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Exercising Your Dog During Bad Weather: An Interview with Trevor Smith CPDT-KA | Pupford

February 1st, 2024

Filed under Lifestyle + Stories

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When bad weather (whether cold winters or hot summers) hits, it can make exercising your dog really challenging!

If your normal exercise routine involves long walks, trips to the park, or fetch, that can all go out the window during bad weather. Some things just aren't really possible during bad weather!

In this episode, we sat down with Trevor Smith, CPDT-KA & Certified Canine Fitness Trainer, to discuss creative and effective ways to exercise your dog indoors during bad weather.

Connect With Trevor Smith

Trevor is a CPDT-KA trainer who continually attends seminars and conferences to improve his knowledge of dog training, and all things dogs.

He is a strong advocate for pain and force-free methods and believes that we should all personally feel good about the methods we use to train our dogs.

When not training dogs, Trevor and his wife (a veterinarian) enjoy fun outdoor activities like scuba diving and zip-lining, taking their dogs on hikes, and playing video games.

Trevor is also a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer from the University of Tennessee.

Connect with Trevor via his website here.

Connect with Trevor on Facebook here.

Connect with Trevor on Instagram here.

Connect with Trevor on YouTube here.

Check out Trevor's podcast here.

Also, check out Trevor Smith's recommended products here.

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Overview of Exercising Your Dog During Bad Weather

Keeping your dog exercised during bad weather is vital during the coldest and hottest months!

Trevor had some really important ideas for how to do just that.

Related Reading: How Much Exercise Should a Puppy Get?

Bed to Bed Sprint (Starts at 3:00)

This behavior works using just two dog beds (or even rugs, just something that can mark as a 'finishing point' for your dog).

You can look at the bed to bed sprint as a great warm-up activity!

Here is how you can do it ⤵️

  1. Lure your dog from one bed to the other
  2. Once they start to understand the concept you can phase out luring and just start tossing treats from one bed to the other
  3. Over time, you can phase out treats for every "leg" of the sprint and just do it every other or something similar
  4. Remember to incorporate a cue word so you can eventually tell your dog to do this activity without tossing treats or luring

Over time, you can increase the speed that you have your dog do these back and forth between the beds.

It is a great warm-up activity to get your dog's blood pumping!

Spin and Twist (aka Circle Left, Circle Right) (Starts at 6:05)

Once your dog is warmed up, you can move on to the Spin and Twist!

Here is how you can do it ⤵️

  1. Start by luring your dog in a circle motion (your circle can be big)
  2. Be sure to do the lure in both directions
  3. Over time, you can phase out the lure and just use a hand motion
  4. This spin and twist game is great for working their core strength

The nice part about this game is that it can help you keep tabs on your dog's health.

If typically your dog can do 20 Spin and Twists but one day they can only do 3-5, it could be a sign of underlying pain.

Puppy Pushups (Starts at 7:20)

Puppy pushups are a great way to do both fun training and exercise in one go!

Here is how you can do it ⤵️

  1. Have your dog do a down (or lay down), mark and reward
  2. Then get your dog from a down to a stand behavior (on all fours), mark and reward
  3. Repeat this multiple times to mimic a "pushup"

This is a behavior you can do almost anywhere to help tire your pup out.

Puppy Situps (Starts at 12:44)

This one is also called Puppy Squats.

This one is fun and easy to play with your pup.

Here is how you can do it ⤵️

  1. Get your dog into a sit, mark and reward
  2. Then get your dog from that sit into a stand behavior (on all fours), mark and reward
  3. Repeat this multiple times to mimic a "situp" or "squat"

The best part about this exercise is that it helps to strengthen your dog's rear end.

Being Aware of Our Dog's Physical Abilities (Starts at 7:35)

Another important aspect of this Canine Fitness is that it keeps you aware of your dog's capabilities and health.

The more time and frequency you give to these exercises, then you'll start to get a gauge of your dog's "normal".

Being aware of your dog's normal capabilities can help you be more aware of when health or pain issues pop up.

The "Mental" Side of Canine Fitness (Starts at 15:50)

All of these activities are powerful for tiring out your dog because they are both physical and mental!

Each activity will help work your dog's brain.

And in many cases, brain work is just as effective as physical exercise for tiring out your dog.

Recap of Exercising Your Dog During Bad Weather

dog on couch after exercising | Pupford

All of these exercises use little to no equipment, and can do wonders for keeping your dog tired out!

Plus, they help strengthen your dog's muscles and can help to avoid injuries.

Remember, if you have any concerns about your dog's capabilities to do these activities, consult your vet.

Tried out these exercises? Let us know how it went in the comments!


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