Got a new pup or need inspiration for some bonding time with your furry best friend? Look no further than our list of fun-filled activities to do with your dog that also provide mental and physical stimulation for them.
1. Teach your dog new tricks
Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? The key is working with your dog’s current skill level and not rushing it because most tricks will take at least a few sessions for your dog to master.
Get started with fun and easy tricks like shaking hands and nose touching then you can progress to spinning, pivoting around a box, and leg weaving. Learn about the ‘shaping’ technique and how to use it for those tricks here.
You can also watch our video below to get tips from Hannah Daniele, dog trainer and founder of Chapter One Dog, on how to start teaching your dog tricks, the different types of training, and even the best treats for training!
2. Make a (food) puzzle game
The internet is a treasure chest full of suggestions for do-it-yourself (DIY) brain teasers for your dog such as a tug toy made from old clothes.
Up the ante by incorporating food into the puzzle game. For example, teach your dog the cup game with treats. Such interactive games utilise your dog’s instinct to hunt for food and provide mental stimulation at the same time.
To play the cup game, you’ll need just three cups and a few treats. Encourage your dog to sniff out a treat as you place it under one of the cups. After your dog learns this part, you can then start shuffling the cups and asking them to find the treat. Motivate your dog with lots of praise as they figure out the game.
AnimalWised shares a quick video tutorial on this below:
3. Play fetch/go for a swim on the beach
Bored of playing fetch with your dog in your backyard? Head over to one of the many dog-friendly beaches on the Gold Coast for your next sunny adventure.
Lucky for us and our furry friends, the Gold Coast boasts 70 kilometres of beautiful beaches, most of which provide off-leash areas. Just don’t forget to bring beach must-haves such as post-dip refreshments for both you and your dog!
A full day out playing fetch and swimming should be perfect for dogs with lots of energy. And if your dog is still learning fetch, you can incorporate simple tips for training from our 1-minute video here:
4. Sign up for obedience training
It may seem counterintuitive because of the not-so-positive connotations of the word “obedience” but taking obedience classes with your dog can be fun!
Even if your dog is not on the wild side, taking classes together will strengthen your bond and allow your dog to have a goal to work toward. Plus, you may even get to learn new things about your dog!
Tune in as previous Special Operations Military Working Dog handler Tom of Origin K9 explains the importance of obedience training and shares some valuable tips in this video:
5. Train for a charity walk or run
Want to spice up the usual walk in the park with your dog? How about training for a 5k or half-marathon for charity? To help you start, we’ve rounded up the best dog-friendly walks in Brisbane here for you and your pet.
One of the great things about charity races is that most often rewards like t-shirts or medals are included — good keepsakes to celebrate your time spent training with your best buddy.
In case you encounter some distractions during your walk, expert dog trainer Ryan Tate takes you through teaching a dog how to avoid distractions here:
6. Schedule a furry play date
Hanging out with a friend who also has a dog might just be the most fun thing to do on our list! Socialising with other dogs will help teach your furry friend how to react to the world around them in a healthy way without aggression or fear.
Love the outside world? We recommend going for a nice long walk around one of the best dog parks in Brisbane listed here.
Or if you prefer staying indoors, veterinary behaviourist, Dr Ingrid Groeger-Stone and behavioural dog trainer and vet nurse Zoe Bobbermien share tips to keep your dog calm when visitors come over here:
Tried anything on our list of fun things to do with your dog or got suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below!