It’s COLD Outside (Winter Dog Activities)

burr…..Burr….BURRRRR!! January has arrived, and it is snowing or just plain cold outside. Often it is already dark when you get home in the afternoon, your dog has been waiting for you all day, and sometimes it is not much fun to take your dog outside for play, walks, and exercise during the winter season. So what fun activities are available in Rapid City to do with your dog?

“I am only 6.5# and most definitely prefer not to be outside in the cold. Let’s learn about some great inside activities and ways to enjoy spending some quality time with your people.” Rapid City has a very active dog community and we have numerous options for taking some really fun and life enriching classes with our dogs. Most dog and handler teams take classes just for fun to build their bond and relationship while enriching their lives. Classes are available this winter where you can be inside and warm learning new skills and having a great time with your dog. Many activities have titles available you and your dog can earn together or you can just have fun with your dog! Your dog may even become a Canine Good Citizen along the way.

A basic manners class is the ideal starting point for most dogs. Training your dog can be one of your most satisfying endeavors. Learning how your dog learns and developing the skills to teach them what you want is priceless! Group classes are a wonderful way to meet new people and their dogs and to help your dog learn to listen and work with you when there are other dogs and people around. Class teaches you the building blocks to grow the relationship with your dog so you can have a more relaxed, polite dog that is well mannered and a joy to be around. After developing some skills many go on to more advanced obedience classes or take Rally which is obedience skills broken down to distinct exercises done by “signs” with instructions on them. A Rally course has several signs to learn which can be in any order, a fun way to train and help your dog learn! Obedience and Rally both have increasing skill levels with titles available at the different levels.

How about taking a tricks class? Trick dogs are really fun to be around, and teaching your dog tricks is a great relationship and bonding activity. Tricks titles are now available as well. Clicker training is a great skill that helps the dog learn to offer behaviors to the handler, and teaches the person great timing skill to mark behavior. Clicker training helps us to have thinking dogs that try to figure out what we are asking them to do and them offering the behaviors. This is a great skill to combine with learning tricks.

Do you know what the nose knows? More than half of your dog’s brain is programed for scent (no wonder we sniff at everything!) Nose-work teaches dogs to find and locate specific odors and tell you they found it. Scent discrimination work is a great confidence builder, and you can even teach them to find an object of yours. Nose-work has titles available (containers, ground, indoors, outside and vehicles.)

Musical Freestyle is beautiful to watch it is choreographed skills and movements between the handler and dog set to music. You tube has some spectacular clips of teams doing freestlye with their dogs. There are local classes available, and there are Freestyle titles available.

Agility is the love of my life, and it helps to keep my mom fit as well. You have probably seen dogs on TV run the agility obstacle courses (jumps, tunnels, weaving, planks, A-frame, see-saw, etc.) and may have seen some of the equipment set up in our yard. This is an addicting fun sport for both people and dogs, it requires some basic skills to begin learning the game. The agility course is different every time and there are various skill levels with titles available at the different levels.

These are just some of the winter dog activity opportunities available in Rapid City. Please ask if you want more information or check in with www.happytailsdogtraining.biz. Taking winter indoor classes where it is protected from the cold weather outside is a wonderful way for a dog to spend quality time with our person!

Happy Winter Activity,

Busy, the Agility Dog


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