Summer activities with your dog

Linn Radsted

Summer activities with your dog

Summer means heat and holidays. And while heat is not always your dog's cup of tea, holidays and time with you are always high on their wish list - along with some great summer activities.

During a hot summer, it is important to remember that your dog's activity level is going to be lower than usual during the day. It is quite normal for her to appear lazy and prefer to lie and relax in the shade. Therefore, always make sure your dog has plenty of water and access to shade.

Fortunately, not all summer days are hot in Denmark, and even on hot days, evenings are mostly cool, so this is where you need to activate your dog if he is lazy in the heat of the day.

  • Do some searching exercises in the garden or on a walk: Now that the grass is high, it is more challenging for your dog to look for food. Throw her supper out into the tall grass and let her sniff her way to the food. You can also do search exercises by hiding food in small buckets in the shade around the garden, and can vary it up with different levels of difficulty.
  • Fill a small swimming pool with water: If your dog is fond of water, it will love to soak in the pool on hot days.
  • Play in the swimming pool: a swimming pool can be used for good activities, such as fetching balls in water - or putting treats in the water and letting your dog find them.
  • Go for long walks: Let your dog benefit from you having time off and more time together. Spend quality time walking with your dog, where it can take his time sniffing till his heart’s content.
  • Bring your dog along to friends and family: On summer vacation, we are mostly outside, so if you are going to a barbecue with friends, bring your dog. Dogs are also activated by participating in our activities if they are not used to it. And a new garden to sniff in is also exciting!
  • Teach your dog to swim: If you don't already have a water dog, then you can spend the summer teaching it to go in the water (on dog-friendly beaches.) Because when the water is warm in the summer and we also want to get in, it is easier to get dogs to come in and understand that it is not dangerous. Reward her with lots of goodies and praise - and remember to take it at the dog's pace. Some dogs throw themselves in the water, while others need more time and persuasion to put their paws in.
  • Shake it up: If your dog is on the beach and in the water, it's natural to teach her to shake on command - there will be plenty of days when the dog is wet. Start by giving it the command "Shake off" (or whatever command you want to use) when the dog shakes after a swim. Praise and reward right after the dog has shaken itself. The more times you do it, the more the dog will understand that it needs to shake on command, and if you and your dog are consistent, your dog will be able to shake on command after the summer break.
  • Find the family: If you are vacationing with your family, you can teach your dog how to find the family. Either you can teach her the names of the family and have her search for them - or you can do it the other way around and play hide and seek with your dog. In this case, one person holds the dog while the others hide. One by one, you call the dog (only once) and then the dog has to work and use his nose to find you. A fun game for dogs and their people!