Fun Winter Activities With Your Dog

Fun Winter Activities with Your Dog

Doodle puppy standing up on its back legs and resting its front legs on a large snowball

Nights are longer, frost decorates our windows, and Christmas decorations are going up all around the neighborhoods. It looks like winter is just about here! Now is the time to plan some fun winter activities that you can do with your dog to pass the cold days until the world warms up again.

There’s a wide variety of activities you can do with your dog in the winter, whether you want to go outside and enjoy the snow and cold or stay inside and relish your toasty house. Let’s explore some of the most popular activities you can do with your dog this winter, both outside and inside.

Outdoor Winter Activities To Enjoy with Your Dog

No matter how cold the weather, it’s great for both you and your dog to get outside, get some fresh air, and even bust out a little light cardio. Here are a few outdoor winter activities to try with your dog.

Take a Hike

Winter is a great time to pull out your wool socks, hiking boots, and scarves! Bundle up and head out to a trail that will get your heart pumping and help you warm up. Your dog will love running along the trail or even out in the trees, and it will be great for their heart as well! 

If you’re in the Treasure Valley, try heading out to the Boise Foothills or to Camel’s Back Park, both local options with lots of trails and steep inclines to get you moving.

Test Out Skijoring

Apparently, this is the big new thing! Have you heard of skijoring? Basically, this activity mixes cross country skiing with dog-sledding—you hop on your skis, connect a harness to your dog (along with a towline and skijoring belt), and let them pull you along on your skis.

As you can imagine, it’s best to do this activity where there’s lots of good skiing snow and not a lot of people. It’s also crucial that you only try this if your dog is big and athletic—you shouldn’t try it if your dog is much less than 35 pounds.

A similar variation of this sport is simply snowshoeing with your dog—instead of skis, you can wear snow shoes and harness your dog up to help pull you along. If you’re looking for a bit more relaxing of a time, snowshoeing is a good option.

Practice Kicksledding

A mix between skis and a dog sled, a kicksled is a portable, easy to use sled that you can easily attach to your dog with a harness and a towline. All you need to do is bundle up and get your dog attached and they can pull you along. And don’t worry, you’ll be getting plenty of exercise too! Kicksledding is sure to keep you warm and help you build those core muscles.

Run on Canicross

Canicross is a great activity for the days when snow is missing from the winter party. Use a harness, belt, and bungee line to connect to your dog and head out on a cross country run! You can run anywhere you want, whether that’s out in the mountains, at a local park or beach, or simply in the wilderness outside your home. 

The only other requirement for canicross is that your dog knows how to follow commands. You don’t want to give them full lead, so be sure they know how to obey at an instant’s notice. 

Try Fetch or Scavenger Hunts

If you don’t want to invest in a lot of time or equipment, a simple outdoor game is plenty to get your dog excited and help them burn off some energy. Take out a brightly colored fetch toy and throw it for them—if you have a lot of snow, try to avoid throwing it in the deepest areas where your dog won’t be able to reach it.

Alternatively, you can choose treats and favorite toys and hide them around your yard in the snow or, if you have no snow, simply around bushes or other objects. Send your dog out to look for their prizes and lavish the praise when they find them!

Great Pyrenees attached to skier and pulling him through the snow in a dead run

Indoor Winter Activities To Enjoy with Your Dog

If you’re not ready to brave the cold, there are lots of fun things you can do with your dog indoors as well! 

Play Hide and Seek

It’s not just kids who love hide and seek! You can play variations of this game by either hiding yourself or some of your dog’s favorite treats and toys. Send your pup out to find them and give them lots of praise when they do! 

If you want to hide yourself, the best way is to command your dog to stay in one room (obviously, your pup will have to be good at obeying voice commands) then go and hide yourself in the perfect spot. When ready, simply call your dog and wait until they discover your hiding place!

Practice Obedience Training

If your dog isn’t ready to obey commands yet, winter is the perfect time to start changing that. Invest some time in obedience training, either at home or at a local center, to get your dog used to coming and going at your command.

In a similar vein, you can play a game called Play-Wild Sits. In this activity, put your dog on a leash and jump around with them, getting them as excited as possible with jumps, twirls, dancing, etc. Then, in the middle of an activity, suddenly command them to sit. 

This activity will take practice, but with a bit of time and patience you should be able to get your dog from wild and rowdy to calm and seated within seconds.

Create an Obstacle Course or Agility System

Do you want your pup to keep active and exercise their brain? Then it’s time to pull out an obstacle course! You can purchase an obstacle course or an agility system and set it up, or you can make your own with household items like chairs, laundry baskets, old boxes, etc. 

Choose things that your pup can jump over, weave between, crawl under, etc. Think about making them move their body and use some basic problem-solving skills to get through! You can even set up some chairs or other tall objects and take your dog through them in a weave, a great skill to have in any dog competition! 

Bake Something

Does your dog enjoy treats as much as you do? If you’re planning to make yourself Christmas cookies or holiday pies, why not bring your dog along and make them something sweet too? 

There are tons of doggy treat options that you can make at home, from peanut butter treats to bacon glazed biscuits. Choose one you know your dog will love and let them join you in the kitchen for a fun baking session!

Watch a Movie

Does your dog enjoy snuggling on the couch with you? Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up and watch a good movie that your dog will like too. You can even choose one with a dog in it to get your pup really excited! 

Try Doga

Doga, or dog yoga, is a fun activity to try if you want a little indoor exercise that’s less intense and incredibly relaxing. You can try a few poses at home that your dog will enjoy doing with you and should help them relax but feel energized at the same time. 

Rottweiler laying on dog bed in front of fire looking at the camera with a relaxed look

Enjoying Winter With Your Dog

While dogs may like summer best, there are still lots of ways you can get them to enjoy the winter months! Try out those activities you think your dog will love most of all, or use these as inspiration to create your own ideas! 

If you are concerned about finding poop in your yard when you go out to play, well, we can help with that! Dogs poop, we scoop, and our team would love to clean up your yard so that you and your dog can play out there to your hearts’ content! Check out our services to learn more and start getting outside to a clean yard today.