A suburb of the capital city, Middleton, WI is known for its walking and cycling trails, proximity to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and thousand-plus acres of natural space. It’s a great place to get outside and take your pooch for a walk.
Fetch Wisconsin Rescue, in nearby Madison, is a volunteer-run, all-breed dog rescue. Fetch’s mission is to rehome at-risk dogs, with an emphasis on rehabilitation. Working closely with canine behavioral specialists, Fetch helps each rescue pup develop the skills they need to live happily, side-by-side with humans. All rescued dogs are cared for in volunteer foster homes until fur-ever families are found. And Fetch offers seminars and training sessions for fosters to help them develop the skills and confidence required to be strong pack leaders.
The rescue focuses its efforts on working with local dogs from area shelters and owner surrenders. While occasionally taking in pups from out of state, Fetch prioritizes helping local pups first. With over 800 volunteers, Fetch has rescued more than 1,000 pups since it was founded in the spring of 2013. The rescue’s signature fundraiser is the Fetch 5K Dog Jog. Dogs are welcome to join in the fun walk or run and the after party.
Held annually at the Capital Brewery Bier Garten in Middleton, Dogtoberfest supports the Dane County Humane Society (DCHS). The fundraiser includes live music, food and beer available for purchase, and a popular dog costume contest! Humans are encouraged to costume-up too with an award for the best coordinating human-dog costume. Suggested admission is $10 per person, with proceeds benefiting DCHS.
Each year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department (UWPD) hosts Dog Jog to raise money for the department’s K9 unit! The two-mile fun walk or run takes place along the beautiful Lake Shore path on the UW campus. Leashed dogs are welcome and registration includes a free gift and goodie bag. Prizes are awarded to the top three finishers and for the most creative costumes.
Part of the Madison Winter Festival, the Frosty Dog Jog & Walk benefits the Dane County Humane Society. The fun run or walk starts at Elver Park and winds through the quiet Greentree neighborhood. This wintertime dog-friendly event offers the perfect opportunity to bundle up, show off your dog’s sweater wardrobe, and get outside! An all-volunteer-run event, proceeds from Frosty registration benefit DCHS!
Capital Brewery is a great place to sip on a pint with your pup! Leashed pets are welcome in the open-air Bier Garten, but it’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure there are no special events scheduled. Capital doesn’t serve food, but you can bring your own picnic, order pizza delivery, or check out one of the food carts that can often be found parked nearby!
Middleton is home to two off-leash dog parks. North of Middleton, there’s MRD Dog Exercise Area which offers mowed trails and a fenced agility course. At Quisling Park, just west of downtown Middleton, a 6-acre dog park provides plenty of space for pups to roam free! For those looking for a long stroll, Quisling Park provides access to a trail system connecting users to downtown Middleton and beyond!
Canine Sports Zone is the area’s largest dog agility training and trial facility. And classes aren’t just for show dogs—agility and flyball training is open to all ages and skill levels! Fur-kids of all breeds can benefit from the exercise and discipline agility training offers. Canine Sports Zone hosts USDAA and AKC tournaments—and the public is welcome to watch! RV parking is available.