Ah NJ winters…a mix of slush, rain and general damp nastiness is in the forecast for today and tomorrow. And the dog is bouncing off the walls. Maybe you are too. Put some fun in your step and burn some calories doing indoor exercises that will tire your dog mentally and physically and help you to get things under control with your outdoor heeling.
Step one…after you have warmed up your dog with some simple sit-down-sit combinations and some attention work set up two cones or even dining room chairs and start with a nice figure eight around the dining room chairs. Throw in a sit occasionally to keep your dog guessing, or circle one cone twice just because you feel like it. Remember to communicate with your dog using your command, praising the good position with a YES and varying your pace. You will remember one side will be easier than the other. Have a long hallway? How about some linear heeling forward and maybe even backwards? Or you can back up facing your dog and praise for a loose leash then turn into your dog so that she is on your left. You turn right and she is on the left. Simple with practice. Put on a Samba, and Irish Jig or whatever and prance around the house. Add some WAITS and STAYS at different times and connecting it all some hand targeting. Now you are ready to put on a show. Have some hula hoops? Lure and encourage your dog to walk through. Or put your feet or a broom across a chair and do some indoor jumping, starting low and gradually raising. For more tips and games please read my preceding post on Bored Dogs. Have a great day training and remember this will all pay off when those nice Spring days return and you want to go for some walking and dining with your dog!