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 Cold Weather Exercise?

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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:55 pm

I did a search, but I didn't find an answer really. My question is how do you exercise your dog when the weather is bad? Right now, I walk Loki two miles daily. In the middle of winter, I'll be going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark and the temperature here gets frigid. I don't have a dog park where I live and there isn't really an area I can take him to let him run off leash. I can still probably take him on a short walk on my lunch break (I only have 30 minutes), but when the weather is really harsh, do you have suggestions?
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:49 pm

Ok - I do not mean to be crass or unsympathetic, but here goes...."man up!"

Last winter, our first with Ami, when he was not yet allowed in the house and his only contact with people was when I fed him, played with him, got him up in the morning, put him to bed at night and walked him. So I was extremely committed to his walks and playtime. We had a very nasty winter here - I think daytime highs at one point were only single digits for several weeks running - very unusual for us. Plus the usual, 2-3 day below zero patches. I missed only 1 or 2 walks (twice a day, 3 plus miles mornings and 2 plus nights - and I mean NIGHT, like 11 or 12 PM) and that was because of a dangerous combination of fog and freezing rain.

It means, get the right footwear for your conditions (socks, waterproof shoes, yaktrax or similar for ice, sock liners for extra warmth) snowpants, windproof, waterproof insulated jacket with hood, scarf or neckwarmer, wool hat, gloves, glove liners, mittens, fleece...whatever you need. And just walk - if its dark, I highly recommend a safety vest, a walker's safety light and a flashlight.

For indoor "play" - I used our unheated outbuilding (sort of barn - built to be woodshop but husband getting cold feet on spending the money for equipment, electricity to bldg.). When visiting my son, I used his basement - huskies can have zoomies in rather small places Laughing
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:26 pm

You basically answered my question by talking about the safety vest, etc.

I was still planning on trying a daily walk if I can, but I was talking more about blizzard weather. After dark here, it's not uncommon for it to be below zero nightly, and if you put hard snowing weather on top it, it's complete misery (I can't take my kids out in that). So I was trying to come up with some ideas for indoor exercise.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:41 pm

Casey, i agree with Amy, Dress in layers and suck it up, when you can, we play soccer out and that entices her to do her zoomies and then she's tired for awhile. Indoor play, find some space and Miya taught this game to us and then we put a twist to it, get a favorite toy, toss it around for some mini fetch, every so often incorporate a command... so something like this.... toss toy, bring back, toss toy, bring back, then sit and stay, you toss then tell Loki to get it, play fetch some more, then maybe a lay down, stay, etc.Mental exercise can be very tiring. We intentionally left a 6' by 8' section of the kitchen open just to play on days when it was too nasty out. I hope that helps.
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:54 pm

The going outside isn't the issue for me. I have my baby I usually have loaded up in the stroller when we go for our walk. I was looking for alternatives so I'm not taking my 1 year old out in the bad weather. This won't be an issue most of the time, but I'm trying to get some ideas to just be prepared. So I was looking for like some suggestions like you said Renee with the toy toss and Amy said with the building. Thank you!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:03 pm

@caseysteffans wrote:
The going outside isn't the issue for me. I have my baby I usually have loaded up in the stroller when we go for our walk. I was looking for alternatives so I'm not taking my 1 year old out in the bad weather. This won't be an issue most of the time, but I'm trying to get some ideas to just be prepared. So I was looking for like some suggestions like you said Renee with the toy toss and Amy said with the building. Thank you!

Nope - wouldn't want to take 1 yr old in stroller out in some of the weather I did last winter...one night it was so dark, blustery, windy, snowy, I couldn't see much more than a ft in front of me - finally decided to trust the dog and let him lead me home. Fortunately, he did just that and I didn't end up chest deep in snow in the ditch Laughing

If you have a basement or outbuilding - even an attic, they can romp quite well in a small space. Ami still wants to go in the shop - must have fond memories of chasing the tennis ball, the "squawky chicken" and "squeeky" the ladybudg Laughing
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:12 pm

Mental inside games, work on training some new stuff. Get out when you can.

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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:18 pm

I have an attached garage that should be perfect. Like I said, most of the time I should be able to get out. Amy, I'm glad you back in alright! Where you frozen to death?

I just need to remember the pepper spray. During the winter the deer come into town and they are so used to people, they don't run. A couple people in town have actually been attacked while walking their dogs.

Thanks Jen!


Last edited by caseysteffans on Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:19 pm

I put myself through quite the fancy storms last year... it was so freaking cold and windy, my face would be numb when I would get home... even with a face mask on! But she was just, play play play, bunny hop through the snow, bowing at god knows what.... yeah. I love Winter, I can deal with normal winter. Crappy face numbing winter though... I just grow a pair and tough it out lol!
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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:21 pm

Casey- Do you live in Canada? I have been told by a few of my Canadian friends that deer are very used to people to the point where they are not even scared of people anymore. Just curious heh.
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:24 pm

No, I live in Montana. The deer are everywhere in town. Just more so in the winter. They come in and eat all the trees. They actually ate all my rose bushes this summer. You walk out the front door and one will be in your yard, and they will just look at you and slowly walk off.
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Vetsky
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:19 pm

I'm determined to walk/run Riley every day this winter. I am nervous about the cold though.

I just bought myself a nice down jacket and some decent winter boots. I'm gad this thread popped up.
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:26 pm

New boots are on my shopping list. Ones with great traction!

I'm actually kind of excited to take Loki out in the snow! He is just such a baby to the rain and wind, I hope snow goes over better.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:59 pm

Haha, Miya isn't into the rain, she was a few months old her first winter and a year old last, and both years she loved the snow. Of course here in Texas max amount of snow was about 3 inches, and to me 20 degrees feels like 20 below, lol. I layered up so much I looked liked the Michelin man, ha. Barely could lift my arm up to wave at the neighbors. I did see a thread on here of some people training their huskies on tread mills, I would laugh at trying with Miya though, she'd probably give me her derp face and zoomie around the house instead of walking it, lol.
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:22 pm

I have heard of people training their dogs on treadmills. My sister tried to teach her German Shepherd to walk on one and it was a disaster! They even tried tying some meat on a string to dangle in front on him like you see on cartoons. He just jumped off the side and walked around to the front and grabbed it.
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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:48 pm

I am one of those people who has a trained husky on a treadmill. I have not done it in a very long time, and I only do it when I myself am too worn out from me without dog activities, which isn't very many, hence the not in a long time. I personally think it is the lazy way out of your dogs exercise. Huskies need travel exercise... it isn't just the energy being burned out, it is the sights, the smells, the opportunity to have the world around them, that also makes them tired. I don't think it hurts to use a treadmill once in a while, but it is always better to get out there and just let them adventure. But I will say this.... Good Luck getting them on it! Ha it took me about 3 months before she wouldn't piss her self scared just to step on it.... took a lot of conditioning her to not be afraid of it, and patience. Just a few seconds to introduce the sight and touch of it every day, while it was OFF, before she would actually start walking on it willingly... Then another couple of months just for me to turn it on while she was "near" it without running for dear life. Lots of treats were given in these times... I actually think it wasn't really worth the time I put into her getting on it and walk/trotting, when I could have saved her the stress of dealing with all that. But she became brave one day, I think just to shut me up, and did it... It really comes down to being their decision to do it, not yours.
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:56 pm

I would actually just prefer to walk him outside, one being I don't have a treadmill, and two, I really enjoy our walks. It not only exercises him, but me too. I have had to miss a couple walks because I have an injury that some days I can hardly walk. It's getting a lot better though, and I think the walking is what has helped it.
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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:21 pm

Yeah I got a husky for quite a few many reasons. One of which was to give me a reason to get off of my butt and be active. I am a nerd. I play too many video games. I am a stay at home mom, and I can't drive... I have to wait for my husband to be available after or before work for any car transportation... So I really had no reason to get up and go anywhere farther than my backyard. (which is huge and we have a playset for my daughter etcetera.. so don't get me wrong, my kid and I have a lot of fun on the property) Getting a husky has me walking, biking, going fun places to adventure and play... it is a blessing having her as a family member, and I wouldn't change my decision even if I had the chance. I hate when I have to use the treadmill. I only use it when I get home from Anime conventions (I am an avid Cosplayer) and I am in too much pain to exercise her from walking miles and miles 3 days in a row lol.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:17 pm

@caseysteffans wrote:
I have an attached garage that should be perfect. Like I said, most of the time I should be able to get out. Amy, I'm glad you back in alright! Where you frozen to death?

I just need to remember the pepper spray. During the winter the deer come into town and they are so used to people, they don't run. A couple people in town have actually been attacked while walking their dogs.

Thanks Jen!

Oh my - pepper spray for deer?!!? I just worry about them eating the rhododendrons! Hence, we got Ami. Now the deer avoid our property.

As for frozen - not at all, below is description I posted elsewhere:

RE: winter gear for yourself - absolutely. If you ski, you probably already have the stuff.

For me this past year it was: Expedition weight long underwear (base layer in today's parlance, usually my next layer was simple sweats top and bottom for most days. Really cold - lite, mid or heavy weight polar fleece on top. Outer layer of waterproof, breathable, windproof (insulated, for our climate - fingerlakes of ny) snow pants and jacket. I use a knit neckwarmer (I really like the wigwam but fleece neckwarmers - gaiters, work as well) and knit hat (my parka has a hood, I pull it up as needed over the knit hat). Gloves - for really cold I use thinsulate lined split leather work gloves - really, really cold, add a thermax glove liner. Wet weather - a pair of rain gaiters if snow pants are not needed. And sorel pack boots rated to -40°. Yaktrax winter traverse for ice (not very durable but cheap on sierra trading post - jbealer has some more expensive ones that look very durable.)

That particular night, because it was so nasty, I wore my husband's extra long, very heavy, down parka that he uses for snow blowing - it has a hood with a fold over cuff that I unfolded so my head was sort of in a tunnel, I had a wool knit hat and a wigwam knit acrylic neckwarmer that I keep pulled up to my nose (just overmy nostrils) - I have asthma and this warms the air before I breathe it in. I did wear the Sorels that night, was packed snow, not ice, so no yaktrax. I actually was somewhat overheated - I swear by the wickers expedition weight long underwear (excuse me, "base layer" they call it these days - I'm showing my age Laughing My usual foot wear is a pair of wool hiking socks with gore-tex vasque hikers, i reserve the sorels for really nasty weather.

Hope this helps!
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:30 am

LOL Amy, I read the pepper spray for deer and thought the same thing, haha.

I'm thinking though Casey, and I could be very well wrong, but I would think a deer getting hit by pepper spray could become possibly MORE dangerous to you and Loki. A person kinda just stops and drops but an animal I think would start running/thrashing around somewhat like a maniac. But I really don't know, we have some deer here in San Diego but where I live, have never encountered one. Just putting my thought out there and maybe someone reading it would know better.
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:19 pm

Pepper spray was my idea...does anyone have any other suggestions? It's nearing the rut and they are starting to get aggressive. I had one stomping his feet and snorting at me last fall so I ran away.
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:21 pm

Thanks Amy! I added a couple more things onto my list for winter gear!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:59 pm

I do not know what kind of deer you have in Montana but I've never worried about attacking deer. The snort and paw to warn other deer of your presence - maybe, if it's a female with young one. I've had them snort at me behind our garage and I'm know to "Boo!" or growl like a dog or just plain "oh stop that..." Once, I even came with 5 ft of a baby in my garden with no consequence. Oh yes - check this out:

http://www.itsahuskything.com/t13072-surprise-in-the-backyard?highlight=another+surprise

Since we've had Ami, they avoid the mowed areas almost completely.

I do want to note - most of the time last winter, I was over-heated the way I dressed. Ami walks so vigorously in the winter, I could probably walk in just long underwear and sweats and hat/goves! Plus, I don't know about you, but my damn nose runs like a faucet in the cold (the call it vaso-motor rhinitis. I call it a pain in the butt.) So, pack tissues.
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:41 pm

We mostly have mule deer. I don't worry about them much with the exception of the fall and spring. A woman I know her ended up having to take her dog to the vet from injuries a deer did by stomping on her. She was walking her and a doe with a fawn charged her.

I just want to add in and say, it's not like I walk outside and check around corners for the deer. They are here, but it's not this huge battle or anything.

I hate when your nose runs in the cold and then it freezes! I never knew the was a name for it!


Last edited by caseysteffans on Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Cold Weather Exercise?   Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:25 pm

I couldn't get the picture to load on my phone...I'll look tomorrow when I get to my computer.
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