Six Outdoor Activities to Bond with Your Dog

Runner and Dog

Bet you’ve nev­er done down­ward dog with an actu­al dog. Here are 6 out­door activ­i­ties to bond with your dog that aren’t the usu­al walk in the bark…I mean park.

Doga
Find enlight­en­ment with your fur­ry friend by attend­ing a doga—yoga with your dog—class. For real? Yes, for real! Class­es are pop­ping up nation­wide that com­bine mas­sage, med­i­ta­tion, and gen­tle stretch­ing for calm bond­ing time with your wet-nosed woofer.

Ski­jor­ing
Hop on some skis and grab your dog­gie for some cross coun­try ski­ing. Not only will you depend on each oth­er for a suc­cess­ful trek, but your dog will love the exer­cise. Since there are no reigns or oth­er devices to con­trol the dog, he/she must be moti­vat­ed to run and respond to the owner’s voice. Team­work at its finest!

Cani­cross
Think ski­jor­ing but with­out the skis. Instead, run­ners hitch them­selves to their trust­ed four-legged com­pan­ions and take off.  Already pop­u­lar in Europe, this sport is grow­ing in North Amer­i­ca as a great recre­ation­al activ­i­ty to walk, jog, or hike with your dog hands-free.

Bike­jor­ing
Same idea as cani­cross and ski­jor­ing but on a bike… you get the idea. Can’t leave out the cyclists!

Hiking/backpacking
Prepa­ra­tion is key when it comes to long hikes and back­pack­ing, and the same goes for your pooch. Feel­ing ready to trek long dis­tances?  Maybe your dog can too. Ease your dog into hik­ing so it’s a ful­fill­ing expe­ri­ence for both of you. While you won’t be bark­ing at oth­er passers­by, train your pup to remain calm on the trail.  Also, be sure to check out dog reg­u­la­tions when it comes to camp­ing and using the trails.

Freestyle Musi­cal Dance
This fresh and excit­ing sport com­bines dog obe­di­ence with dance—and you’d be sur­prised at how well some of these pooches can groove it up. In a nut­shell, the dog and own­er dance and prac­tice tricks and skills in time to music instead of just walk­ing. It encour­ages the dog to per­form a pletho­ra of move­ments offer­ing a twist on tra­di­tion­al obe­di­ence training.