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Home Doggie Fun Unleash the Fun – Top 5 Joyful Activities for Your Dog

Unleash the Fun – Top 5 Joyful Activities for Your Dog

by Kimberley Lehman
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Hey there, fellow dog enthusiasts! Are you ready to unleash the fun and jump into the tail-wagging world of making your furry best friend the happiest pup on the block? Well, buckle up because I’m about to take you on a barking-mad adventure filled with laughs, licks, and lots of love for making your dog happy!

Now, I’m not just any dog fan. I’m what you might call a ‘dog fanatic’! I’ve been a proud parent to not one, not two, but *six* amazing dogs, including my current fur-baby, Luna, a one-year-old rescue mutt with more energy than a squirrel on an espresso shot. Like a furry hurricane, Luna has a talent for turning a quiet day into a comedy show.

Have you ever seen a dog try to catch her tail and look genuinely surprised when she does? That’s for you! You will also notice she is featured on our site home page as the “Ask Luna” expert who has answers to all things dog. Please take a minute and chat with her! I think she’s pretty ah-mazing, though I say so myself.

Before Luna, my life was a parade of paws. Each of my six previous dogs brought their unique brand of chaos and joy into my life. From Penny and Elsie, the Rat Terrier duo who could sniff out a hidden treat from three rooms away, to Kasha, the German Shepherd who thought she was a lap dog despite being the size of a miniature horse. Each one taught me a new trick about being the best dog parent as we unleashed the fun of life together!

I’ve learned something about what makes tails wag, ears perk up, and those big puppy eyes shine with happiness. So, let’s go right into unleashing the top five joyful activities for your dog. Trust me, it will be a rollercoaster ride of fun, and you will, with all the secrets to keep your furry friend wagging faster than can say ‘Fetch’!’

#1 – Going for Walks or Hikes

Man and dog on a mountain hike.

Embarking on a daily hike with Luna, my energetic one-year-old rescue is like stepping into a world of wonder and excitement. Every bush, every tree, every little critter is a new chapter in her adventure diary. And trust me, Luna is not alone in her love for the great outdoors. Each of my six previous dogs had a unique style of exploring the world – from Penny, who treated every walk as a marathon, to Bruce, who was more of a leisurely stroller, taking in the sights and smells at his own pace.

Let’s forget the hilarity that ensues on these expeditions! We are so blessed to be able to walk out our door and cross the road, and BAM, we are in the thick of the backcountry foothills of Mingus Mountain and its delightful ecosystem of creatures, great and small. I have worked hard with Luna to hike safely off leash with me, so as soon as we clear the paved road and hit the trails, she’s off the leash and into her heaven!

Picture this: Luna, tail wagging a mile a minute, suddenly spots a rabbit, and – whoosh – off she goes, as fast as her lightning legs can carry her! She might pull me along like a kite in a strong wind if she were still on a leash. Moments like these make hiking with your dog an absolute joy. It’s one of the highlights of my day!

Having the right gear is critical for the serious dog walkers and hikers among us. A sturdy, reliable leash is a must-have. I found a fantastic one that is excellent for keeping energetic dogs like Luna in check before she gets to “check out” and blast to her heart’s content on the trails. I like the hands-free version for some things; other times, I want a hands-on leash to feel exactly what Luna is up to and keep her energy in check if necessary.

Don’t forget about hydration for both of you! For those longer hikes, I recommend carrying water, perfect for keeping your furry friend hydrated on the go. A must in the high desert foothills of our hiking area, and likely where you are too, depending on the time of year.

For those new to dog walking or looking to take it up a notch, I’ve found the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen guide to dog walking incredibly helpful. It’s the ten essential skills every well-mannered dog should know. It will help you and your pup make the most of your walks, ensuring you and your dog get the necessary exercise and enjoyment, with good manners thrown in as a bonus!

And for those adventurous souls planning to hit the trails, check out:

“300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail”

An excellent guide to dog-friendly hiking trails. You’ll find some amazing locations where you and your four-legged companion can explore nature together, creating a bond like no other of love, companionship, and adventure!

# 2 – Playing Fetch or Frisbee

Man and dog play frisbee.

Ah, fetch! The classic game turns any dog into an Olympic athlete and any human into a part-time pitcher. Let’s start with Luna, my sprightly rescue mutt. Give her a frisbee, and she transforms into a furry red missile, leaping into the air with the grace of a gazelle (well, a gazelle with a wagging tail). It’s a sight that always brings a smile to my lips and a glow to my heart.

Now, I’ve played fetch with all my dogs, and each has their fetching style. There was Penny, the Rat Terrier, who could catch a ball mid-air as if she had springs for legs. And then there was Elsie,  also a “brat” terrier, who loved to fetch after Penny, who would be chasing the ball, but Elsie had a funny habit of forgetting to bring the ball back if Penny missed it. Let’s just say it was more of a game of chase Penny than fetch!

I found some fantastic toys for all the aspiring fetch champions out there. The Chuckit! Classic was Penny’s all-time favorite and is a game-changer, literally. It lets you throw the ball farther and keeps your hands slobber-free – a win-win in my book! Penny and Elsie would light up with glee when the Chuckit came out. They knew a trip to the park and ball/dog-chasing bliss was moments away.

And for the frisbee fans, the ChuckIt Zipflight flying disk is perfect. It’s durable, flies great, and is gentle on your dog’s teeth. Luna can attest to that; it’s one of her favorite ways to unleash the fun!

For more interactive play ideas and to keep the fetch game strong, take a look at The Joy of Playing with Your Dog. From fetch variations to new game ideas, it’s filled with inspiration to keep your dog engaged and active.

#3 –  Training and Learning New Tricks

Learning new tricks

Let’s talk about training and teaching new tricks – a brain game that both you and your furry friend can enjoy. Take it from Luna and me, my one-year-old rescue mutt extraordinaire, which proves that learning can be a barrel of laughs (sometimes literally). When I taught Luna to roll over, she added her twist – rolling over and running in circles. I’m unsure if it’s a new trick or her version of a victory dance, but I embrace it every time she rocks it out!

My journey with dog training has been filled with chuckles and ‘ah ha’ moments. Like when I tried to teach Bruce, the Lab/Bassett hound mix, to ‘speak.’ He was so enthusiastic about howling that we had to learn ‘whisper’ as ‘he following trick to keep the peace with the neighbors!

One of my go-to recommendations for new dog owners‘ training tools is the simple, inexpensive Ruconla Dog Training Clicker. It’s great for positive reinforcement training, and trust me, it works wonders.

For those fabulous treats that make training a breeze, I swear by Stella & Chewy’s Crav’n Bac’n Dog Treats. Luna’s absolute favorite is the “Bacon & Beef Recipe,” which I can cut in halves or even quarters, and she still feels like I have given her an entire strip of bacon. They’re the perfect snack size, and Luna goes bonkers for them – in a good way! Knowing your dog’s go-to high-value treats is essential to getting and keeping their attention during training and whenever you need them to arrive at your side now!

If you’re just starting out with training or looking for new tricks to teach your dog, I highly recommend the Best Dog Tricks on the Planet: 106 Amazing Things Your Dog Can Do on Command. It’s a hoot and packed with helpful tips and tricks (pun intended) that cater to dogs of all ages and breeds. From the basics to tricks that will impress your friends, there’s something for every pup and parent.

#4 –  Visiting a Dog Park

Dog park

The dog park is a magical place where sniffing is the main conversation, and every ball is fair game. Taking Luna to the dog park is like watching a kid in a candy store – if the candy store was entirely of tennis balls, frisbee chasing, and other dogs. The moment she steps paw in the park, it’s a whirlwind of wagging tails and playful barks. She is full-on the social ambassador, greeting humans and dogs alike with glee and pure joy!

Heading to the dog park yourself? Let me tell you, it’s a breeze when you’re prepared. Think of Bruce, my Golden Retriever-Basset Hound mix, who loved to lead the way. My best friend for those moments was a reliable leash, keeping him close and calm until we reached the fenced in zone where we could unleash the fun.

Once you’re in the free-roam area, it’s showtime! Just like Penny and Elsie used to do, and Luna is now the new champion of zip, your dogs can zoom around, making friends as they go. Keep your eyes peeled, though – you’ll want to ensure everyone plays nice, just like I did with my dynamic Rat Terrier duo. Luna is so sweet, she makes friends with dogs and humans alike.

Post-playtime, I’m all about the quick clean-up. A rubdown with a towel, like I used to do with Dutchess and Kasha after their park runs, keeps the dirt out of the car and the living room. Luna knows the drill, she gets a dust wipe-off in the truck after every adventure.

Finding the right spot for a romp? A quick online search for “dog park near me” can lead you to a doggie haven in your neighborhood! As with any new place, remember to take your manners along, as they’re just as important for us as they are for our four-legged pals. Keeping the park enjoyable is all about mutual respect and doing unto others as you would have done to you and your dog!

Stick to these simple tips for a dog park visit that’s full of fun and free of fuss, just like Luna loves it!

#5 –  Relaxing and Cuddling

Woman and dog relax.

After a day full of walks, fetch, and dog park escapades, there’s nothing quite like winding down with some good old-fashioned relaxing and cuddling. My one-year-old rescue, Luna, might be a bundle of energy, but she’s also a champion cuddler. She’s there when I sit down, snuggling up like a fuzzy hot water bottle with a heartbeat.

Each of my previous dogs had a cuddling style. For example, Dutchess, the German Shepherd, never really understood the concept of personal space and would try to fit into my lap as if she were a Chihuahua. And then there was Elsie, the Rat Terrier, who preferred to curl up right next to my head whenever she could, however she could, ensuring I was never alone, even for a second. It made for some exciting climbing adventures for Elsie; Penny would look on in amazement from the safety of my lap.

For those cozy moments when I need my lap to myself, I love the Best Friends by Sheri Calming Shag Vegan Fur Donut Cuddler. It’s a plush nest that Luna can sink into and feel secure and loved, even when we are not together and she has to master some “home alone” time. Having a safe place for your dog to feel content while you are sitting at home is important to their bonding time with you. I love spoiling my pups; most piled onto my lap, wherever I sat.

For a touch of soothing music to help your dog relax, check out the RelaxMyDog streaming service. It’s specifically designed to calm dogs and is a great way to set the mood for quiet time. Luna and I both love it. This has also been a game-changer for those home-alone times! But that is a topic of another blog.

Wrap it all up in love.

So there you have it, my fellow dog lovers – a whirlwind tour through the top five ways to bring joy and tail wags into your dog’s life. From the thrill of exploring new trails to the simple pleasure of a cuddle session, each moment with our canine companions is a story waiting to be told.

Just look at Luna, my one-year-old rescue mutt, and the countless laughs, sprints, and snuggles we’ve shared. She’s not just a pet; she’s a bundle of joy wrapped in fur, teaching me new ways to smile daily. And let’s not forget the incredible dogs I’ve had the pleasure of calling my family in the past. Each one left paw prints on my heart and hilarious memories that I cherish.

What’s important to remember is that every dog is unique. What sends Luna into a frenzy of happiness might be different for your furry friend. The key is to try these activities and see what makes your dog’s eyes light up with excitement. It’s all about understanding and embracing their individual personalities.

So, grab that leash, toss that ball, and get ready for some serious doggie adventures. And at the end of the day, when you’re both tuckered out, remember that a gentle cuddle can be just as precious as a day full of play.

Alright, dog lovers, it’s your turn to unleash the fun! I’ve shared my stories and tips, from Luna’s hilarious antics to the heartwarming cuddles that end our days. Now, I want to hear from you!

Got a funny fetch tale? A hiking adventure with your four-legged friend that had you both exploring new horizons? Or maybe a training triumph that made you as proud as a peacock? Share your stories in the comments below! Let’s create a community where we can laugh, learn, and share the joys of dog parenting.

And don’t forget to snap those adorable doggy moments! Post your pictures with #DoggieTimesFun on FaceBook. Let’s spread happiness, show the world our canine companions are awesome, and enjoy unleashing the fun!

But wait, there’s more! If you found this guide helpful, give it a thumbs up, share it with your fellow dog enthusiasts, and subscribe for more paw-some content. Together, let’s make every day a tail-wagging adventure!

Remember, the bond we share with our dogs is a special one. Let’s cherish it, nurture it, and make every moment count. Happy tails to you and your furry friends!

 

Kimberley Lehman

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