Winter is coming where I live in the northeastern United States, and this will be my first cold winter with a dog. It will be cold enough that we won't be able to spend long periods of time outside. Also, the amount of snow will make it difficult to get around (even walks will be difficult/dangerous, since the sidewalks will be covered with snow).
I need to come up with ways to exercise my 1 year old Australian Cattle Dog mix during the winter because I am currently exercising her almost entirely outdoors.
To give an idea how much exercise she needs, her daily exercise routine includes:
- 1 mile walk first thing in the morning.
- After breakfast, ~30 minutes of play time chasing frisbees and balls. We stop playing once she's panting and gets tired enough to sit down on her own.
- Walk or additional play time throughout the day when she starts to get rowdy again. This is usually two or three times per day and involves ~30 minutes for a walk or ~15-20 minutes for chasing frisbees and balls.
There's not really enough space inside the house for her to sprint after a ball, so I don't think she'll get worn out by chasing a ball indoors. Also, I'm reluctant to play something more aggressive with her (like tug of war) because I also have a toddler in the house.
I searched around the Internet for a while and found a few good ideas. For example, this article has some good suggestions. Running up and down the stairs and the treadmill should work for me in particular.
What are other indoor exercises for a dog? I'm looking for activities that aren't too aggressive since I have a young child.