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It rained yesterday. It will rain tomorrow. This is the start of the Long Wet here in Vancouver. It’s going to rain for far, far longer than 40 days and 40 nights. It’s going to rain until next summer. I’m not exaggerating. Sure there will be nice days, here and there, but they will be short lived and then back to the down pour. Now for some dogs, this would be no big deal, but for the dogs here at Casa de Kolchak the rainy season is like a jail sentence.My dogs are afraid of the rain.
I’m embarrassed. (I should be embarrassed, right? I mean really, what self-respecting dog is afraid of the rain?) The Felix acts like he’ll melt of I force him to go out in the rain. He’ll hold his pee for hours at a time until I lock him out in the yard. The only way I can convince him to go out for a walk is if I shield his furry little butt with his Canada Pooch Storm Slicker rain jacket and an umbrella leash.How do I keep my dogs mentally engaged and exercised if they won’t go outdoors?
We play games. Now, I’d be thrilled if my dogs wanted to play Dog-Opoly with me, but frankly, Felix just lays on the board and Kolchak tries to eat the dice. It’s infuriating… and a little pathetic. The whole idea take Crazy Dog Lady to a whole new level. Board games are out, we play dog games. Since we know everybody gets a little rain sometimes, we thought we’d share some of our favourites.
1. Search & Sniff – The way to Kolchak’s heart is through his stomach (not entirely unlike his Daddy’s. We’ve been learning all about nosework ever since the Something Wagging Train Your Dog Month Challenge. You can play nosework games at home with your dog without any special equipment. To play, I hide tasty morsels of Koly & Fe’s favourite treats (choose something smelly and delicious) then we go from room to room smelling them out.
2. Crazy Dog – If there’s one thing Kolchak does well, it’s GO WILD! He can run around like nobody’s business. It’s getting him to call down that’s a trick. So, we play a game to have some fun and learn how to cool off. To plat, get your dog all riled up and running around the house. That’s the easy part. Now that Kol’s totally jacked up, we run around for a minute, then I stop and tell him SIT! (or any other command we’re working on). When he complies, he gets a treat and we run around some more.
3. Hide & Seek – If you have small kids, you’ve probably already invested a good deal of your life playing Hide & Seek, but did you know your dog might like to play too? To play, tell your dog to SIT and STAY, then go hide. Once you’re hidden, tell your dog to COME. (If you are well hidden, you might have to keep making small hints to keep them looking). When they find you get really excited. Then ask them to SIT/STAY and hide again. (If your dog’s SIT/STAY needs some work, this game can be played with a partner to stay with your dog and provide rewards and reminders to hold the command while you hide.)
4. Dog Show! – Got little humans? We don’t, but we have friends who do. Our friend’s daughter lovers to play Dog Show. To play, we set up a course through the house, with notecards at each station with a command on them (They should be commands your dogs know to encourage confidence in the kids ability to be a “dog trainer”. It’s no fun if they get frustrated.) The kids and the dogs walk on a leash to each station, perform the command, everybody (kids and dogs) get a treat and then they move on to another station. It’s so cute to watch these little dog trainers in training.
5. Trick & Treat – Rainy days are the perfect time to teach your dog a new trick. Check out this list of the 101 Best Dog Tricks from the Fun Times Guide to Dogs. Am I the only one who read that list and became immediately consumed by the idea of teaching my dog to moonwalk to Billie Jean?
The key to keeping the Casa de Kolchak dogs from going stir crazy is all fun and games.
What kind of things do you do with your pets on rainy days?