Fun Things to do with your Dog
Having Fun with my Dog
Dogs Riding the train at Knoebels Amusement Resort
Before you can truly have worry-free fun with your dog outside, you must enroll him in an obedience course, or fully train him yourself. Your pet needs to be trustworthy wherever you go. For instance, if you go to a public park to play Frisbee with Fido, and he does not "come" when you tell him, he could become another hit and run statistic if he darts into the road to chase a squirrel. (A very real possibility.) Your dog MUST be obedient to your commands. Obedience training is the first step.
Here are fun ideas...
- Walk! What better way is there for you and your canine companion to spend time together and get healthy at the same time? Dogs have a natural migration instinct and need to go on daily walks to be mentally sound.
- Many of the hunting breeds and terriers love balls. Some dogs are more ''ball driven'' than others. While one dog may fetch the ball after you throw it, another may look at you like "You threw it, not me. YOU get it." Try different balls and cubes. Some dogs like the balls that rattle, others like ones that squeak. You can let your dog choose his own toys.
- Take your dog to the lake. Again, many of the hunting breeds, such as Labs, love the water. You can incorporate fetching with the water. Throw his favorite toy a short distance in the water so he can jump in and retrieve it. Make sure it is a toy that will float.
- Show your pet. Even mixed breeds can participate in some obedience shows. You may choose conformation classes, field trials, or obedience.
- Use the Internet or library to find training methods for search and rescue, sledding, cart pulling and a variety of other things. Depending on what breed you have, you probably have many options open to you. Remember that at one time your dog was bred for a specific purpose and most dogs are happier if they are working.
- Learn to groom your own dog. Not only will this save you money, it is a good bonding experience for the both of you. Many dogs enjoy being groomed. They love to show off when they look good. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are the one that made them look and feel better. Okay, at first you may not want to take your dog out while you are learning. Just hide him when you have company. Seriously, there are books and videos that give you step-by-step instructions on grooming, and it is really not that hard if you have the right tools. Do not buy those cheap clippers that don’t cut. Invest in a good quality grooming set. If the clippers cost less than $100, I would say don’t bother. I have tried a lot of them.
- Take your dog to a nursing home, hospital, or group homes for people with developmental disabilities. If your dog is easygoing, you may choose to use him as a therapy dog.
- My personal favorite thing to do is just to be with my dog. She is at my side at all times. If I am watching TV, she is at my feet. If I am in bed, she is on the floor beside me. Just her presence is enough for me, and for her. Sometimes the best thing you can do with your dog is hang out and relax.
- Take your dog to the dog park. It can be a wonderful place to exercise and socialize your dog.
~Written by Dawn Littlefield Littlefield Kennels