1. Sherlock expedition: nose to ground, it’s time to go exploring.
Does your dog love nothing more than a run around the woods and a good sniff? How about some hide and seek? Try hiding your dog’s toys, tennis balls or even treats under some snow or piles of leaves. They’ll love the opportunity to sniff out what’s going on, and watching their problem-solving techniques at work is often very funny.
2. Canicross: hit the trails with your best friend
A new sport with an old concept: you and your dog run (or walk) together in nature. But before you start lacing up those trainers, Canicross has a few sensible rules! First (and most importantly): your dog must walk or run independently - it can pull you, but you can’t pull it. Besides an enthusiastic dog, you also need a special harness that connects you and your dog with an elastic band. The best thing about Canicross? It’s open to everyone, including children! It doesn’t matter what breed your dog is, as long as they’re healthy and at least one year old. You don’t need to be in tip top shape to take part - and you’ll be amazed how fast your fitness improves.
3. Canicross 2.0: Skijøring
Do you enjoy skiing? Does your dog love the snow? Then this could be the ideal winter sport for you both! Skijoring is just like cross-country skiing, but your dog pulls you along using a special harness. Heavy going? You might be surprised. The pulling is a natural thing for your dog to do, and you’ll be amazed how quickly they take command. More than one dog? All the more fun to be had.
4. Obstacle course: stay inside, stay active
Does your dog prefer a warm fire and a comfy sofa to a snowy hike? We can understand that… But of course, that’s no reason not to help your dog stay active indoors. By using lots of objects from around the home - like chairs, hula hoops, boxes, blankets, brushes, plants and balloons - you can make - yes, you guessed it - a super cool indoor obstacle course!
The first few times you set it up, use treats to guide your furry friend through the obstacles until they get the hang of it. You'll love seeing your dog actively engaged and they’ll feel great after a bit of mental and physical exercise - all without getting their paws cold.
5. Hide-a-squirrel: chasing even more indoor fun
Does your dog sometimes chase small animals, like squirrels or rabbits? Then this game is a surefire success! Hide-a-squirrel, conceived by the genius brain behind Outward Hound, is a plush puzzle game with simple rules. You put the cute, squeaky squirrels in the cuddly tree trunk and watch how your dog pulls them out one by one. Slightly less intensive than running after a real animal, but it will still keep your dog busy and entertained!
6. Winter hiking: keep it simple
Happiness is about the little things. The peace, the quiet outdoors, the feeling of being completely alone... Embrace the winter, pull on your boots and go for a winter walk with your dog. A perfect way to let go of everything and enjoy the moment between you and your pal.
Two quick tips before you set off: make sure the walk is dog friendly and take into account how far your dog can walk when planning the length of the walk.
Want to discover new hiking spots? Click here for a handy overview with surprising walking routes in the UK where you can go winter hiking with your dog.