“Doggone” Crazy Winter

| February 19, 2014 | 13 Comments

I am the proud mom to a two-year old Australian Shepherd dog. As the owner of any Aussie can attest, she is very high energy. My husband and I knew that when we chose her and usually have no problem keeping up to her needs with daily exercise and mental stimulation, but this winter has proven to be challenging. Ottawa’s winter has been everything from bitterly cold, to mild and icy, to snowy and windy. All of which prove to be a challenge for a dog who likes to run. And run. And run.

Luckily, my Aussie is pretty mild tempered and tends to go with the flow of things, but after a few days of bitter cold even she has had enough. I have found myself searching the internet for activities to keep her happy and not sitting in my office staring at me as if to say “what are we going to do today?” while I am trying to work.

PicMonkey Collage

I usually run-walk 5 km or more daily with my dog, but the cold and salt are not kind to her paws (and she refuses to wear those booty things), so our daily exercise regime has been minimized to 15 minute jogs around the block twice a day. Knowing this is not enough I decided to try some new activities, one of which is hanging her rubber ball from a tree. Sounds mean, but Aussies can jump. And my Aussie loves to jump. She can easily jump over our fence, but doesn’t because another great trait of an Aussie is their loyalty – she loves us too much to leave us.

So, one of my new winter activities is hanging my dog’s favourite ball on a tree branch and making her jump for it. Because of this game I have learned she can easily jump over six feet, but if I place the ball higher than she can jump she barks like mad causing neighbours to peek out their windows looking to see where the angry bark is coming from. It’s great fun and my daughter loves watching the dog jump (so do I). I have never known a breed that can jump quite as high or as easily as an Aussie. It is magnificent… and luckily after a dozen or so jumps it begins to tire her out (for a few minutes anyway).

So, if you are blessed to have a smart and energetic dog like me (Australian Shepherds, Cattle Dogs, Border Collies, etc.) , may I suggest the purchase of a rubber ball like the one in the picture and a tree branch in which to hang it from. It will be the source of great entertainment and exercise for your beloved jumping dog all winter long… until the mud comes along and then we have an entirely new problem to deal with.

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Category: Family, Kids, Pets

About the Author ()

In addition to being a freelance writer and blogger, Tracy is a virtual assistant specializing in marketing and communication at VirtualOfficeResources.ca. She is also a devoted mother to an imaginative daughter and wife to her best friend of more than fifteen years. In her spare time she enjoys baking, kayaking, snowshoeing, walking her energetic Australian Shepherd, and cuddling with her perpetually grumpy cat. Depending on the time of day, Tracy's downtime is spent with a good book and hot cup of fair trade coffee or a glass of Canadian red wine.

Comments (13)

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  1. Brenda A says:

    She is beautiful!! Aussie’s are so amazingly clever. The ball on a branch game is a great idea as it combines exercise with a little brain power. Good stuff!

  2. Judy C (Judy Cowan) says:

    Beautiful dog! Great idea to put the ball on the branch, fun game for her while burning off some energy! We have two toy poodles that are also full of energy and we have been having to do a lot of indoor play this year.

  3. catebrazil says:

    Your dog is getting some great height there! Have you considered trining for competitions?

  4. Lynda Cook says:

    you have a beautiful dog, my mastiff loves playing out in the snow and even rain, but my rotti doesn’t want anything to do with it, I have to force her to go out when it’s snowing or raining

  5. Victoria Ess says:

    You have a beautiful dog! Six feet is so impressive!

  6. Tracy says:

    Thanks everyone! She is an amazing jumper and while I have thought about entering her in competitions, I don’t know if she would enjoy it. She just loves leisurely jumping – at her own pace 😉

  7. DARLENE W says:

    Our puppy loves the outdoors, whether its jumping in the snow or rustling in a buch of leaves, just doesnt like thunder

  8. DARLENE W says:

    No matter the breed most dogs love to frolick in the snow

  9. kathy downey says:

    An amazing & beautiful companion

  10. kathy downey says:

    I love your dog,beautiful

  11. kathy downey says:

    He got really strong hind legs,impressive jump

  12. Debbie White Beattie says:

    I have a Shih Tzu and although this wouldn’t be his thing he does love his soccer ball and chasing all over the yard. He also loves winter and going for walks in the dead of winter.

  13. s powell says:

    Beautiful dog lots of energy

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