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Fun at the Park for You and Your Dog

By: Alex Lieber

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Sun, fresh air, mild temperatures and your dog – doesn't this sound like a recipe for a good day at the doggie park? Here are a few activities that will benefit the body and spirit (yours and his). The links will take you to stories that explain these fun activities in detail.

Don't forget to bring along water and maybe some food. Your dog will most likely be doing most of the running and jumping, so make sure he doesn't dehydrate. With that coat of his, you should also be careful of heat stroke.

  • Bicycling With Your Dog. Running is the essence of a dog's life. With you on a bicycle and him running alongside on a springy trail, your dog will be in puppy heaven. But before the both of you hit the trail, you'll want to bone up on some safety tips first.

  • Taking Your Dog Camping. If you're stressed or overworked, heed the call of the wild and head to the hills. Canine campers are about as enthusiastic a breed as you'll find: athletic enough for a fast morning run and loyal enough to sit quietly while you wait all afternoon for a fish to bite. You need to plan and pack accordingly, however, for the two of you to enjoy your outing. This story will give you a guideline and a checklist to make your time away more enjoyable.

  • Dancing in the Park. Tripping the light fantastic with your dog in an open park requires a little courage, to be sure. But more dog owners are training their pets to compete in a sport called "canine freestyle," in which the dog and his owner move in tandem through a set of choreographed steps to music of their choice. Like agility, canine freestyle is a sport that is best practiced with some room – your routine has to work within a ring that is 40 feet by 50 feet.

    You may want to pick a relatively secluded spot, though, for the sake of others; not everyone is a fan of the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack like you.

  • Rollerblading With Your Dog. Some in-line skate enthusiasts live for the mornings when they can leash up their pooch and go for a nice sprint together along a shaded park path. Not only is it great exercise, but the dog is often delighted that his human buddy can keep up with him. However, there are pros and cons to taking your dog with you. You should first learn what these are, and be aware of a few tips to make the experience safer for everyone.

  • Running/Jogging With Your Dog. If your local park allows it, take your dog with you when you run. Just make sure you look out for his well-being. Click on this story to see what you should be aware of.

  • Spring Training. As warmer weather chases away the vestiges of winter, you'll be spending more time outside with your dog at the park. But after a long winter indoors, is he fit? He may need some training to get ready for an active spring and summer. This is especially true if you have an older dog.

  • Teach Your Dog to Love Frisbee. Teaching your dog to catch a Frisbee may not be as hard as it sounds. With some patience and the tips we've provided in this step-by-step story, your dog's eyes will light up whenever you grab the Frisbee to toss around your local dog-friendly park. For the more advanced, you can learn what it takes to be a Frisbee champ, as explained by some of the best in canine Frisbee competitions.

  • Agility: An Exciting Dog Sport. Agility is a timed obstacle course through which each dog races under the guidance of a handler. You can begin training your dog when he's still a puppy, and a park can offer the space you need, especially if you have little or no backyard of your own.

  • Five Games to Play With Your Dog. There are a myriad of activities for you and your dog, either in your yard or at a dog-friendly park, from the traditional game of fetch to a modified version of basketball. This article includes tips on fetch, hoops, swimming, tug-of-war and ring-jumping.

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