Hi, I hope I am posting this in the right spot, but here goes...
We have a 6 month old lab who is high energy (really, what lab isn't?). With the weather getting colder and colder where we are I was wondering what you all do with your dogs to keep active during the winter? Up until recently when the weather has really gotten too chilly Logan's main activity was hiking/swimming. We are lucky to have a state park very close to our home where Logan spent most of his summer running around, playing in the water, fetching, hiking, etc. We tried to bring him this past weekend but he wouldn't go in the water anymore (who would) because it was wayy too cold. We have a tie-out in the backyard where we put him when we go out to play fetch and he can run aroun with his toys (always supervised!!!!) but I am afraid even this he may reject when the weather gets colder and snow falls.
He will go bonkers with no outdoor time and I don't want him "expressing" his extra energy all over our house/furniture/belongings.
I think you may find the opposite of what you're expecting. I find Jes, and I've heard other members here post similar experiences, comes alive in the colder months. Labs, with their higher body fat and double coats are "made" for the cold. My problem is finding things to do in the heat of the summer...he doesn't tolerate heat very well. The cold, however, he loves. I have to watch him or he'll break ice to get to the water. Perhaps your pup wasn't too crazy about the water because of his age and the lack of a full coat right now.
I find the major difference is that I have to wear a lot more clothes and it's not nearly as fun for me as it is during the warmer months. Wait until a good snow fall and see if you don't observe the famous/infamous "butt run."
Rocky is just starting to come alive these days. He is very slow in the summer - not very active (too warm for him) but once the late fall hits he's ready for some ACTION.
I live in eastern Ontario Canada and we get a fair amount of snow and cold. But that has never stopped us from getting out. We run 5x a week (only stop if it's icy - too dangerous). We take lots of walks. We go to the dog park. Exactly teh same as summer! I'd say the only thing you can't do anymore is swim.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Haha you guys may be right about the summer/winter thing, actually. Logan loved the shade and water of the park in the summer but when we tried to take him for a walk in our neighborhood, even around the block, on hot days sometimes he'd just flat out refuse (nothing like carrying at 30 pound lab puppy 3 blocks back home because he lay down on the street and wouldn't get up!). I thought it might have been because the sidewalks were too hot for his little paws.
I probably walk my gang on their 3 milers twice as much during the cold months as during the warm ones. For one, we have no rattlers to worry about in the winter. It just requires me to bundle up more. My dogs have way more excess energy in the winter! -Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Puff loves the cold weather and, although she's an inside dog except for our daily morning offleash walks in the nature preserve, she easily tolerates below 0°F (-18° C) temps. The hairs of her fur piloerect slightly and create a slightly thicker blanket or covering (Puff has a doublecoat but her fur is MUCH thinner than those of all other Labs we've ever seen -- her ribs are always easily visible whenever the light comes from the right direction). She exercises enough with retrieving on our walks so that she's never gotten cold.
I do smear "Musher's Secret", a Canadian product, on her paws and especially between her toes whenever we go out when there's snow on the ground to prevent ice balls ffrom forming.
"Musher's Secret" -- KV Vet < www.kvvet.com/ > has the best price I've found.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
These have been my experiences too. Shelby loves cold weather. And snow is even better. We exercise year round, but she definitely has more endurance in the winter months.
Yup...my guys love the winter....I bundled up last night and took them for a walk. My guys will swim too in this weather...and as long as they tolerate it and I have towels handy, I let them swim if we are near water. I love watching them bound through the snow in the winter...it's like they have a big glorious smile plastered across their faces.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
My male hates the heat so winter he is full of life. We had a huge winter storm yesterday and no sooner I got home and let the dogs out he was doing that face wipe (like they do after they eat) all through the snow. We call it the face plow.
My two girls ran around out there like idiots all night. They would come back in for about 20 minutes and want back out again.
They have a blast as do I watching their antics.
I am so thankful to have a fenced in yard and can let them safely play.
I think as the others have pointed out, the dog is going to love the winter. You might want to think about not letting him walk on surfaces (road/driveway/sidewalks) that have been salted. Real cold, but they are wet, freezes to their paws and fur.
The real problem is probably the comfort of the humans going out to the cold, (We are in Minnesota). Get yourselves good cold weather outfits for exercising the dogs. Forget style. Think cold temperature insulation and wind protection for head and hands. Great gloves? Think about what you will be trying to do with the dog when you are out, and get the proper amount of flexibility in your choice. AND REMEMBER, to heck with what it ilooks like, what is important is that it keeps you comfortable so that the dog gets out and gets some exercise.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.