Australia is a great place for outdoor living, with an abundance of beautiful beaches at the disposal of people and their pets. There are many pet friendly beaches and lush parks that you can take your dog to. The Hinterland also provides outdoor trails and forest walks that can offer a range of exercise options from easy to experienced only. But, be aware that the great outdoors is not always welcoming to your dog. Some parks, trails and beaches are off limits, so check with the local council before heading out for the day. Pet friendly beaches offer the opportunity to plan many activities for your dog, from a doggie get together where the dogs play their games, to playing 'fetch' on the golden sands. If your dog likes to dig, take a toy or two along and hide it in the sand, and they can dig to their heart's content. These activities give your dog an opportunity to socialise with other people and their pets. It also allows the space for some serious exercise, and not only for your dog, as you can join in as well. One thing to be aware of is the heat of the day. Some breeds of dogs are more prone to heatstroke than others, so in the midday heat, look after your pooch. Provide plenty of fresh, clear water, and ensure that they have time to relax.
Many bays and inlets around Australia are brimming with small fish swimming around in shallow water. When you point this out to your dog, they will be intrigued by the movement and will start 'fishing'. While it is doubtful that they will ever catch anything, it will be fun for them. This activity is free and will entertain your dog for hours. Your dog will vary their approach from static waiting and watching for the perfect opportunity, or they will be splashing, lunging and biting at the water. The activity teaches coordination, focus and provides exercise in the water. Some dogs are natural fishing dogs, such as the Labrador Retriever. Others may not be so interested. But it is worth a try and can provide a lot of entertainment, so don't overlook such a simple activity.
Market Days are a large part of Australian culture. They range from small events to enormous markets. As long as your dog is on a leash, they are welcome to visit with you. It's a pawsitively exciting place for a pooch with lots of yummy smells, plenty of people and lots of dogs around looking to make new friends. Many stalls sell dog toys, apparel, or food. Some of the larger markets even have a dog groomer on hand if your dog needs a hair cut or a bath. The markets are a great place to socialise your dog. It is fun to watch the different breeds greet each other. Your dog can also join you at an outdoor café, with fresh water provided by the establishment for dogs, and treats from your plate (or take your own treats so you dog has a special healthy meal out).
You will need something to build a weaving course in the park, cones similar to the ones construction road workers use to direct traffic are ideal. You can buy a toy version of them at a reasonable price from toy or sports shops. Mark the track up in a long row, ensuring each marker is a few meters from the other one. The first go might be slow if your dog hasn't played this before, so do it with them. Teach them to go with you and weave from marker to marker, going from left to right and left again as you weave along. Once your dog gets the idea, have them sit at the end and then call them to come from the other end. If they miss a marker, stop them immediately and take them back to do the one they missed. They will soon get the idea, encouraged by a treat for getting it right. This activity teaches obedience, focus and coordination for your dog. And it is just downright fun! You can do this in the backyard, but the park adds an additional outing for your dog.
Australians are a hardy bunch who love the great outdoors. The fabulous summers have something to do with that, as do the vast stretches of amazing coastline. Many large cities are built beside the ocean to enjoy the cooling sea breezes. People flock to the beaches during public holidays or for private holidays and weekends, especially in summer. Seaside activities are a part of the Australian lifestyle, so why not make it a part of your dog's lifestyle as well? Take full advantage of the parks, recreation areas and coastal regions and go and explore these regions with your dog. Both of you will get the healthy benefits of fresh air and enjoy an outing away from the routine of home life. Always check first that your dog is welcome, as some beaches and parks do not invite dogs. This outdoor lifestyle provides a range of variety for your dog, it adds interest to their day and is a great way to incorporate exercise and training into their routine. But most of all, it's just dog-gone fun!