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7 Activities for a Bad-Weather Day
Rainy day play by the numbers.

Have wet conditions gotten in the way of your normal walk, run or play time at the park? Are you in search of some ideas for entertaining your dog when the weather outside is “frightful”? There are lots of stimulating activities that will keep you and your dog happily enjoying one another’s company, no matter how gloomy it is outdoors. It’s all about spending time together in interesting ways.

1. Take your dog to visit a friend, relative or neighbor who would be cheered by some dog-petting therapy.

2. Teach your dog a new trick, such as lying down and resting her head sadly on her paws when you say, “It’s raining.”

3. Go outside and play in the snow or splash in the puddles. (If your dog had her way, this would probably be her first choice.)

4. Have a canine spa day at home—give her a bath, clean her ears, cut her nails and brush her coat.

5. Play a few rounds of indoor hide-andseek. Have your dog stay, and then hide. Release her and call her to you. When she finds you, greet her with something that will make her happy, like treats, a game of tug, a chew toy or a belly rub.

6. Buy a new toy for each of you and hang out together while you enjoy them; better yet, buy a toy you can share.

7. Practice the art of canine massage. To learn, start with a great video, Bodywork for Dogs: Connecting through Massage, Acupressure, and Intuitive Touch by Lynn Vaughan and Deborah Jones.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 40: Jan/Feb 2007

Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

Image: Jennifer Taylor

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Submitted by Jacqui Naud | April 26 2011 |

On rainy days, I play "house ball" with my mini Aussie (17 inches, 30 lbs) Leo. I can toss a small tennis ball from the family room, through the kitchen into the living room. He LOVES this game. He usually sits in the entry way so he can catch the ball on the fly and bring it back to me. This activities helps stimulate his mind and gets a little energy burned off. We also like to go to Home Depot. He loves meeting everyone!

Submitted by Gregg | April 26 2011 |

I have an 18 month old Husky mix that needs to burn off some energy EVERY day, so on rainy days I often play fetch by throwing the ball down our (carpeted) stairs. After doing 10-12 sprints back up the stairs, he's pretty tired, at least for a while.

Submitted by RomanMom | April 26 2011 |

I play the old-fashioned game of hide and seek with my boys. Both are hound-mixes with super-sniffers and LOVE the game. My husband will distract them or put them outside while I hide, and then releases them with "Find the mommy". Sometimes I'm laughing so hard I give myself away if the cats don't become tattletales on me:-D

Submitted by Shari Pratt | April 26 2011 |

My guy Sydney, the aussie who loves the ball rain or shine will settle, kinda, for rolling the ball in the house, Daisy the English Setter really could care less, when all else fails, kong filled wite dog friendly peanut butter then fozen keep them busy O for about a hour, if I am lucky, btw Love the Bark!!

Submitted by Rene Shelly | April 26 2011 |

The American Bulldog/Pitbull cross loves to chase the laser light around the table, onto the couch, up the walls, down the halls. The Doberman just likes to chase the other dog. It works out well, and wears them out well.

Submitted by Norma Cotterill | April 27 2011 |

I play "wheres it gone" with my dogs. I hide a ball or kong in the sun room (with the door closed) & make them wait in the lounge room. Then when I say "wheres it gone" they go running in and look in all the usual spots, they never tire of this game & get so excited each time, even though there is a limit to where I can hide the toy.

Submitted by Frances | December 5 2013 |

We play Hunt the Treat. The dogs wait patiently in the hall while I hide 5 or 6 tiny treats around the sitting room - then they are released to find them. Two or three increasingly difficult rounds settle them as thoroughly as a walk!

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