Keep your dog active and stimulated, while strengthening your bond by enjoying some fun activities together. There are plenty of entertaining activities to do with your dog and what may just begin as a bit of fun may lead to participating in a competitive environment.
1. Obedience training
Obedience training has to be the most important place to start when becoming a dog owner. It not only helps to everyday life to run more smoothly but also helps dogs to learn how to act appropriately when out in public.
Most dogs thrive with boundaries and predictable routines. Without obedience training, they simply do not know what an owner is expecting of them or how to behave. Well-trained dogs tend to be happier than untrained dogs as they know how to please their owners.
There are plenty of options available for training your dog including;
- Training your dog, yourself (there are plenty of online tutorials)
- Sign up for an obedience class
- Hiring a professional dog trainer for private lessons
Once your dog has mastered the basics of obedience you can explore what dog friendly activities the community has to offer. Check out our dog training products
2. Visit the local dog park
Dog parks are specially zones area where dogs are allowed to roam free. Many of them are securely fenced and have a set of rules that park users must follow to ensure safety of park visitors. Some parks have sections exclusively for small or young dogs so that they don’t become unintentionally hurt when playing with a larger dog.
Visiting the local dog park can be a great opportunity to socialise with other dogs. Social dogs enjoy meeting new dog friends and returning to see them time and time again. You might make new friends as well!
3. Have a playdate
Have a puppy playdate! Meet up with a friend and their dog and watch your pooches have a ball of a time together.
4. Hit the Beach
Visit a dog friendly beach or lake for a stroll and the splash in the shallows. Many dog friendly beaches allow off the leash play, so a game of fetch may also be on the cards.
5. Charity Events
Take part in a local dog event, such as a charity dog walk. The Million Paws Walk is an event organised by the RSPCA to raise money to help fight animal cruelty. It’s a great way to spend time with your dog, meet other local dog owners and support the less fortunate.
6. Visit a café
You and your furry friend could visit a dog friendly café. If you’re lucky you may be able to find one that offers puppacinos on the menu!
7. Take a hike
Getting out and exploring a new area can be a fun and rewarding experience. While most national parks don’t allow dogs on the trails there are still plenty of other options available. To find more information about dog friendly trails near you, check out the hikes and trails directory on Pupsy.
Don’t forget to pack a few essentials for your adventure, including a first aid kit, poop bags and plenty of water.
If you are looking for more athletic or competitive activities to do with your dog, you may find the following more up your alley.
You have possibly seen dogs doing agility courses on TV or even in person at a local show. Agility is a lot of fun for both dogs and their owners and dogs gain a lot of confidence from completing in these trials. Agility can be a very competitive sport but a lot of human-dog partnerships do it simply for fun.
In an agility trail, the owner guides their off-lead dog through a series of obstacles including hurdles, teeter-totters, tunnels, balance beams, weave poles and climbing structures.
Working and herding dogs are often considered naturals at agility but really, with some practice and determination, any breed can do it.
Another fast-paced activity for dogs is Flyball! This is a relay race that requires a dog to race over four hurdles, catch a tennis ball that has been released from a spring-loaded launcher, and then race back over the hurdles again. Given that this is a relay, dogs will run in teams of four against other teams.
Frisbee, also known as Disk Dog is another fast-paced event for dogs. The basics of Disc dog are simple enough. Throw the disc, dog catches disc, dog returns disc. It’s the finer details of Disk Dog where it gets a bit more complicated. There are two primary types of competition, Distance/Accuracy and Freestyle. The events can be quite showy but this sport involves a lot of jumping, so consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on a vigorous Frisbee training program.
11. Dog shows
Dog shows are another world of competition but without the need for athletics. If you have a pedigree breed dog, you may be interested in attending a show. In a dog show, each pooch is measured on how closely they conform to the standard of their own breed. Shows are useful to breeders as a means of evaluating dogs for breeding purposes and many consider a championship as a prerequisite for breeding.
Dancing can be a sweet way of bonding with your dog. Some dogs demonstrate a special dexterity and talent to perform choregraphed moves. With some training you can take dog dancing to a new level, including competitions, exhibitions and entertainment events.
These are just some of the great ways that you and your dog can enjoy time together out in the community. Trying something new can be a lot of fun and might be that special activity that you have been searching for, for you and your pet.