We all think of Summer as a time to get outside and get active. However, most dogs do better outside in the Winter than they do in Summer’s intense heat. At 105 degrees, a dog should be outside for only about 5 to 10 minutes and an even shorter time in direct sun or on hot asphalt.
So what do we do to train and entertain our dogs during these hot days? There are lots of things we can do inside the house.
1. Play hide and seek.
One person holds the dog and the other person calls to him. Give him a treat and then hold him there while the other person runs and hides and then calls.
2. Work on stays, waits and “place or climb” commands.
Use a raised bed or cot and give the dog a treat for getting on it. If he starts to get off, say “no” and put him back. Use the same technique for “stay or wait”.
3. Do “heeling” around the house.
Get your dog on your left side and start walking. Give a treat and praise any time the dog is in “heel” at your side. If he leaves heel position, quickly change directions and give a treat when he catches up.
4. Do “doggy push ups”.
Have your dog follow your hand with a treat and do sit, down, sit, down, sit, down and then give a treat.
5. Work on doorbell manners.
Ring the doorbell and toss some treats. When the dog stops barking at the ringing bell, then start a stay command.
6. Get your dog to walk on a treadmill.
See a Kennelwood trainer to teach your dog and then exercise inside on hot days.
Use cooling treats to reinforce behavior. Freeze cooked green beans, apple bits or banana slices to use as treats.
Cooling vests or collars are helpful for some outside activities, but be sure to use them only when the dog is supervised in case he chews them. Go out early in the day or after dark for a walk.