Thursday, February 1, 2018


Shared by UDR Volunteer, Sara Miller:

As much as I would like to wrap up in a blanket with coffee/hot chocolate and hide indoors through the winter weather, my Doberman Charlie does NOT stop, and I know I'm not alone here...  Here are some tips and some of my personal favorite products we use to avoid winter blues and household crazies:

1 – Dress for the weather.  Minnesota winters are no joke, but most days it’s possible to get out to play or go for a walk if you’re properly equipped.  Like you, your Doberman will appreciate a warm winter jacket.  Protective paw balms, like Musher’s Secret, or even Vaseline can help stave off a little bit of the cold and prevent ice balls from forming in between their pads.

Jacket, Snood and Boots

2 – Beware of salt!  Dobes’ relatively hairless feet are very sensitive to the chemical burn of salted roads and sidewalks.  Protect their feet with booties – Ultra Paws Rugged boots tend to fit Doberman feet well – or make sure that you are washing their feet after they get home to get all the salt off.  Be sure that you are using a dog-safe melting agent on your own sidewalk and deck. 

3 – Indoor fun.  Mental stimulation can be even MORE energy draining than physical activities, and you can do the following right in your own home: 
  • Play hide-and-seek – also a great way to reinforce obedience ‘stays’ while you hide.
  • Make your dog work for their meals through obedience behaviors or extend meal time by scattering their kibble all across the floor for them to track down.
  • Load up interactive toys with treats or daily kibble – I personally love stuffed Kongs (which I freeze for added duration), the Kong Wobbler dispenser, and the Orbee-Tuff ‘Snoop’ dispensing toy from Planet Dog.
  • Heavy Duty chews:  I like antlers, water buffalo horns and Benebones for best holding up to my power chewer.
Ready to stuff & freeze Kongs

4 - Sign up for a new class at your local training or obedience center:  Dobermans excel in tricks, rally obedience and nosework classes, which can be trained largely indoors.  Or give a sport like agility or flyball a try!

Obedience Level 2 Graduation with Pupcakes

5 – Field trips.  Bring your dog along to the local pet store to pick out a chew to keep them occupied.  Home Depot and a variety of other stores are dog-friendly too -  Sidewalk Dog keeps a great reference guide of restaurants, breweries, coffee shops and stores that are dog-friendly in Minnesnowda.

Helping at a meet & greet as a breed ambassador

You can also plan to join UDR at our upcoming INDOOR events in February: 
Feb 17th – meet & greet in Urban Tail’s indoor play and training area from noon until 2pm (Uptown Minneapolis - 2106 Lyndale Ave S)
Feb 18th – pack walk around Rosedale Center (Roseville mall) from 9am to 11am

Playing (ok, begging for treats are the only non-blurry action photos...) at Urban Tails during a UDR meet & greet

....and of course there's nothing wrong with still curling up for naps and snuggles!

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