Written by Dylan K.
Obviously your pooch has no interest in six-pack abs, but its been a long drawn out winter. It's likely walks and park time have been kept brief for the past few months. Now that the sun has returned, here are ten fun ways to exercise your dog.
- Beyond the Ball.
Chuck its, dog Frisbees, dog boomerangs, so many things to throw. Find the one they love best and give it a toss.
- Exercise the kids at the same time.
Does your dog like to chase around your kid? Does your kid have a little more energy than you do? Teach your kid to play tag with your dog. Two birds, one stone.
- Downward dog 101.
While you go to Yoga, drop your pet off at an agility class. This is especially great for dogs with tons of energy to burn. For any committed yogis out there, you can even join your pup in a session of "Doga" with NYC dog trainer Denise Mange's Nah-Mutt-Stay package.
- Teach an old dog new tricks.
Keep them sharp, just like humans, keeping their minds active will help keep them young and frisky. So go beyond the sit and stay. Try the play dead, the choose a hand, or the roll over. If your high-energy pup also has a bit of a rambunctious (or, dare we say, sometimes destructive?) streak, consider trading the flashy tricks for behavioral training with an experienced dog behaviorist such as Denise or Rebecca Golian.
- Social Doggerflys
The dog park, natures workout is just them running around playing with other dogs. If your dog doesn't get along with all dogs, introduce yourself to the owners of dogs they interact well with on your walks, and set up play dates.
- Scent scavenger hunt.
They aren't all blood hounds and k9 cops, but most dogs have an exceptional sense of smell. Try hiding your dirty gym sock in the park and see if they can sniff it out.
- King Kong.
Your best friend will spend hours working at getting food out of a strategic toy. There are plenty of varieties so if they have gotten it down too easy, get them a more challenging version.
- Spin Spin Sugar.
Skip spin class and get on an actual bike and go for a slow ride with dog by your side.
- Where's Arnie?
Play hide & seek. You will have to be the hider every time, but if your dog loves being by your side, or if they know you have a treat for them, this can make for a fun game for the both of you. Here's instructions on teaching your dog hide & seek from the ASPCA.
- Doggie Paddle.
Got a clean body of water nearby? Next time the weather calls for a swim take your pup with you. Some dogs detest the water but most love it, and some just need a little more encouragement than others. So get in there with them and show em' how its done.