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Kootenai National Forest, MT

The Kootenai National Forest sits in Montana and Idaho. Scenic views will leave your breathless as you hike near cliffs, giant cedars, and large fields. The most popular areas in Kootenai are Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Ten Lakes Scenic Area known for its carved glacier basins, Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, and Ross Creek Scenic Byway.

Dogs must be on leash or restrained in developed recreation areas. We recommend that dogs be well behaved and obey commands well as there are bears, wolves, and other wildlife that roam the area. Dogs are not allowed in swimming areas and on some beaches near water.

With over 1,400 miles of trails, there are a lot of options to consider! Some trails to consider: Ross Creek Cedar Area, Trout Creek National Recreation Trail at 19.8 miles, Kootenai Falls Trail, and Big Therriault Lake Loop Trail. In the summer only, head on to Little Spar Lake and take an 8 mile hike around the lake with your dog. Trails and maps can be found on the USDA website.

Mountain biking and road biking are allowed in the area. Check out mountain biking in the Libby area in the spring where there are over 132 different species of wildflowers. You’ll also want to head down the trails past Kootenai Falls. Check out the Sheldon Mountain bike course or Kootenai Trail.

There are several camping options in the area from standard campsites, to dispersed and RV camping. Most campsites are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Popular campgrounds to consider include Rexford Bench Campground, Loon Lake Campground, Big Therriault Lake Campground, or Timberland Campground. Spar Lake Campground has hiking, biking and a lake in the immediate area. Consider Yaak River Campground if you want to go road biking or be near the Kootenai River.

Large groups or families can consider McGillivray Campground. For cabins, go to Big Creek Baldy Lookout for a great view near Lake Koocanusa. Cabins and campgrounds are listed on the USDA website. Backpackers can refer to camping options here.

If you have a water dog or love fishing for salmon and trout, head over to the Lake Koocanusa area near Libby Dam. Large watercraft and sailing is allowed in the area. There are also campgrounds around the lake.

We hear there are morel mushrooms (non-toxic) in the area – but make sure your dog doesn’t eat a ton of them! Regular mushrooms are toxic to dogs. Some dogs love to hunt morel mushrooms, but you’ll need a permit to collect them.

For winter, go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing with your dog or consider cutting down your own christmas tree.


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Libby, MT | Lincoln County | Montana
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Biking, Tracking, NoseWork, Fishing, Swimming, Camping, Winter-Sports, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Social, Running

Start and Finish Your Bucket List (Adventure List)

Everyone should have a bucket list. And we think every dog should have their own as well!

We give you our top reasons why you should start your own bucket list and tips for how to actually finish your list!

We hate the term “bucket list” because it implies that there is some finality to life. The definition of a bucket list according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying,” We would rather live our life as we want to every day and so we will call our “bucket list” our Adventure List instead.

Keep in mind that our Adventure List should not be a to-do list of daily tasks. It should include items of things that you want to do, not out of necessity but out of pure passion!

Don’t delay, just do it. Start jotting down your Adventure List today.


 

 

TOP REASONS TO START AN ADVENTURE LIST

 

Be Happy, Now

There are so many everyday distractions. We need a bucket list to keep us on track to what we really want to do, what makes us truly happy.

Don’t wait to do things on your adventure list or you may find yourself in a situation where you can’t actually do so anymore.

Get Your Weekly Revitalization

We all need some hobby, sport, project, or passion to keep our minds active and challenged. It’s also good to do something that you have control over, because there’s so much in our lives that we often don’t have any control of!

Doing something that you can call your own makes you more interesting as an individual. It also gives you a place to challenge yourself creatively, physically, and/or mentally. Do something for yourself! When you accomplish something, you build up confidence in yourself which carries on into so many other things in your life. You also create a de-stressor in your life.

Get your weekly revitalization in by doing something you love. Refresh your spirit.

Be Known For Something

What do you want to accomplish in your life? Whatever it is, you have to work towards it! So many of us focus on our jobs and career towards accomplishing things, but life isn’t all about your job. What else do you want others to recognize you by? It can’t just be all about your job.

Think about your hobbies and passions as something you need to build up. You can’t climb the tallest summit unless you start hiking more and at higher elevations. You have to start somewhere and climb yourself to the top step by step. In all, you have to start somewhere or you’ll never get to where you see yourself.

Meet Other People Like You

One of the best reasons to start your own adventure list is to find others, like you, who share your same interests. Once you get started, it’s so easy to meet others. You can only learn so much if you live in your own box. Get out of the box, open your eyes, and challenge yourself further!


HOW TO REALLY FINISH YOUR ADVENTURE LIST

 

1 Write It Down – The Most Important Step!

Brain dump! The first things you should do is to write down everything you want to do, even as farfetched as it may seem now. It may also help to categorize what type of activity each item belongs to so you can group items easily later.

In all, the main thing you need is a list! Find a system that works for you, whether it’s a bullet journal or a just piece of paper! Write your list somewhere you can always refer back to later.

 

In my Adventure List above, I jot down what I want to do, the associated category and who in my family I do the item with. The category I use for items related to Carmella, my dog, is the same as the special interest on Pawtivity – that way I can match up our items with our own Pawtivity lists. I note any relevant timelines. For example, I’ve always wanted to attend La Tomatina Festival in Spain, so I’ve noted that this is usually held in Late August.

I keep my list in Google Docs. My family and friends joke that I create all my lists in Google Docs, but it really does keep things organized and manageable! Plus, I won’t lose it and can access it anywhere with an internet connection.

I also save relevant pawtivities for Carmella on Pawtivity.com periodically so I can see who else is completing the same item. Sometimes it’s easier to do things by learning from others who have been there, done that! It’s nice to have somewhere to go to for advice.

2 Prioritize Your Adventure List By Category

Now, look at your Adventure List and prioritize them within each category from easiest to hardest. The easiest should be something that you can do this year with the least effort, training, or equipment. The hardest may require you to learn or do something before.

Now, you have a list that can serve as your main Adventure List. Refer back to it periodically and hang it up so you always remember to keep at it! Have a new item to add? It’s easy for me to add it in Google Docs!

3 Plan Out Each Season’s List Separately

Now that you have an Adventure List sorted by category, start creating your Season List. This is a list of everything you want to do for that particular season. We break up into season so that you won’t be overwhelmed by a long list. Start with a few and focus on those. Then, move on to the next.

Starting with the easiest items, start planning which ones you will do for the current season (Summer 2018) and beyond. Then, write down what month you plan to do that activity.

In my list, you can see that I’ve color coded each upcoming season. I’ve noted some items to do for Fall, Winter, and Spring but my main focus is the current season, Summer.

Think of any other requirements that are necessary to complete an item and add a new entry to your Season List. In my example above, I wanted to complete an Obstacle Race in Spring 2019, so included other items that would help me get there. I wrote “Training for Obstacle Course Race Mud Run” in a new Notes column on my sheet.

4 Book It – Fill Your Calendar

Now with your Season List in hand, start booking time in your calendar to accomplish everything! Write everything in your calendar, down to each training session. That way, you’ll make sure you blocked off time to accomplish everything on your list!

When I complete an entry, I move it to a Completed Adventure List. I love looking at my completed list from time to time because it’s a list of my lifelong accomplishments to date. They include things that I’m passionate about. Some of the items that are already on my list include: Run A Marathon, Cross-Country Roadtrip (US), and Learn To Dive.

5 Keep an Adventure List Photo Journal

Now that you’ve spent some time creating your Adventure List, it would be a shame not to document your experiences! The best way to do that is by taking photos!

At Pawtivity, we have created a system where you can track your adventures by uploading photos by special interest and date. You can keep an easy journal of your adventures on Pawtivity and meet other people who love to do what you do at the same time! We always think it’s more fun to do things with others and learn from others who have been there done that.

Share your adventure story with us and we will publish it on Pawtivity!

What do you really want to do? Stop delaying and create your adventure list to get you on the path to doing what you’ve always wanted to do.

Happy Adventuring,

Carol and Carmella
President & Pup, Pawtivity


Is Your Dog An Amazing Pup? 

Is your dog amazing? Contact us to be considered as one of Pawtivity’s featured amazing pups! We may feature you on Pawtivity.com or on our instagram accounts @pawtivity and @myamazingpup. Send us a photo of your dog and tell us why they are so amazing!

 


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Oregon Ridge Park, MD

Oregon Ridge Park is a 1,043-acre park that features dog friendly trails, picnic and recreation areas. Dogs are allowed at the park on leash.

A trail map of the park can be found here. The nature center at the park puts on many special events throughout the year. You can park at the nature center to access trails at GPS Coordinates 39.493844, -76.689958 Map.

In the winter, you can go there to go cross-country skiing or sledding if there is enough snow. The park actually used to be an old ski resort.


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Cockeysville, MD | Baltimore County | Maryland

GPS Coordinates: Oregon Ridge Nature Center 39.493844, -76.689958 Map
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Snowsheing, Cross-Country Skiing, Winter – Sports, Sledding, Nature Center

How To Take Your Dog Camping – The Right Way!

Dogs love being outdoors and being with you! So, find a dog friendly campsite and get out with your dog! We give you the essential tips for camping with your dog the right (fun) way!

Most dog-friendly campgrounds that allow dogs require them to be on leash at all times. The campsite is for relaxing, socializing, and bonding.

Still, dogs need to explore, see and smell things. Make sure you plan some great outdoor activities to make your camping trip with your dog even more exciting. We give you some activity suggestions below so keep reading!


BEFORE YOU GO CAMPING

 

Vet Approval For Camping – Get a checkup to make sure your dog is ok to go camping with you. Ask your vet for appropriate conditions for your dog and special medication your dog may need. Make sure your vaccinations and dog licenses are up-to-date.

Basic Training – Any outdoor dog needs to know these basic commands and skills: stay, leave it, come/touch (recall), sit, and to follow your pace. Training and obedience make it so much easier to communicate with your dog and to get him to do what you need him to do.

Car Travel – Most, if not all, campers drive to their destination. Make sure your dog can travel for long distances. It may take many short, local trips in a car before your dog can take a longer road trip. Dogs need to be harnessed or in a crate while they are in a moving car. Bring something for your dog to chew or play with and a mat or seat cover for your dog to lie on. If your dog throws up by chance, it’ll be easier to clean up! Always keep plastic bags, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer for clean-up jobs and waste.


CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOG-FRIENDLY CAMPSITE

 

 

There are so many dog-friendly campsites to choose from that offer different activities, scenery, and experiences. If you are new to camping, we suggest reserving a campground at recreation.gov, reserveamerica.com or a similar site. Many established campgrounds have bathrooms and running water to make your experience more comfortable. Among the choices for campgrounds are beach camping, desert camping, wilderness camping, backcountry camping, car camping, RV camping, cabin camping, backcountry camping, and even glamping with pets. Although many national parks and national monuments do not allow dogs on trails, they often will allow them in campgrounds.

Always keep in mind your dog’s temperament when you choose a campsite. If your dog is a barker or is aggressive to other dogs, get a remote location miles away from other campers or go car / RV camping because no one wants to be woken up in the middle of the night. If your dog wants to chase after every squirrel or wildlife animal, choose a location that won’t have a lot of wildlife or go RV camping where your dog won’t be able to charge after anything moving.

Another consideration when choosing a campsite is what wildlife is in the area. Dogs can actually attract wildlife, and even bears. That’s why some areas don’t allow dogs at all. The desert has many unfamiliar animals and insects so if your dog has poor recall and obedience off-leash, you may want to keep them on leash and their nose out of dark corners.

Backcountry camping involves setting up camp often without running water or bathrooms. You are often far from immediate help and civilization. It’s important to have enough survival skills and knowledge in case you come up against bad weather, sickness, injury, or unforeseen circumstances.

Pawtivity can help you choose the right dog friendly campground for you and your dog. We will give you everything you need to know or point you in the right direction to make your trip with your dog easy and fun. Use the search banner on our homepage to find a camping location close to where you live.


CAMPING GEAR TO BRING – PRINTABLE CHECKLIST

 

Checklist are always easy. We have a basic checklist that you can use to go on a weekend camping trip with Your dog. The list is made specifically for standard wilderness camping. Special gear and other equipment may be needed if you go backcountry camping, beach camping, desert camping, or car/RV camping.

Download Our Dog Camping Checklist

 


DOG APPROVED OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

 

Don’t just plan a camping trip to sit by the campfire all day and then sleep in your tent at night! Plan some fun activities to do outside of the campsite. Your activities will be limited by what is offered or available in the location you choose. Below are a few activities that you can consider.

Hiking / Backpacking – This is always a favorite for dogs. Go on a short day hike with your dog or plan a long weekend backpacking trip hiking from campsite to campsite with your dog. Either way, you’ll get to enjoy nature up close away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you want to use a backpack on your dog, wait until they are a year old and work up to the amount of weight you want them to carry. Dogs can carry about 25% of their weight.

Geocaching / Scavenger Hunt – Another fun activity that involves going on the trails is geocaching. It might be a fun way for your dog to sniff out any hidden treasures. If you are with kids and dog, you might want to do a nature scavenger hunt.

Biking / Trail Running – Get in a morning workout by biking or trail running with your dog. Many parks offer trails suited to mountain biking, road biking, or running. When in doubt, ask your ranger to see what trails are allowed for specific bikes.

Water Sports / Water Fun / Beach – Most dogs love playing in water, so it’s a great idea to find a campsite near a lake or river. You can go rafting, kayaking, snorkeling, tubing, swimming, surfing, stand up paddle boarding, or even visit a tidepool. Many campgrounds offer equipment rentals or you can often find a local outfitter that offers water sport tours and rentals. Some campgrounds offer dog friendly beach access where you can spend the day with your dog or go camping right on the beach. Pay attention to signs that mention water safety. To be safe, bring your own drinkable water for you and your dog.

Boating / Fishing – Several campgrounds offer fishing options, but you most likely will need a license. Boat and canoe rentals are often available nearby. Remember that not all dogs will immediately like being on a boat. Don’t get out in the water only to find out your dog just wants to go ashore. Don’t forget to put a life vest or lifejacket on your dog!

Other Activities – Find a nearby field and play a game of ultimate frisbee followed by a few tosses to your dog. You can also play a soccer or flag football game with your fellow campers.


DOG APPROVED CAMPSITE ACTIVITIES

 

Snuggling In A Hammock – Your dog loves to snooze during the daytime. We do too! Find a location between two trees to put up a hammock where you and your dog can snuggle or watch the stars together.

Campsite S’mores – Let’s face it. Man likes fire. We like roasting marshmallows on sticks and sitting around the campfire. Make your dog a s’more (without the chocolate) of melted marshmallow sandwiched between two layers of graham crackers. They’ll lick their lips for more.

Campfire Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – If you don’t own a cast iron pie iron, get one! They are wonderful for roasting grilled cheese sandwiches in the campfire. Add some bacon or ham. Don’t forget to share with your dog!

Play Musical Instruments – Camping is really all about socializing and having fun with the people around you. Bring your guitar and other instruments and play some tunes! Your dog will just enjoy being with everyone and may even start signing his own tune.

Tug of War – Dogs love to play tug, so why not get all your campers involved and play a giant game of tug! Give an incentive for winning the game; losers have to wash dishes after dinner.


TIPS FOR CAMPING WITH YOUR DOG

 

Leash Your Dog – Most campsites will require your dog to be on leash at all times. A few campsites even restrict leashes to be tied around trees so you may have to tie your dog on a picnic bench or stake in the ground. Bring lots of chew toys and treats to keep your dog occupied when you are busy.

Stay Organized So You Can Spend More Time Having Fun – While camping can be a lot of fun, you do have to spend some time packing food up and putting them in a bear box or in your car. Don’t put anything in your tent – wildlife will sniff it out and may even try to enter your tent to see what you have. It’s a good idea to keep your camping gear and food organized so setup and cleanup is a breeze. Look at our camping checklist for tips on how to organize your camping items.

Bring Your Own Water – Even if the campsite you go to has drinkable water we always recommend bringing your own drinkable and portable water with enough for you and your dog. Not all water sources are clean. A good rule of thumb is to bring 32 ounces for every 2 hours of moderate exercise for yourself. Your dog will need about an ounce of water per pound of weight. Water needs will vary based on individual, activity level, and environmental factors.

Check Your Dogs For Ticks – Your dog will likely roam the brush around your campsite and attract ticks. It’s a good idea to bring a tick remover with you and check for ticks periodically. Don’t forget to give a good rubdown and check between the toes and in the ears before bed!

Set Up Your Tent On A Flat, Clear Surface – Before you set up that tent, pick a site that’s free from twigs and rocks or you may be waking up with a sore back! Choose a flat location or sleep with your head at the uphill. You should also set your tent away from wind and campfire smoke. Generally, you should layout your campsite so you are 200 feet away from a water source or from trails. Your tent, food storage, cooking and bathroom should also be about 100-200 feet away from each other. The park may have additional guidelines on how far away to set up camp based on historical flood patterns from known rivers, streams and lakes.

Use a Ground Cover Under Your Sleeping Bag – It’s preferable to use a waterproof ground cover, otherwise you will get cold and damp as you sleep. Don’t forget to provide ground cover for your dog too!

Control Your Dog At All Times – Keep in mind that dogs may actually attract bears. This is usually if a bear becomes curious about the dog or if the dog annoys them in some way. If you see a bear, keep your dog close to you and farthest away from the bear. Calmly and slowly back away. Prevent your dog from giving chase or challenging another animal without very good reason. Dogs that chase bears may be chased back to the campsite where the bear may attack you instead. Stay clear of raccoons that scavenge the campsite at night – they can be surprisingly viscous. Occupy your dog with treats, toys and your attention!

Follow Area Rules on Fires – Some areas have strict rules on campfires so make sure you understand what is required and where you can set up a campfire. Conditions may vary based on time of year.

Pack up your Food – Bears and wildlife will be attracted to any food that you have. Either pack all your food in your car, put them in a bear box or hang up your food in a bear bag 15 feet high. There’s a method to handing your food properly which we don’t cover here.


Camp & Trail Etiquette

 

Clean Up After Your Dog – Many areas follow a “Leave No Trace” policy, meaning you have to pick up or bury your dog’s poop. If you bury your dog’s poop, make sure you do so at least 200 feet away from a water source.

Off Leash or Leash – Even though your dog may be “good” not all dogs are. You need to respect the boundaries of other dogs and people as you pass them. Some people are afraid of dogs, even friendly ones. You never know how someone will react to a dog. Your “good” dog may get caught off guard and react poorly to confrontations or become more guarded seeing someone approach you who is not calm. Have great recall and training skills for your dog. Ultimately you are responsible for your dog, but regulations are posted for the welfare of everyone.
We hope that gives you enough information to go on that first weekend camping trip with your dog! Camping with your dog can be a lot of fun with the right preparation and information.

Tell us about your camping experience. Where do you like to go camping? What do you like to do?

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

 

Related Pawtivity / Event: Wilderness Camping, Beach CampingDesert Camping
Activities: Camping, Social, Great Outdoors

Paint Your Dog

Paint Your Dog

We love capturing our memories with our dog. Paint a picture of your dog or hire an artist to help you out!

Upload a photo of your dog’s painting. What do you love about it?


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Painting, Drawing, Social

Top 15 Things To Do With Your Dog This Fall-Winter

Top 15 Things To Do With Your Dog This Fall and Winter

At Pawtivity.com, our members love to go on adventures with our dogs. Here is our list of the top 15, best things to do with your dog this fall and winter, indoors and outdoors.
Want to see a pawtivity (activity) or event listed? Just email us!

 


THE BEST OF FALL

 

We love the change of the seasons. It’s nature’s way of keeping things interesting! The colors of fall make for a gorgeous time to love nature again and take some really impressive photos of your dog! Take a break from the normal grind of daily routines and recharge by breathing in the crisp, fresh air of the new season. There are so many fall outdoor activities that you can do with your dog!

 

Doggy Run – October is Adopt A Dog Month and the perfect time to sign up for your first 5k to support your local rescue groups and shelters. There our so many dogs out there that need a loving home. Make a day out of the event! Dress up with your dog in costume. If you can’t run, just walk! You will still be supporting a good cause. Have fun!

Hiking – Enjoy the new change of the season by taking your dog out sniffing and exploring a new hiking trail. The best trails will be the ones that offer the best views of fall foliage. Plan a road trip to a destination hike. Please let your dog stick his head out the window to bite that wind!

Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze It’s the season for a great pumpkin search! There are several dog friendly pumpkin patches. Pick out the best pumpkin to carve at home and enjoy some caramel apples, cider, and pumpkin pie. Have a dog that’s good with his nose? Take him with you to a corn maze! Have fun getting lost together and exploring your way out of the maze! End the day by watching the classic, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” a 1966 television original movie based on Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip and featuring Snoopy and the gang.

Wilderness Camping – The summer heat is finally over! It’s time to spend the entire day outdoors with family and friends. Book a campsite early. There’s so much to do, but whatever you do, involve your dog in all the action! End the day by making him a campfire s’more with dog biscuits and marshmallow. Substitute peanut butter in place of chocolate to make your treat even tastier! Snuggle in for the night and wake up to watch the sunrise together.


EASY SNOW PLAY

 

These activities were meant to be done in your backyard on the perfect snow day! Dogs love to be in the snow.

 

Play “Go Find It” – Have your dog sniff a toy with a treat inside. Next, ask your dog to sit while you go outside and hide the toy or bury the toy loosely outside. Bring your dog outside and tell him to find his toy! “Go Find it!”

Snowball Catch – Does your dog love the snow and playing fetch? Why not play fetch with a snowball? Or, roll a great big snowball and have your dog chase it down the hill.

Obstacle Course / Maze – This works best if there is more than a foot of snow on the ground. Take a shovel and make a maze in the snow. Add some obstacles along the way. You could build a wall for your dog to jump over, a short tunnel to crawl through, and a ramp at the end your dog must climb up to get his final treat!


INDOOR BRAIN GAMES

 

When the weather turns for the worse, it’s time to stay indoors. Get some great one-on-one bonding time with your dog and reinforce those skills toward making your next adventure even better. If you have an active dog, you’ll need to find activities that expend both physical and mental energy to keep your dog from going from good dog to destructive demon. Take the time to hone in on some dog obedience and training!

 

Puzzle Toy – Every dog owner needs at least one puzzle toy, especially since not all of us can be there to entertain our dogs 24-7. One of the best puzzles toys you can get is some crazy, wobbly treat dispensing toy trap. Dogs go nuts for this type of toy because it gives them a challenge and reward at the end. Other puzzle toys, like those created by Nina Ottosson, require that dogs figure out the right moves for a treat. Both types of puzzle toys are a great option to have for indoor play.

Play “Go Find It” – Have your dog sniff a treat. Next, ask your dog to sit while you go into the next room to hide his treat. If your dog is just starting out make it easy – put the treat on the floor by the wall. Call your dog to you and ask him to “Go Find It!” Challenge things up more by adding more treats to find or hiding the treat in harder to find places, such as on a table your dog can get to. An alternative to this game is to hide the treat in one of 3 boxes. Have your dog sniff out the right box and give him an extra treat!

Attend A Class – Now might be the best time to hone in on those obedience skills. The holidays can cause a lot of stress for our dogs. Being cooped up indoors doesn’t help. Many classes are offered indoors, such as agility, swimming, and obedience training. There are even classes and trainers that will help your dog be a better adventure dog. They will teach your dog to be better off-leash, to search and rescue, to “potty”, to walk faster, to stay quiet, or to bark and attack all on command.

Fun Dog Training – If you don’t do it now, you should make it a habit to reinforce basic training into your dog’s daily routines, such as before you feed or walk your dog. We recommend puppy situps (sit, down, sit, come/touch). You can also introduce gestures for basic commands so you don’t have to say a word for your dog to “sit” or “stay.” Or, practice impulse control exercises and see if how still your dog can be as you place objects on his head. Hold a treat above your dog’s head. Every time your dog reaches for it pull the treat back up quickly and lower slowly only when your dog sits again. Lower the treat until you can place the treat on your dog’s nose. Now, give him an “ok” command and let him eat his well-earned treat! What funny things can your dog hold on his nose? Brush off more of those puppy class techniques and get creative! You can make a game out of anything.


WINTER ADVENTURES

 

Don’t stay indoors! Get out and keep active by trying these three outdoor winter activities for dogs that will get your heart pumping and your dog thoroughly happy. As with any winter sport, you need to build up your dog’s stamina and endurance, so start slow. Go on trails you are familiar with or go with someone who is.


Proper gear is required for these activities. While you may already know how to ski, your dog doesn’t have a clue what skis are or how they work. Let your dog inspect your gear and reward him if he takes an interest, but not if he thinks it’s his new toy! Hold up the equipment and move it around. Again, reward only if our dog takes an interest. Finally, put on your gear and try it out for your dog outside.

Snowshoeing – Do you already love hiking or running? Then you’ll probably love snowshoeing, and the best part is that you continue to hike or run without worrying about the snow. Snowshoes are easy to get used to and don’t require you to change much in what you do already. Your dog can just go along happily with you as he’s always done. The low learning curve and ease of snowshoeing has made it one of the fastest growing winter activities.

Cross Country Skiing – This winter sport is best done if your dog is reliable off-leash. Great pre-training for this activity include snowshoeing, hiking, or running off leash. It’s important that your dog stays with your, has reliable recall, and does not cross your path.

Skijoring – Skijoring is a sport that’s reserved for stronger dogs over 30 pounds who can pull you forward on a special hands free leash tied around your waist while you are on cross country skis. Poles are used to help guide and move you along with your dog. To pre-train for skijoring, try canicross or bikejoring in the fall. Remember your dog will be pulling you forward, so have good command of your dog at all times and train him properly to follow a straight line, or at least to stick to the pathway! That means no squirrel chasing. You’ll also have to teach him to stop and go.

Kicksledding / Sleigh Ride – This is another sport that is reserved for stronger dogs who can pull, but one that can also involve your kids! What in the world is a kicksled anyway? Think urban dog sled racing on snow. Dogs pull along a sled that a person can stand on. While the dog pulls, the person kicks back at the ground to give the sled momentum to move forward. Hang on for a ride! Don’t have a kicksled? Have your dog pull you on a sleigh or sled instead. Mush!


WINTER SAFETY

 

Winter snow is fun to play in, but conditions could damage your dog’s paws. First off, make sure your dog is comfortable playing, walking, or running in snow. Some snow is just too deep for some dogs, especially if you are dealing with freshly fallen, loose snow that will tire a dog out too fast.

Always check your dog’s paws periodically when they our outside and go indoors if your dog’s paws start to crack or bleed. Remove any ice balls or snow trapped in the paw. You should use some paw protection such as petroleum jelly, Musher’s Secret paw wax, or booties. When you come indoors, wash and inspect your dog’s paws again.

Your dog needs proper winter attire that will keep him dry and warm. Get him a doggy coat so the two of you can play longer outdoors. The right coat depends on your dog’s sensitivity to the cold and activity level. Some coats will allow for more movement, while others do well to keep dogs warm on a walk. We recommend finding a waterproof winter coat with fleece lining that at least protects your dog’s chest and abdomen. A D-ring on the back is also helpful if you are using a harness on your dog. In addition to a coat, bring along a portable water bowl, food, a quick drying towel, and perhaps a waterproof mat so your dog can rest on the snow comfortably.

Most important of all is to hydrate with fresh water. To prevent water from freezing, use a wide-mouth steel water bottle or thermos and fill it up with warm water, but leave a little room at the top in case some of your water does start to freeze and expand.

Last but not least, don’t leave the human and dog first aid kit at home!

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!

 


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Take Your Dog To A Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch

Fall is here! It’s the season for a great pumpkin search! There are several dog friendly pumpkin patches. Pick out the best pumpkin to carve at home and enjoy some carmel apples, cider, and pumpkin pie while you are at it! End the day by watching the classic, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” with your dog.

Looking for a pumpkin patch? Look for a Pawtivity event under Just for Fun, or search for “Pumpkin Patch” in the search bar! Many small farms don’t “advertise” as pet friendly but may let you bring your dog. Just call them to find out. Most close by Halloween.

Share a photo of your dog at the pumpkin patch! Did you guys have fun?

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Halloween, Pumpkin Patch, Costume

Take Your Dog To A Corn Maze

Corn Maze

Dog have a good sense of smell? Take him to a corn maze and have some fun finding your way out! There’s no better way to celebrate the fall season and Halloween!

Snap a photo of your dog sniffing his way out!

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Halloween, Corn Maze, Costume

Top 10 Ways To Cure Dog Boredom

Dog Bored? Top 10 Ways To Cure Dog Boredom

My dog looks up to me a lot. So, it always makes me feel guilty whenever she sprawls out on the floor with a thud, gives a big sigh, and then stares me down with those sad, bored puppy eyes. All she wants to do is play! Maybe I’m overthinking it, but she would get up in a heartbeat if she saw me with a toy in hand!

So, how do you cure dog boredom?

Dogs need a lot of physical exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Otherwise, they will look for something to take their frustration and boredom out on, such as chewing up your living room couch, digging out all your new outdoor plants, or barking at anything with legs.

Our dogs have become lazy, or rather we have allowed them to become lazy. Dogs used to work a lot! Many were bred to retrieve prey or herd livestock alongside their humans. All dogs have a natural instinct for scavenging for food.

We simply need to do more with our dogs and give them (and yourself) an active lifestyle! I’m always looking for a fresh way to keep my dog busy and avoid destructive behavior in dogs. Here are some quick tips to keep your dog entertained, happy, active, and challenged.

 

TOP 10 WAYS TO RELIEVE DOG BOREDOM

~As they say, a tired dog is a happy dog.

  1. Walk Somewhere New: Like humans, dogs love a little variety and challenge in their walks or hike. Take them somewhere that has new scents, sounds, and experiences.
  1. Go Out On Errands: Dogs love the car ride too. If you can’t walk, take your dog along with you when you run errands! Crack open the window and let them sniff something new in the air! Never leave your dog in the car if it is too hot outside! Not only will another dog owner give you the stare down, but worse, your dog may have get heatstroke or sustain brain damage.
  1. Sign up for a Pawtivity or Event: Find new ideas to keep your dog active and happy on Pawtivity! Sign up to do something with your dog! Try a new activity you’ve never done before. We love fetch, disc dog / frisbee, and tug. Agility is also a great form of mental and physical exercise that boosts your dog’s confidence and makes them more obedient all-around – it truly is an overlooked form of play for dogs! 15 minutes of disc, agility, or other form of active play at a time truly does wonders – keep your dog wanting to do more and looking to you to play more.
  1. Go To The Dog Park: The dog park is a great way for your dog to socialize with other dogs. Better yet, it’s often free!
  1. Make Your Dog Work For Food: Since dogs used to scavenge for food, why not scatter your dog’s food in the yard and make them find their food? Or lay out small piles of food around the house for them to find. Every time you feed your dog or take your dog on a walk, make them do puppy situps (sit, down, sit, come/touch, look). Practice puppy situps at a farther distance each time. This is great training for better recall and obedience, useful for when your your dog is off leash.
  1. Get a Chew Toy: Dogs love to chew, so get a good assortment of soft and hard chew toys to try out! Carmella can bite through black Kongs, so we love edible dental bones and antler bones. Antler bones last a long time and do double-duty to fight boredom and clean teeth. Note of caution: Find the best chew toy for your dog – start with a soft one. Antler bones should be taken away if you see chipping or breakage. Chew toys that are too hard can fracture your dog’s teeth. We never had a problem with antler bones, but this has to do with they way Carmella works at the bone, she doesn’t just bite down. Tennis balls are not the best chew toys as they can wear down your dog’s teeth enamel and fall apart in pieces large enough to get stuck in your dog’s throat. In all, supervise your dog with their chew toy before deciding which one is best for them.
  1. Invest in Treat Dispensing and Smart Toys: Dogs naturally have a keen sense of smell.  Why not challenge them to use their natural instincts by giving them a puzzle for them to solve?  Treat dispensing and smart toys often involve the use of treats and require supervision. They also come in varying levels of difficulty.
  1. Create Distractions When You are Away: Keep a safe treat dispensing toy around, put on the tv or radio, and keep a chew toy or two around for your dog to play with when you are out.  You can also try giving them frozen treats that will melt over time or put toys in a huge ice mold to leave outside.
  1. Rotate Your Dog’s Toys: This shakes things up a bit and gives more mileage to your dog toys. Dog are like kids – they love the new toy and all want the new toy.
  1. Attend a Basic Dog Training Class:  How will your dog know what you want them to do? Dog owners need the proper training to communicate effectively with their canine companions. Basic commands such as sit, stay, leave it, give, or come serve as building blocks to help you play more with your dog.

 

What are other ways that you can keep a dog busy? We hate to see a dog that is bored. Include a comment below or email us and we will add your suggestion as a pawtivity!

Carol & Carmella
President & Pup, Pawtivity

 


Is Your Dog An Amazing Pup? 

Is your dog amazing? Contact us to be considered as one of Pawtivity’s featured amazing pups! We may feature you on Pawtivity.com or on our instagram accounts @pawtivity and @myamazingpup. Send us a photo of your dog and tell us why they are so amazing!

 


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Norman The Scooter Dog

Norman The Scooter Dog

Have you ever heard of a dog that can ride a scooter? What about a bicycle?

Norman the Scooter Dog can actually do both! He holds two separate Guinness World Records for riding the fastest 30 meters on a scooter and again on a bicycle. On top of that, he wows everyone he meets by doing a lot of amazing dog tricks. He can ride a skateboard, jump rope, surf, take a bow, and open doors.

Norman is also the ultimate sweetie with a personality that warms your heart. Karen describes her dog  as, “a clown who knows he’s funny…. he looks at your with this look that makes you laugh.”

We wanted to learn what makes a great trick dog and interviewed Karen Cobb, Norman’s owner, to learn how she trained Norman.

Facts About Norman
Breed: Briard
Personality: A Clown, Loves to Play, One of the Family
Favorite Treats: Natural Balance Dog Food Rolls, Mozarella Cheese
Favorite Special Interests: Agility, Obedience, Sheep Herding, Swimming
Favorite Cause: Stop Puppy Mills

 

Commitment to Training & Socialization

Karen believes that safe socialization greatly outweighs any of the risks from poor socialization.  Even when Norman was a puppy she did a lot to socialize him well.

Norman is a Briard, Briards are known to require much more socialization than other dogs.  As a puppy, Karen was commited to giving Norman good  socialization and training. Norman has always been very curious. He loves to play and always wants to do what the family is doing.

First, she took him consistently to weeks of training in agility and obedience. When Norman was 15 months old, he actually received his Companion Dog Title in obedience with all first placements.

She was also made a commitment to expose Norman to different kinds of people and dogs, to stand on different surfaces , and to be exposed to different sights and sounds. Karen uses positive reinforcement by way of bribes or treats to make training sessions a game. Each time she introduces Norman to something new, she gives him treats. Doing this helps build confidence in your dog and paves the way for more advanced tricks.

Training sessions should be kept short with high motivating food. Sessions should also be built into your daily routine – every time you leave the house, before meal time, or at bath time. Puppies need constant training and play time. Read more about her 12 Essential Training Tips for socializing your puppy.

Last, she says that dogs need to learn how to play well and to make everything with your dog into a game. They also need to know how to release on command and retrieve.

 

Additional Tips for Teaching  A Dog Tricks

Besides giving your dog foundational training and socialization, there are a few other tips that Karen mentioned that helps her teach Norman new tricks.

A lot to training has to do with knowing your dog and your dog’s breed. Karen strongly advises people to research their dog’s breed and to make sure that the dog will be a right fit for you and your family.

Here are some of things that Karen did to make Norman into a great trick dog:

  • Don’t always tell your dog no for everything. Teach him specific commands such as leave it, off, quiet, take it, and put on (place on table).
  • Knowing what a target is (nose or paw on anything).
  • Focus is one of the most important skill to teach your dog because helps him pay attention to you.
  • Getting the right high motivating treats: Knowing different levels of high motivating treats or incentives for your dog. For example, for a new trick you may use the highest motivating treat for your dog. For Norman, this might be mozarella pieces because they are easy to break off
  • Clicker training is great for more advanced tricks because your dog can better understand what you want him to do by the immediate sound of a click.
  • Training sessions for adult dogs should be about 1 hour per day, or in 3, 20 minute intervals.
  • Training classes are a great way to get feedback about your dog. You can never stop learning more about your dog.

 

Learning to Bike

Biking is very hard to teach a dog. It took Karen quite some time to teach Norman to ride a bike.  Dogs can’t just ride a normal kids bike. Norman’s bike is actually customized to fit him.

Karen suggests that people first train their dogs to skateboard first. It’s easier to teach than scootering or biking. Dogs must first learn to stand on a moving object. To do this, the dog must be comfortable with a skateboard. Training starts at a stationary position. Karen often uses treats and a clicker to help her train Norman.  Reward when your dog has one foot on a stationary skateboard and then move on to 4 feet standing on the skateboard.  Then, try using a leash to gently pull the skateboard forward while your dog is on the skateboard. You will have to also train your dog to get off the skateboard.

Since Pawtivity is all about getting dog owners to do more with their dogs, we asked Karen if she had any advice for dog owners. Instead on trying to figure out what your dog may like to do, she mentions that dog owners should find something that they like to do and then incorporate your dog in that. Dogs do love spending time with us, so it makes sense to involve your dog into something that you like to do!

Karen has many more training tips that you can try with your dog. Basic training is a great way to ease your dog into more advanced training and tricks!

 

Norman is Amazing!!

I asked Karen how Norman shows his love. She said that he actually gives you a hug by leaning on you and wrapping his paws around your leg. How adorable and very affectionate!

With all the training and activities that Norman gets on a consistent basis, he must love his family!Norman, you are a lucky dog to have such a wonderful family! Keep on learning new tricks and exploring fun things to do.

 

About Karen Cobb

Karen Cobb, owner and trainer of Norman the Scooter Dog, graduated from University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science.  She has trained dogs for over 20 years, specializing in problem solving, behavior counseling, housebreaking and aggression problems.  She now primarily trains Norman for his live performances and dog sports.  Her goal is to get Norman a leading role in a movie. Learn more about Norman and Karen.  Connect with them on Facebook!

 


Is Your Dog An Amazing Pup? 

Is your dog amazing? Contact us to be considered as one of Pawtivity’s featured amazing pups! We may feature you on Pawtivity.com or on our instagram accounts @pawtivity and @myamazingpup. Send us a photo of your dog and tell us why they are so amazing!

 


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!