Activities For Dogs In The Yard

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Introduction

The sun is shining, a cool breeze is blowing and your canine companion is standing at the door ready for some fun. When your time is limited or transportation is not available, you can still enjoy some outdoor time in your yard with your pooch. Your pup will enjoy the activity as well as the time with their favorite human pal; and you will get some fresh air along with some doggie kisses. Learn more about what you and your dog can do in your spare time without leaving the convenience of your yard. Fun can be had in yards big and small (or in between). Keep in mind: happy dog, happy dog parent!

Hide and Seek

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Any Day
Free
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

Hide and seek is a simple game that is great for dogs (and people) of all energy levels. Not only is hide and seek fun to play, the game will allow your dog to develop  tracking skills while you both enjoy some exercise. Get started by telling your dog to “stay”. If this is not something that your dog is good at, you can include another person in the game who is able to hold on to your dog’s collar.   While your dog remains in place, choose a spot to hide that should allow your dog to find you easily. Once you have chosen your hiding place, call out the name of your dog. As they look for you, stay put. When they find you, show them how pleased you are by rewarding them with treats and praise. As your dog gets comfortable with the game, you choose hiding spots that will make finding you more challenging for your pooch. You can also add others to the game and your dog can be challenged to find everyone. Another option is to hide your dog’s treats or favorite toys and have them find them. As you can set the pace of the game to meet the pace of your pooch, this game can be fun for both dogs and their people, whether low to high energy.

Step
1
Bring treats
Get outside with your dog; don’t forget to grab some of your canine’s favorite treats before venturing outdoors and beginning the game. It is a good idea to wear sunscreen, once you get started playing this game, you and your dog may be enjoying yourselves so much you lose track of time!
Step
2
Teach stay
Some dogs are great at staying on command. If that is the case with yours, direct your pup to "stay". If your dog is not good at staying on command, bring a friend with you to hold on to their collar while you hide. Bring a treat with you so that have a reward for your pooch for when you are located.
Step
3
Praise and reward
Choose a hiding spot and call for your dog. See if they can find you. When they find you, praise them and reward them with their favorite treat. Repeat steps one through three again and again until you and your furry friend are ready for a break. And most importantly, have fun!
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Agility Exercise or Course

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Kiddie Tunnel
PVC Pipe
Ramp
Hula Hoop
Activity description

Agility activities will keep your dog busy and in great shape. You can start small, with one or two items, and build up to a full-on obstacle course. In a sense, you are creating a playground just for your dog! The activities that you choose and their level of difficulty will, of course, depend upon your pup and their abilities. You will want to gear the activities to what will be fun for them, so make sure to keep their age, energy and skill level in mind. As this activity can be customized to your dog and changed as your pup develops skills, it can be as interesting and varied as you like. Consider this a great opportunity for your pal to keep active and for you to spend time together. You can work on your bond with your dog and work on your fitness too.

Step
1
Create the course
Collect items to use for your activity or course. A kid’s play tunnel is a great option and you can use PVC pipe to create your own jumps, as well as set up poles for your pooch to weave through. You can build a simple ramp as well. A hula hoop makes a great simple activity for your dog to walk through. Make sure to bring the treats in order to reward your pup.
Step
2
Try the activity
Set up your activity or course. Start small and give your pup the opportunity to get used to the activity. Say, for example, you create a jump. Set the pipe low. Each time your dog jumps over it, reward them with a treat. You can raise the pipe for higher jumps as your dog becomes more comfortable. Make sure to follow your dog's lead so that your pooch is comfortable and having fun.
Step
3
A good time for all
As your dog improves in each agility activity you can increase its difficulty. Add more activities for additional challenges for your pup. Make sure to follow your dog's lead so that your pooch is comfortable and having fun. Some dogs may only want to jump so high or may fear the tunnel. Meeting your friend where they are at will ensure a good time for both you and your canine pal.
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Water Play

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Hot Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Water
Plastic Child's Pool (not inflatable)
Activity description
Many dogs enjoy playing in and with water. On a nice warm day, some water play should be on the agenda! Many dogs don't enjoy the heat and getting them out and active during long, hot days can be a challenge. Water play will give dogs the activity that they need while allowing them to beat the heat. Your dog will love splashing around in their own private pool, and it will help them (and you) stay cool. All you need is a plastic child's pool and some water. This is an easy activity to set up; once you sit back, you can participate as actively or inactively as you prefer. And get ready to smile; your dog is going to have a blast!
Step
1
Choose the pool
Get a plastic kiddie pool; the size you choose will depend upon the size of your pooch. For a bigger dog, you will want a bigger pool. Stay away from inflatable pools as your dog can easily puncture the material while playing. Place the pool in an area of your yard that you can easily reach by a hose. A spot with some shade is ideal.
Step
2
Set up the fun
Once you have chosen your perfect spot, go ahead and fill the pool with water. How much water you use will depend on your dog's size and comfort level when it comes to water. If your pup does not have a lot of experience with water, start with a small amount and add more as their comfort level increases.
Step
3
Splash for rewards
If you plan to get into the water with your pup, put your bathing suit on. It may be preferable to have a suit on regardless, you may get wet while your dog splashes around. If you are not getting into the water, grab a chair; introduce your canine pal to the pool, then sit back and relax. Let your dog explore it as you watch. If your dog is nervous at first about the water, you can reward their efforts to check it out with treats.
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More Fun Ideas...

Fetch

This common game should not be forgotten when looking for something to do in your yard with your canine buddy. Using a frisbee or a ball, you can toss the item and ask your pooch to "fetch" the item, bringing it back to you. For a dog who has not experienced much "fetching" start slowly, tossing a ball short distances and having them return it. Make sure to reward you pup with a treat for each successful return. As the game can be "personalized", it is ideal for dogs of all energy and activity levels.

Digging Holes

Does your dog like to dig? Prepare a spot in your yard where digging is okay. Then your dog can enjoy digging time without making a mess of your yard and garden. Choose a spot where your dog can dig until they can dig no more. When your pup tires of the activity, you can refill the holes and digging can resume later.

Conclusion

With a little effort, your yard can be a place of adventure for you and your best pal. While your canine companion will enjoy taking part in the various activities that you have put together in your yard, even more important to your pooch is the quality time that they will have with their person...you! The time you spend together in your yard will enhance your relationship and lead to an even closer bond between the two of you. The joy that you see in your pup in return for your efforts will no doubt lead to a big smile on your face.