Spring is close on the horizon, which means it’s time for dog park fun. Keep things interesting this year with some new ideas for playtime – the more fun you can have at the dog park, the more excited your pup will be, which is great!
As any dog owner knows, though: trying to get a jacket on that lively pooch is challenging to say the least. It’s not just you – most dog jackets aren’t designed with your pup in mind. The 5-Second Dog Parka is. It’s got a self-adjusting neck, one clip, and velcro sides so you can slide it on in 5 seconds or less. Get out the door when your dog wants to go. Whether he or she is big, tiny, medium – this dog jacket will be a perfect fit for your dog.
Once you’re out the door, get that pent up energy out at the park with these 3 unique ideas for dog park playtime.
Your dog’s sense of smell is around 40 times more powerful than a humans. The game of nosework can help them hone this superpower and shape their searching behaviour. The practice of prompting your dog to find a specific odour hidden in a room at home is easy for beginners. Doing it outside is much more challenging.
For starters, you’ll need to associate a specific command, like “find it” so they know when the nose work game has started. To play, have your dog stay in a given location. While he or she is watching, go place a treat or his favorite toy along with a scent (you can use essential oils, spices or perfumes) in a box or container around the area. Then, tell them to “find it.” After a few repetitions, he or she will know what’s expected. Your dog can eat whatever treat he or she finds. The idea with this search activity is to gradually build up to new distances and areas.
One of the easiest activities you can do with your dog, bubble catching is captivating for most. Even older dogs that can’t run or jump like they used to can still ‘play.’ To make bubbles your dog will want to catch, mix 1/4 cup of non-scented liquid dish soap, 1/2 cup of water, 1 tsp sugar and one bouillon cube. Place the bouillon cube in the 1/2 cup of water and microwave for 30 seconds or until dissolved. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Use a bubble wand to blow bubbles. Keep solution in an air tight container.
This is sort of like a dog-park version of slack-lining for your pup. Teaching agility can be done without necessarily enrolling in a course or splurging on expensive equipment. You can start small. A simple hula hoop jump can be a fun practice for the dog park.
Grab a hula hoop from a dollar store or a toy store. Hold the hoop upright on the ground and hold a treat on the other side to lure your dog through. Walk him or her through the hoop several times to help train a sense of direction (watch it being done here). When your dog starts to jump through, begin to hold the hoop an inch or two off the ground and continue treating as you raise the height and your dog is through with all four paws on the other side. Add your cue to ‘hup’ or ‘jump’ to name their trick.