– By Sally James
Extreme Activities for Your Dog
If you take on the message of Jack London’s novel Call of the Wild, then your dog, from time to time, deserves to throw off the confines of being a pet in the modern 21st century and unleash their primitive and wild side. It’s a romantic idea, for sure, but one I think we can all agree with. If you spend your life in an office cubicle, you might just have dreamt of standing up and following a life of adventure.
You, at least, understand why you do what you do – the security, comfort, and benefits of a buttoned down life. Your dog doesn’t. All they see are these arbitrary rules that stop them from having, occasionally, the time of their lives.
Of course, most pet owners are kind people who want the best for their dogs, but how many do activities exclusively for the dog (rather than letting the dog come along on the activities they’re doing anyway)?
In this article, we take a look at some of the fun and more extreme activities available for dogs that will help them reconnect them with their wild side (and also some considerations to ensure it stays safe).
Before you attempt any of the following, it’s obviously a good idea to ensure that your dog is fit and able to do them. Extreme doesn’t mean dangerous – it’s all about their happiness at the end of the day. If there’s the potential for anything to go wrong, then it’s paramount you have sufficient pet insurance to adequately protect against accidents and injuries, and also have a first aid kit to fix any problems if you’re far from medical help.
Equally, always stop if your dog looks tired and/or is no longer enjoying the activity. Also, don’t confuse your definition of extreme for what they would adventurous; bungee jumping with a dog is an awful, cruel idea.
Long Distance Hike
OK, this one actually will be fun for you by extension. A lot of dogs love to be in the great outdoors where they can use their awesome nose to guide them. In many cases, it’s usually the owner who brings them in against their will.
To combat this, consider going on a long (but not overly strenuous) hike. You’ll camp under the stars in the evening and go for long walks during the day. If you’re a capable camper who can set up a tent in the backcountry, then you can even let your dog lead the way. This is a gift of adventure and freedom, two things dogs rarely get to experience in our ever busy, safety conscious society. Pack the tent, dog food, plenty of water, and set out – just make sure to look for signs that your dog is becoming tired, which will be much earlier than you.
Have you ever seen a dog enjoying itself in nature? It’s a wonderful sight. By setting up a fun and challenging hunting course, you can give your pet a fun day out that also lets them use some of their natural instincts. To do this, you’ll need plenty of land – the more the better. You’ll be placing your decoy hunting objects around here, so it’s more fun if there’s plenty of land to cover.
Then you’ll need to introduce your dog to the scents there’ll be hunting. Potent scents such as clove and birch work well. Then you pack the scent into boxes that are placed around the outdoors. When they find them, you reward them with plenty of praise and a nice treat! An awesome day where your dog is certain of attention.
In this sport, dogs use their nose to find their way through man-made tunnels. Finding the tunnels in the first place might be a challenge, but there’ll be worth the effort once you do! Though it’s usually a rat or other rodent they’re hunting, it’s also humane – it’ll be safely secured in a wooden box. This combination of excitement, sport, and reward makes it a really fun and easy way to do something nice for your dog without much chance of anything going wrong. Not all dogs are able to take part, but those who master the sport might just find themselves famous one day – competitions are held to find out the best Earthdog Trial pup is.
Your dog loves and obeys you at your command – it’s time to do something fun for them! Let them show off their inner wildness by getting them back in touch with their roots. They won’t lose all of their domestic qualities…we promise!