with something soft – unfortunately not everyone is so constructed.
Most agility clubs rent a hall for training in the winter – often in an equestrian center, or possibly another (however, it cannot be a regular gym with a slippery floor). This solution is also beneficial because classes can also take place in the evening and short days do not have to be limited to weekends. In addition, dogs get used to running on a different surface (sand, chips, carpeting) and in different acoustics, which is a great mortar before indoor competitions.
How can you play with your dog in winter? Workouts in the hall
The disadvantage of indoor training is usually the higher costs compared to outdoor activities. Depending on the location, local prices and the number of people exercising (usually there are from a few to a dozen or so, as in any agility or flyball training; with a larger number, the exercise would miss the goal, because it would be too long for each dog to wait for its turn) , for each there is an amount from a few to several zlotys for training.
In a hall intended for horses, where the ground is made of sand or coarse chips, dogs do not have problems with slipping. However, both two-legged and quadrupeds run on such surface slightly slower than on grass. The problem when working in the sand is that after such training everyone is covered in soil. Long-haired dogs may require bathing. In this respect, the chipped hall is much better – unfortunately, it is not always easy to find one. When preparing for classes in the equestrian hall, we must remember that it is quite cold in it – though not as much as outside.
On the other hand, agility or flyball training in a sports hall can take place only if it is lined with carpeting. The advantage of such a room is good lighting and heating, but these comfortable conditions are usually associated with higher costs.
When choosing to train to such a hall, do not forget to take sports shoes for a change. We will run well in rubber-soled shoes, but our lined pets usually slip. This does not mean, however, that such training is dangerous. Only a carpeting that is badly attached can be dangerous, so you need to check it before starting the class.
To make the pooch slip less, you can spray him or spread paw pads with a special preparation, e.g. Paw Balm. Non-slip shoes, very useful for indoor exercises, are also available in foreign online stores. On the carpet – like on sand or chips – dogs usually run a little slower than on the grass, but this has the undoubted advantage: maybe we can finally keep up with our fast dog and it will be easier for us to focus on working on technical elements.
How to train safely in winter
- so that you can comfortably reward your dog without risking frostbite, put on thinner gloves instead of thick gloves and put on latex protective gloves
- when the temperature is close to -20 ° C, stop training – intense effort in such a cold weather is not recommended
- after running or jumping in the cold, take a walk with your dog for a few minutes before letting him into a warm room
A plate full of fluff, or frisbee
How to exercise, where and how it would be comfortable and safe?
Surface: snow yes, ice no
In the summer we were looking for a piece of lawn for training, we made sure that there were no stones or branches on it. In winter, we also need a good, shock-absorbing ground. If there is no snow, let’s look for places with high-cut grass – even when the ground freezes, the grass will perform its function.
If the snow falls – the better: dogs love to play in it and it will not be an obstacle to performing spectacular evolution. Playing with frisbee in winter will only prevent us from snow frozen to the stone.
Attire: chimney yes, scarf no
The right outfit will be indispensable to enjoy the fun in the crisp winter air – non-binding movements, but warm enough. I recommend technology advances: new generation fleece, breathable fabrics that stop the wind, shoes with tread reducing slip on snow, thin windstopper or neoprene gloves. Instead of a scarf that can be dangerous for a jumping dog, use the so-called chimneys.
We practice dogfrisbee in short sessions, so after 5-10 minutes of training let’s put on a warmer jacket, preferably also breathable, so as not to freeze after intense effort.
Disk: polymer yes, cracking no
When choosing plates, we must take into account the properties of the material from which they are made. It’s best to use professional disks. Of these, let’s postpone until spring only typical Wham-O FastBacks, which can crack at negative temperatures.
Wham-O Flex or Hyperflite Competition Standard will perform much better in winter, and preferably – Hyperflite FrostBite, Hero Type 235 (also Air and X-Tra). The so-called durable polymer disks – Jawz, Superhero, Eurablend.
How can you play with your dog in winter? Tracking in the snow
Autumn and winter are a great time to track. The high humidity is conducive to the persistence of smells and traces are much easier for a dog to read than on a hot summer. We can track both on a frost-cut meadow and on a field – even plowed. It is better only after waiting for the trail to wait at least half an hour (especially if covered with fresh snow) – so that the fragrance particles can well fix. Even a very thick snow cover will not stop the smell – avalanche dogs are able to find a man under a dozen meters of snow!
A good fun „in tracking” is also throwing a toy and looking for it together with your pet – quadrupeds love to look for something in the fresh snow. However, you need to gradually prepare your dog to work in heavy frost, and he must be in great physical condition. Tracking in the snow will help us understand how the dog really works. It would seem that he should follow clear footprints imprinted in it, and in the meantime – depending on the wind – he can follow the trail in parallel, even at a distance of a meter. This is proof that only one sense is working at his time: he is tracking, or looking, or listening …
How can you play with your dog in winter? Without a claw hill
Pulling a sledge is easiest to teach a dog … how to pull on a leash. We put on the harness – not fastening it to the sled at the moment – and praise him when he pulls. An additional incentive is to throw the ball in front of him. At the same time, we issue the „pull” command.
Then we practice with empty sleds tied on a string. It must be long enough so that the sled does not hit the dog when it stops, but you can not overdo it so that it does not get tangled between his legs. Usually one that is 2-3 m long works.
Even when the dog is already able to pull the sled, we do not let him go alone with them, we just run next to him, holding on a loose leash. We should also remember that in this way we can only play with a fairly large quadruped, adult (in the growth phase it can seriously and irreversibly harm him), healthy (especially the heart and joints!) And balanced. Of course, you must not overload the sledge too much.
What to do in the snow?
Some difficulty for a long-haired four-legged player may be sticking wet snow to the fur. It creates heavy balls that prevent the animal from moving smoothly. To avoid this situation, we can cut his long feathers, which the snow adheres the most.
If you do not want to do this (because, for example, we have a show dog), it is a good idea to give your pet to an orthalion suit. It’s best if he also has legs. A shaggy dog with an undercoat will need a suit from the same orthion. However, if your pet is long-haired, but without an undercoat, let’s choose a fleece lined suit for him.
How can you play with your dog in winter? Puppy and snowman
For a puppy, snow is usually a great reason to be happy – he is overwhelmed by the desire to race, roll, roll his nose … A healthy toddler in good shape should not be harmed. However, you have to remember that his body is still quite sensitive, which is why a young pooch may be slightly more likely to get cold when he stays in the cold for too long, he does not move quite intensively, especially if he eats snow, which many quadrupeds do. Therefore, we should watch him closely – both during and after the snow madness.
In puppies – as in children – pharyngitis may be manifested by vomiting after eating or drinking. We often suspect problems with the digestive system, while the cause lies elsewhere. Remember that the puppy may be dehydrated in this situation.
However, let’s not deny children fun in the snow!