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I live in the north east and we have been getting pounded by storms and rain for over 2 weeks. Another round is coming through again today / this evening. I have a couple questions and thought maybe my fellow North Easter's might have some input (Outside of Pgh PA - Closest to OH)

1. What are you doing since it is storming so badly to get in your daily exercise?
- I normally go for a walk, do 15-20 min OB, then play with the flirt pole once or twice. Flirt pole is out right now wet grass + full speed run = disaster

2. My GSD is extremely nervous through the storms, what have others had success in comforting their dog with
- Thunder shirt is not an option right now, he actually got himself stuck under the bed last night, I try to call him into bed to snuggle him and he wants nothing to do with it

3. To crate or not to crate? Indoor crate or outdoor kennel?
- I have an outdoor covered kennel that has 1.5 covered sides to create shade / shelter for him while I am at work, I feel bad leaving him out there knowing a storm could roll through, should I crate him? I am gone from 7:30-5:30pm thats a long time!!
 

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It does rain and storm with lots of wind and thunder in South Dakota, so I'll start.
1. I still took my dog for a walk, but I changed the route to sheltered areas - not full out in the open and also I shortened it . I would try to go when it let up. Indoors, is a good place to practice off leash obedience work like the heeling, sit/stay, down/stay. Indoor tug is also a good way to burn off some of the excess energy.
2. Fear - yawn when the thunder strikes - that is a calming signal. Also play music to block it out. Rescue Remedy can help also. It helps if you can provide a retreat - put a blanket over his crate, or even move out a chair - my aussie used to go between a chair and the wall - he felt safe there.
3. I left my dogs outside but they had shelter - a dog house or access to the breezeway. Yes, I agree with you that is too long to crate. But for the kennel, he still needs a shelter so there are walls around him - I suggest one of those igloo type dog houses. He may even do better outside with his storm shelter. My husky would shake and pant when it stormed and want to go outside - so finally I let her. She calmed down. My friend's collie was terrified of storms and would claw the door trying to get out because in his previous home he had been locked in a shed when lightning struck close by. I would walk him and it did storm, but because he had to concentrate on heeling and following, he did well and that also helped him to get over his fear.
 

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This rain has been crazy. Our girl is going crazy bored. We need to do some more mental stimulation indoors. Our fault really.
 

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One thing we do is precision movement exercises when they can't go running around top speed. It engages their brains and requires them to use their bodies and is good sport conditioning.

For example, cavaletti (complete with bonus Crookytail goofup!):


This required about $5 worth of PVC pipes that I had sawn to 4' lengths at the hardware store, plus some crushed Coke cans (free!) for this training level. Later I raised the cavaletti up on concrete-filled dog food cans with nails hammered into the side (total cost of PVC pipes, nails, and concrete: < $10).

Also, goofing around on stairs (this is an intermediate stage, not the finished version, but I'll post this youtube because (a) I already posted the other one in a different thread; and (b) this one has Crookytail playing Bonus Prop):


Also, Find:


(that video was made about 3 weeks after Crookytail arrived from the shelter, which is why he sucks at Stay)
 
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