Activities For Dogs With Owners Who Like Baseball

1k Views
0 Comments
0 Votes

Introduction

Often times, baseball-loving dog owners are forced to choose between their favorite sport and their faithful companion. After all, standard baseballs are usually too hard and sometimes too large for the average dog to play with, especially with any kind of velocity behind them, and even if they love sticks, chances are a wooden bat is just too big and heavy to hold, let alone swing. But that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy baseball related activities with your dog. With a little creativity, you can modify standard baseball drills and have plenty of fun with the results. Plus, the worst case scenario is that after a few balls, you can always just take a walk.

Ball Shagging

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
5 - 30 Minutes
Items needed
Whiffle ball bat
Rubberized ball
Activity description
While standard baseballs may not be suitable for your dog, there are certainly plenty more on the market that will work, some of which are actually designed to look authentic. But aesthetics aside, if you find a good squishy or rubbery ball that properly fits your dog's mouth, all you need is a whiffle ball bat to do a bit of skills training or even play a simulated game. It's a game best reserved for sunny or at least non-precipitous days, but otherwise is easy to do, inexpensive because most items are cheap at a pet store or even a dollar store, and chances are you won't have to teach your dog much, if anything, if they already enjoy chasing balls.
Step
1
Find or make a field
Before you hit the diamond, you'll have to determine which version of activity you'd like to play. The simpler version is ball shagging, which you can do in just about any open space, and the other is a simulated game, in which case you'll either need an actual baseball diamond, or easy materials to make one, which can be as simple as using old rags as base markers. Once you've determined what type you plan to play (we're going to start with ball shagging for simplicity), locate a nearby field, grab your supplies and head on out there. (It should be noted that for local baseball fields, you should always check the rules of use, as many are not dog-friendly because of potential mess issues.)
Step
2
Swing away
Step two all depends on your dog's level of comfort with fetching balls. If they're already well-versed in chasing and fetching, start tossing the ball in the air, taking a swing, and lofting it out into the grass with your bat so they have something to chase and you, in turn, have a baseball to hit for them. If the velocity of the ball is too much and makes them nervous, start with a few soft test throws before adding the bat at a low speed. Once they get comfortable, you can start swinging harder and sending it further out. Just be careful to try to hit it in a direction they're not, unless you want to see if they can field grounders and even then, caution should be taken to prevent scaring them or injury.
Step
3
Expand the game
While having your dog fetch batted balls will be exercise enough, you can also add a bit of fun for yourself. Whether you're in a real baseball diamond or one you made with old rags or other objects as bases, you can step the game up to be even more fun and challenging. Once you've hit a ball, take off for first base and see how many you can get before they race back with the ball. If they get to you before you reach a base, you're out, but if you beat them, you can start keeping tally of who is on base and score yourself runs based on the results. Tailor the rules to your and their ability so you're both regularly challenged.
Love this activity?

Base Race

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Free
Easy
5 - 20 Minutes
Items needed
Baseball diamond
Old rags
Stopwatch
Activity description
Sometimes you don't need to watch or play baseball to enjoy the spoils of the environment. Many people love just being on the diamond, and for good reason. Whether it brings back memories or just gives you a good feeling overall, sometimes it's nice to just run around the diamond instead of going for a jog because with bases and fouls lines you can at least make it a bit more interesting. For this activity, all you'll need is a local diamond (again checking rules for dog-friendliness) or a field and some old rags to act as base markers, as well as a stop watch. It's cheap, best for sunny or at least non-rainy days for the sake of comfort and safety (as slipping is generally no fun), and can last a wide range of time depending on your patience and endurance. Plus, it's super easy!
Step
1
Find or make the diamond
If you already have a local dog-friendly diamond, you're good to go. Just grab your dog and stopwatch and get out there. If not, grab some old rags and place them in a diamond pattern around 90 feet apart (you can use 75-90 shoe lengths as an estimate), doing your best to keep the lines parallel. When they're set, you're ready to run!
Step
2
Run the bases
There are several ways to go about it, depending on how easy or interesting you want to make it. The simplest thing to do would just be to jog around the bases for some easy exercise, your dog in tow. To add a little extra fun, try to speed it up and see how long is takes both of you to get around the bases by timing your runs. You can also create unconventional running patterns between the bases and timing those as well, or you could time how long it takes either your or them to get from home base to first, first to second, and more. If you have a full diamond, incorporate the foul lines, seeing how quick you can go from end to end, circumnavigate the field, or run from shortstop to the outfield fence. There are plenty of creative ways to mix up a basic running activity to be more baseball-appropriate, so have fun with it. Chances are your dog will enjoy it no matter how you plan to approach it.
Love this activity?

Bark at the Park

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Moderate
Easy
20 - 150 Minutes
Items needed
Internet
Leash
Collar or harness
Activity description
Just because your team plays at a professional stadium doesn't mean there's no opportunity to get your dog involved. What may be a surprise to many is that plenty of major league, minor league, and independent baseball teams allow dogs in the park throughout the year, all you have to do is figure out when! Once you do, you'll have at least a couple hours of sunny day entertainment and the open ability to do some socializing with other fans and their dogs. Of course, depending on the team, prices and times can vary, but tickets  usually start around $5 for minor league teams and games usually only last from an hour and a half to three hours. Plus, you'll never be too far from a treat, as most dogs love hot dogs just as much as people do!
Step
1
Do your research
As mentioned above, major league, minor league, and independent teams often have doggy-designated park days where owners can bring their well-behaved dogs to the park, as long as they are leashed and well-handled. Larger, more professional teams and parks usually have fewer days throughout the year, while teams further down the minor league ladder or independent teams may even assign a day of the week or have events every few weeks where dogs are welcome. Look online to see what teams are nearby. You may be surprised. Many smaller clubs only advertise through local business or the radio, so hop online and see what you can find. Tickets for independent league teams and low minor league teams can be as cheap as only $5!
Step
2
Grab a leash and go
Once you find the right team and event day, snatch up a ticket, grab your dog and head out to the park! You'd be surprised how many well-behaved dogs can co-exist in one place and many owners find great joy in being able to socialize with other owners and dogs in a setting that isn't a standard dog park. Some parks even provide dog-appropriate activities, which is even better. Plus, you'll get to take in some baseball in the process (and most likely some hot dogs as well) and your dog will likely be excited and thankful that they get to experience so many new sights, sounds, and smells!
Love this activity?

More Fun Ideas...

Game Time

A lot of owners love to cuddle up with their dogs to watch TV or movies, but baseball games can work the same way. If you're an excitable fan, make sure to bring lots of treats to reward them with when you undoubtedly almost scare them off with loud and sudden cheering. High fives are also encouraged.

Gear up!

While not all owners have the luxury of being able to take their dogs to games, that doesn't mean you can't gear them up to watch at home. It may not be cheap, but buying your dog team gear can be fun in itself. Many pet stores stock at least a few leashes, toys and clothing from local teams and whether you take them to the game or veg out at home, it'll be way more fun when they're decked out in your favorite team's colors!

Conclusion

Just because you can't go to or watch every game doesn't mean you can't still enjoy baseball with your ball-loving companion. The best part is, outside of actually going to a game, both base running and ball shagging (as well as shopping for gear and cuddling up to watch a previously-broadcast or historic game) can transition into winter activities as well. So if you're having a hankering for baseball in mid-winter, get outside and give them a shot! It may be just enough to quell your endless love for the sport until it finally rolls back around again.