Activities For Dogs With Owners Who Like Archery

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Introduction

Archery and dogs aren’t two things that one would normally put together. However, if you are a big fan of archery and hate leaving your pup behind, you may have considered how to incorporate these two loves. This article will show you how to use your passion for archery to play with your dog and how your pup can, in turn, help you improve your archery abilities. Sounds crazy but it is definitely something you need to try!

Target Practice

Popular
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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Ball
Treats
Activity description
While target practice in archery typically consists of bending your bow back, aiming and shooting your arrow toward a target, this game will switch that up a little bit. First, you never really want flying arrows to be around your pup. Even the most well-behaved pup paired with the world’s best archer may be asking for trouble. You never know where that dog or that bow will go! Instead, grab your dog's favorite tennis ball and head outside for a makeshift target practice game of fetch. You will get to work on your aim while your dog gets to run and play.
Step
1
Practice location
Head to a fenced in area where your dog will be able to run free, off the leash. If your pup is very responsive to your commands and comes when called, then the fence isn’t necessary. However, a good bouncy ball is needed! Grabbing a few treats is always a good idea too…
Step
2
Pick a target
Have your dog sit and stay while you look for your target. Is there a big tree nearby you think you can hit with the tennis ball? Maybe there is a rock far in the distance that would be challenging. Pick your target and then have your dog get ready to run!
Step
3
Aim and throw
Throw your dog’s ball at the target and have them chase and retrieve it. If you hit your target the first time, give yourself some points and then aim for a target farther in the distance. Keep playing until you are throwing with accuracy and your pup is tired from all that retrieving!
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Indoor Archery

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Toy Archery Set
Treats
Activity description
As an archer, you know that when it rains or snows, practicing archery may not be possible. If you are stuck inside, how can you possibly practice your game? Also, if your dog doesn’t want to leave the house, how can you exercise them properly? Setting up an indoor archery range is how! Once again, it is not the best idea to have real arrows around your dog and you also probably don’t want arrows flying in your home. Yet there are ways to practice archery without real arrows so don’t worry! With this activity, your dog will get to run and play and you will get to play as well - no need to step foot outside.
Step
1
Toy set
Head to your local toy store or look online for a kid's archery set. There is a wide variety of models available so look for one that closely resembles your real archery bows. All the arrows in kid's sets should have suction cups which are perfect for indoor play with your pup.
Step
2
Set up
Set up your new archery set inside your house in a space where you can stand several meters away and your dog can really run. A nice clear room is ideal! Once your target is set, grab a few treats and simply throw (with your hands) one of the arrows. Your dog will naturally chase it and then have them bring it back to you. Throw another arrow, have your pup retrieve it and give them a reward. Now they know that bringing the arrows back to you results in a prize!
Step
3
Target practice
Start your target practice, aiming carefully to get that bullseye. After you shoot one arrow, have your pup retrieve it! They may need to pull a little to get it off of the target; suction cups can be hard but it is just another way your dog is getting exercise! Play as long as you’d like as this is a game both you and your pup will never grow tired of.
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Strength Exercises

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Any Day
Free
Normal
20 min
Items needed
Kayak
Chair
Treats
Activity description
Arm strength is very important to an archer and you will notice a significant improvement in your shot when you work to build strength. Think about how heavy that bow and arrow is and how many muscles you use when you hold it up, aiming slowly at your target. You can easily work on your arm strength at home with your dog in a wide variety of ways. When doing arm conditioning, your dog will be having fun and you will be working key muscles that will eventually help you shoot better and with more accuracy. So grab your dog and a bottle of water and get ready for a good arm workout!
Step
1
Plank
Start off by doing a plank on the ground which simply means holding yourself in a push-up position for as long as possible. Call your pup over and have them army crawl under your body as if they were going through a tunnel. Hold your stomach firmly up and don’t let your ‘tunnel’ collapse on your dog!
Step
2
Kayak
If you have access to a kayak, this is a great way to work your arms and get outside with your dog as well. Have your pup jump on board and paddle around a lake, ocean or river. The added weight of your dog in the kayak will increase your arm workout even more and your muscles will feel sore the next day for sure.
Step
3
Lap dog
If your dog is small enough to fit on your lap, place your hands on the seat of a chair behind you and lower yourself to a sitting position (so you are ‘sitting’ in an invisible chair). Call your dog over to your lap and then bend your arms to lower yourself slightly and then push back up. Do several reps all the while balancing your dog on your lap.
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More Fun Ideas...

Arrow Fetch

Remove the point from your arrow and use it as a stick for your dog to fetch when you need to play a game in a pinch. No need for a stick when you have a few arrows in your car!

Archery Field Trip

Bringing your dog to the archery range is a great idea if there is an area where they can play and wait while you do some target practice. See if any other archers want to bring their dogs and set up an archer dog play date.

Conclusion

Archery is a hard sport to play with a dog. Sharp arrows and the need for extreme concentration on the game can deter you from wanting to bring your dog into your archery world. However, these pup-friendly activities are perfect for any archer and dog lover around. With so many ways to practice archery with your pup, your game is sure to get better as is your bond with your dog. Time to play!