Go Off-Road When Walking Your Dog

Dog walkers are so boring.

Day after day I see them walking around the block with their dogs, never leaving the sidewalk, never having fun.

I’d like them to know what they’re missing.

Walking the Dog the Fun Way

Since I don’t have a car (and don’t really feel like pulling my 50 pound dog twenty miles on the back of my bike to go to a cool agility class) we’ve brought dog sports into our daily strolls.

Honey agreed to model some of the ways we improve the fitness level and fun factor in our walks.

Honey the Golden Retriever poses in a tunnel.

Yeah, it’s a big tunnel. But I had to jump four feet to get up here. That should count for something.

Honey the Golden Retriever walks in the snow.

I’m glad we can only do this sport 8 months out of the year. It’s hard.

Honey the Golden Retriever runs with a stick.

I don’t think the Mom understands the point of a relay race. There’s supposed to be another dog for me to pass the stick to.

Honey the Golden Retriever at the Fall Creek Playground.

I love the playground. I get bacon treats every time I climb on something.

Honey the Golden Retriever considers a jump at a construction site.

There’s always construction somewhere. That means plenty of things to jump over.

Honey the Golden Retriever worries about the weave poles.

What’s the big deal with weave poles? Oh, you want me to walk through them?

Honey is a little worried in some of these pictures. They’re from the early days of bringing new activities into our walks. But over time she’s gotten much more confident and really likes to jump and play around objects we find around the neighborhood.

And it’s certainly more fun than walking around the block.

Your Turn: Do you add any special activities to spice up your walks?

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  1. Great way to exercise and fun at the same time. I just chase vermin. LOL! Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. Honey, Great job – that’s really creative – just use the environment and you accomplish two things: more fun for your dog & higher level of intensity on their exercise! Love it. Thanks for joining our Blog Hop.

  3. We are all about running and jumping, especially Torrey.

  4. Great ideas!

  5. Love the tunnel shot!

    Silas is also partial to a good old fashioned “Run like a crazy” break mid-walk, or a chance to play some tug.

  6. What a creative mom you are! I agree, there is a place and a time for getting your dog to heal nicely, like walking in crowds and such. But a walk should be fun and you certainly make it that way for Honey. I love how you find different activities to challenge her, like jumping and crawling. We will need your creativity in k9kamp (coming up in late May!). Thanks for being a part of FitDog Friday!

  7. We have our favorite squirrel places that we have to explore. So we are always looking up in the trees and looking under every boulder!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

  8. It’s your and Honey’s own version of Parkour :) Besides the usual “chase the squirrel up a tree” Gizmo like the “hop up on a wall”, “hop up on a bench” and “hop up on a table” games best…

  9. Sue at The Golden Life says:

    I wish I did! But I hate to leave Callie at home alone these days in order to take Shadow to the park. Callie loves going to the park; and I would be on a super-sized guilt trip if I took Shadow and left Callie at home, alone. Can hardly wait for her leg to be completely healed and able to withstand the jumping out of & back into the car on a routine basis!

  10. LOL! Way too cute!!! I wish our neighborhood walks could be as exciting. :)

  11. My dogs are boring, they only want walks and treats, although we do jump over trees and climb rocks. Sometimes I even make them stop and pose. 😉

  12. Awesome natural innovation! We love this post – great ideas to share and do!

  13. Our walks improved dramatically when I got a long line and put Elka on that when we got to the park. There are minimal basic rules on the long line, and a good deal of interesting things to explore.

  14. Thank goodness we live where we do…Our community on the Big Island of Hawaii backs up to hundreds of acres of land with trails that zig zag all over, giving us plenty of new smells and obstacles to check out every day of the week. With so many dogs in our neighborhood, I’m always surprised that we’re the only ones ever out there taking advantage of Mother Nature. I typically take Kimo and Pepper (two VERY happy, spoiled Labs) for 2 to 3 miles of trail hiking every day after work. We encounter mongoose, mice, Francolins (partridge type birds), goat bones, and the occasional feral donkeys (“Leave it!!”). One of the great things about Hawaii is that we don’t have to worry about SNAKES!–No snakes in Hawaii–Yeah! Once a week, we hit one of the nearby beaches for some different scenery and smells! I always try to mix it up. So far, I haven’t received any complaints! Woof!

  15. We have a lot of ‘off road’ adventures as well. So many interesting things to come across! It’s like nature’s own agility course. :)

  16. Mike Webster says:

    From the Husband. . .
    Not pictured:
    Face Trampoline.
    Usually if I’m not out of bed by 6:30 AM. Usually my face.

  17. Great ideas! I never thought about winter walks as ‘resistance training’ – love it! So, seems like great dog minds woof alike – we just wrote about turning your next dog walk into an urban agility challenge on Wednesday! (http://www.lifeinthedoglane.com/2013/04/10/take-your-dog-walk-from-ordinary-to-extraordinary/).

  18. Besides trying to see if we can walk fast enough to give my husband and heart attack, you mean? Part of our daily circuit involves walking through the park, so we take time to investigate new things there when we can. Kuster thinks the pavilion with all the picnic tables stacked in it for winter storage is one of the best agility fields ever!

  19. I think Kobi gets some good resistance training when he is pulling on the leash trying to go somewhere that I don’t want him to! Usually because he smells something, which is really the only thing he wants to do other than walk. But I’ve always thought Sheba would enjoy some agility, so I’m going to try to find a place to walk her where she could do some of that!

  20. I’m guilty of the ‘boring walk around the neighbourhood’ thing – sometimes it’s the only thing I can manage on a tough day, but I make sure they’re walked every single day. Having said that, this post has inspired me to find the extraordinary in the ordinary – little moments that might make the walk more exciting (love the construction site ‘jump’/challenge). Thanks :)

  21. We love heading to the park in the off-hours to play on the playground equipment. Koly thinks that’s his own personal jungle gym.

  22. That looks like so much fun! Luna and I hope to explore a little more too and get more exercise that way. Your ideas are great!


  23. Eight months of snow, good grief!! That would be really great exercise for both of you! Honey does get plenty of variety on your walks.

    Kind of relevant to your last post, 12 months ago (so hard to believe!) we moved here basically for the dogs. We’re close to the beach, sand dunes and forest. Lugging a camera, water bottle and bum bag full of essentials up and down sand dunes while trying to keep a Greyhound in sight is great exercise for me too! We virtually never walk the streets now. Plus we’ve got a huge front lawn perfect for Greyhound zoomies:) We’ve all declared the shift to be a success.

  24. I envy all of you that have nice places to walk your dogs. :-)
    My neighborhood is awful for walking. I still go, but I don’t like it.

  25. Great post! Thanks for the smile.

    We live in a rural area so each of our walks are interesting, but looks like I need to get a little more creative with our dogs!

  26. Since reading about something similar on another doggy blog, typist is always looking for something to practice agility on – since she started her dog with this recently – however she really struggles! She may need to get more creative!

  27. Your walks look way more fun that the usual down the block and back. Honey is one lucky dog.

    On another note, I am trying the dog trailer again with Chester and Gretel this year. They don’t mind sitting in it at all. Gretel actually loves it. They just start to bark when we are moving. The hubby won’t go on rides with us anymore :( I am trying again this year by starting them on short trips and giving them lots of treats. We went for our first spin around the block Monday.