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Refuge Ridge
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Breaking the Bars of Apathy Through Education and Action
Breaking the Bars of Apathy Through Education and Action

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Winter weather is here. Make sure that you animals are prepared for winter too! Bring them inside if the weather is going to get too bad and fill their dog houses with straw or heating pads. Also don't forget to check water buckets to keep them from freezing.
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The wolves are starting to get their lovely winter fur. Now if I can just get some nice pics without mud in the background. 
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With winter coming my walks and outdoor dog training sessions start to dwindle. (I really don't like the cold.) So it time to start looking for things to help keep the dogs busy during the short, cold days to come.

The first option takes little time from you (an important consideration during the holidays,) is food and puzzle toys. Buster Cubes, Tricky Treat Balls, Tug-a-Jugs and other similar toys can be loaded with a mix of treats and your dog's regular diet to give them an opportunity to work for their food while you make hot chocolate to kill the chill.

There are several behaviors you can train that use a limited amount of space and lots of puppy brain power. Such as matching to sample, for example you set a plate, glove and cup in a row and when you hold up a glove the dog targets the other glove. This can be done with colors as well. Though be sure to choose colors the dogs can see. 

Scent work is also a great option. Teaching the dog to search for certain scents, such as vanilla, or bay can be used for a bunch of tricks. Your imagination is the only limit. 

This might also be a good time to teach practical behaviors such as finding keys, the remote, or picking up laundry or dog toys. Don't let the lack of opportunity for outdoor exercise make your house stressful this winter. While all dogs are individuals basic training instructions for these behaviors can be found online.  As well as several fun tricks and useful behaviors not mentioned here. (Though think carefully before you teach the dog to fetch you a beer. Do you really want to dog to know how to open the fridge?) 
 
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Don't forget to make sure to winterize your dog houses. Straw or heated discs can make a big difference in keeping you pets warm.
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There's nothing quite like the moment you line up a shot get ready to hit the shutter only to have a cold wet nose bump right in to your lens.
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The other side of the building.
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