Activities For Dogs In South Dakota On Nice Days

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Introduction

On a nice day in South Dakota, you will likely want to take full advantage of the weather and enjoy some outdoor time with your pup. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities available throughout the state for you and your canine companion to be active and even try something new. National and state parks are available to explore, and there are plenty of dog parks where your pup can socialize as well as expend energy. Even if you don't feel like leaving your home, you and your pup can spend quality time with one another while taking in the sunshine and nice day.

Dog Park Outing

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Leash
Treats
Water
Frisbee or Ball
Activity description
Dog parks offer the opportunity for your canine companion to run around off-leash, allowing for plenty of physical activity, as well as the chance to socialize and make new friends. When it comes to dog parks, there are plenty of options available in South Dakota. Take Braeburn Addition Off-Leash Dog Area: located in Rapid City, the park includes a creek for pups to play in. Marne Creek West dog park in Yankton offers a separate area for small dogs to play in, as well as an agility course. Regardless of the park you choose, you will enjoy watching your pup run and play!
Step
1
Choose the park
If a trip to the dog park sounds like a good idea for you and your pup, first choose which park you would like to visit. If you are not familiar with the dog parks in the state, it is easy to research them online or ask about your options at your local pet store. Which park is best for you and your pup will depend upon you and your pooch. For example, some pups don't always come when called, making a fenced-in park necessary. If you have a small dog, you might prefer a park with a separate area for smaller pups to play. When looking for the right dog park for you and your pooch, consider the factors that are important to you and pick a park that meets your (and your pal's) needs.
Step
2
Prep for fun
There are a few items that you will definitely want to have along on a trip to the dog park. Make sure to bring your pup's leash. Even though a dog park may be off-leash, you will want to be sure you can get your pup safely from the car to the dog park and then back to the car. It is likely your pup will be running around quite a bit; make sure to bring plenty of water and a bowl for them so that they can remain hydrated. Treats are also good to have along so that you can reward your pooch for good behavior or distract them when necessary. If you think that your dog may enjoy a game of fetch, make sure to bring a ball or frisbee so you can play.
Step
3
Fun time
Once you have the items you need, you and your canine pal can head to the dog park. Keep your pup on-leash when walking from the parking lot to the park and then you can allow your dog to play. Be sure to keep a close eye on your pup in case they have any interactions with other pups that may need supervision. If your pup seems nervous about interacting with other dogs, pull out the frisbee or ball and begin a game of fetch with them. This will help your dog get comfortable in the dog park and may even attract new canine buddies!
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Custer State Park

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Water and Bowl
Treats
Activity description

Located in Custer, South Dakota, Custer State Park includes 71,000 acres for you and your pup to enjoy. As long as your pup is on-leash, they are welcome throughout the park. There are many hiking trails that you and your canine companion can explore together and after your hike, you can relax by driving the 18-mile Wildlife Loop that allows you to explore the park and see the area's wildlife. Whether you and your pup come for a short visit or choose to spend a full day, Custer State Park will offer both of you plenty to see and do!

Step
1
Plan your visit
The planning involved in your visit will depend on where you are in relation to Custer State Park, as well as what you are looking to do while visiting. If you are coming from a significant distance away, you may look to leave early to begin your drive, or even spend the night somewhere on the drive to the park. For those that live closer, it may be as simple as getting your pup in the car and taking a quick drive. Think about what you plan to do during your visit. If you plan to hike with your dog, you may choose to arrive when temperatures are cooler, for example.
Step
2
Pack it up
What you bring to Custer State Park for your visit will depend in part on what you plan to do while there. A leash is important to bring regardless of your plans. Water and a water bowl will also be necessary; if you are planning to do a good amount of hiking, you will want to bring plenty of water for both you and your pup. Treats are also good to have regardless of your plans. If you are thinking about having a picnic while visiting the park, pack up the items that you will want to eat, as well as a blanket for you and your pup to relax on.
Step
3
Explore the park
Upon arriving at Custer State Park, it is time to explore! Consider a nice walk with your canine companion to begin your visit where both of you can enjoy the fresh air. You both may even get to see some wildlife! After your walk, enjoy some downtime together, whether taking a ride in your car through the park or sitting outside relaxing.
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Agility Activities

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
PVC Pipe
Hula Hoop
Kids Tunnel
Treats
Activity description
On a nice day in South Dakota, it is a great time to work with your pup on agility activities. You may find options for agility activities at a dog park (for example, Marne Creek West Dog Park includes an agility course) or you can create your own. Agility activities will provide the opportunity for you and your pup to be outdoors and engaged with one another, while your dog meets their mental and physical activity needs. A plus when it comes to agility activities is that you can start simple and increase the difficulty as your clever dog develops their skills, making it an activity that continues to be interesting for both of you!
Step
1
Choose the agility task
If you are not going to a park where there is agility equipment, you can set up your own. The first step to doing so is to decide what activity you want to set up for your pup. By searching online, you can learn about possible options and choose what to work on with your pup first. For example, you can decide to work on jumps with your dog, or master weaving in and out of obstacles.
Step
2
Collect supplies
Once you know what agility activities you would like to set up for your pup, you will need to obtain the items necessary for them. Should you be want to set up a jump for your pup, a hula hoop or some PVC pipe will work well. PVC pipe is also good for creating obstacles for your pup to weave in and out of. A kids tunnel also makes a great activity for your dog, who can run in and out of it gathering speed each time. Make sure to have plenty of water available for your dog and some treats to reward their efforts.
Step
3
Get started
Set up the items that you have collected for the first agility activity. Make sure to start simple for your pup and increase the difficulty as they increase their ability. For example, if you choose to work on jumps using a hula hoop, first set the hula hoop on the ground. Your pup can initially walk right through it. After they walk through it, reward them with a treat. Then, raise the hula hoop a small amount off of the ground and have your pup go through it again, rewarding them once they have done so. Keep increasing the difficulty as your pup becomes more comfortable. As your pal masters a few of the agility activities you set up, you can begin to link them together for an additional challenge!
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More Fun Ideas...

Black Hills National Forest

Located in Custer, Black Hills National Forest offers rugged rock formations, canyons, gulches, grassland parks, streams and lakes. You can bring your pup for a hike in the forest, where your canine companion is welcome on any of the trails and even some campgrounds. Make sure to keep your eyes out when hiking; some trails are open to bikers and horses! If planning to camp, look into which campgrounds accept dogs. Black Hills National Forest is a great place to visit with your pup in order to take advantage of a beautiful day in South Dakota!

Reptile Gardens

When you are looking for a way to spend time with your pup outdoors on a nice day, check out Reptile Gardens. Located in Rapid City and on the road to Mount Rushmore, Reptile Gardens offers beautiful landscaping as well as the opportunity to learn about different interesting reptiles from trainers who know what they are talking about. Your pup will enjoy taking in all of the different smells available, as well as spending time with their human! Make sure to keep your dog on leash during your visit and bring along some water so you both can remain hydrated!

Crazy Horse Memorial

The world's largest mountain carving, Crazy Horse is a memorial for all Native American Tribes in South Dakota's Black Hills. Located in Crazy Horse, South Dakota, the Crazy Horse Memorial welcomes leashed pets to join their people on a visit. Pups can spend time on the outdoor viewing veranda as well as check out the outdoor exhibits of the memorial. If your dog is small enough to be carried, they can even join you in the memorial's buildings (with the exception of the restaurant and snack bar). You and your curious buddy can spend some time together exploring this special place.

Conclusion

On a nice day in South Dakota, it is likely that you will want to spend some time outdoors with your best buddy. The state offers plenty of opportunities for you and your pup to get out and enjoy the nice weather, along with one another's company. Whether you are looking for time in the wilderness to enjoy the state's unique scenery or a place to relax while your pup expends their energy, you will have no trouble finding options that work for both of you. And your pup will love the chance to get out and not only be active, but spend time with their favorite human!