Dog fun

Dog activities are many, which is good news because dogs like things to do, and some need tasks & jobs more than others to keep them busy, happy and active.  Many dog activities enable dogs to socialise with other dogs - always important;  and give you the chance to get fitter & meet people too!  Problems can arise with behaviour & stressed out dogs when they are bored - so it's worth finding some activities you & your dog really enjoy - they can strengthen the bond between you both, too.

Take your dog on holiday with you
Let's go!
Dog Agility
This is HUGE fun.  Doyle & I go to a dog agility class every weekend, and we practice at home in the garden using an assortment of home-made jumps & weaving stuff during the week.  He loves jumping, and it's great to see the progress we've made since we started.  I don't think we'll ever be at Crufts standard, but I'm hoping to do a fun dog show agility class this year just to see how we get on. There are a couple of sites relating to dog agility, namely Agility Net(click here to find a dog agility clubin your area) & Agility Bits
Games & Fun
Every dog has his favourite toy - Doyle's is certainly his frisbee, which has been wonderful when it comes to training him as we've discovered there's no higher motivator than his frisbee toy for teaching him to sit, stay, down, recall, wait etc. There's a great selection of books to help you bond with your dog by teaching him or her tricks and games - dig out some at

Giving Blood
Well, this is a bit unusual as an activity & not exactly fun, but you could sign your dog (and cat) up to be a blood donor with the Pet Blood Bank Charity - a very worthwhile thing to do. Find out more here
Every dog needs grooming and your vet will be well placed to give advice on how, when etc.  Dogs toenails need clipping; and dogs need regular worming & de-flea-ing.  Giving your dog a brush can be a great way to improve the bond between you while giving you, as his owner, the chance to show gently but assertively who is boss!  We tend to brush Doyle fairly regularly - we find it incredibly therapeutic ourselves.  It also helps a lot at moulting time to control the fur.  And it helps keep your dog cool to remove excess fur in the heat of the summer
Pet photography
Take photos of your pet - not too many at once or they may get very fed up.  But photos make a lovely momento of your pet to keep for all times;  with digital cameras, you can take as many pictures as you want, & delete accordingly - so you can keep practicing until you get that perfect shot.  Get tips on pet photography here
Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme
The Kennel Club have some amazing schemes, including access schemes (vital as so many beaches etc close to dogs), and the Kennel Club run a Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme.  Things like this give you & your dog something to work towards - a sign of how much you have both improved; and as such can increase your confidence in your ability to handle your dog.  This greater confidence will transfer to your dog - they know when you're nervous.  Find out more
Fostering can be very rewarding work as you take in a rescue dog who - for various reasons - isn't doing well in kennels and look after him or her until they find a home.  Fostering can be a very short term thing - taking in a dog for a couple of nights until there's a spot for him in kennels - or a longer one.  Your dog will need to be the welcoming, fairly unflustered sort who is happy to welcome strangers into his home.  Many dog charities (but not all)  need fosterers, and they also find them invaluble into giving insights into how the dog behaves, responds & his needs, likes, dislikes & wants.  The Dog Rescue Directory have a huge number of dog charities listed on their site, and it's fantastic for routing out the smaller dog charities near you