By John Woods
Are you running out of ideas for things you can do with your dog, or perhaps you’re a dog lover but looking for a new hobby which you can do?
We’ve rounded up some weird and wonderful hobbies, from looking after other animals to bikejoring! If you haven’t heard of bikejoring, read on to find out exactly what this is and how you can do it with your dog!
There is something to suit everyone on this list, for those owners who love to keep fit and active, to those who are more crafty and artistic.
Keeping Other Small Animals
Robert Woods, the creator and editor of Fishkeeping World believes that if you own a dog, the chances are you’re an animal lover, and most people who own one pet don’t just stop there!
Perhaps you could think about keeping another small furry friend such as a hamster or a Guinea pig, but if your dog is quite inquisitive, he might pay them too much attention.
Fishkeeping can be a great way to keep other animals, and dogs don’t tend to show much interest in them.
They don’t require nearly as much time as your dog needs, so they can make a great addition to your home if you want more pets, but don’t have much time.
If you both love the outdoors, then perhaps the most perfect hobby for you to take up with your dog, is hiking.
Hiking with your dog will allow you to spend plenty of time in the great outdoors, as well as keeping fit.
You’ll need to make sure your dog is leash-trained and obedient before you set out on your first hike, but you can always start with short gentle hikes before progressing to mountain hiking.
Make sure you take enough water not just for you, put also for your dog – they’ll need to stay hydrated with all that walking!
Believe it or not, dogs can make pretty excellent football companions. Most dogs love chasing a ball around, but few people know you can actually train them to do certain tasks which makes playing football with them much more enjoyable.
The key to this is to encourage him to chase and then run with the ball rather than just hold onto it or run off as many dogs tend to do!
If he doesn’t pick up this trick quickly, you can always put him in goal while you take shots! You’ll be lucky to score a goal against him!
I’m yet to meet a dog who doesn’t like posing for a photograph. There are a surprising amount of tips and tricks available to read about online, for how to take the perfect picture of your dog.
Start off by understanding your dog’s personality to catch them in the right moment. If they’re quite lazy, you’ll want to capture a picture of them lounging in the sun in the garden. If they love to be active, capture them running around at the park.
You only have to take a look on Instagram to see how many dogs have been made famous through having their photo taken by their owner!
Could your dog be the next famous Insta pup, using your newly found photography hobby?
If your dog loves to pull and be up front, then then bikejoring might be the perfect hobby for you both to take up.
Bikejoring is riding a bike with dogs pulling you along. You might think that encouraging your dog that already pulls could be disastrous, but actually your dog will be healthier if they’re allowed to run and exercise at their own pace.
Bikejoring is a recreational sport, where dogs are attached to a towline and pull the cyclist. The most common dogs to use for this hobby are Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, however any active medium to large sized dog can be used for this hobby.
Well exercised dogs are much calmer, when they’ve been given the opportunity to properly exercise. If you love to ride a bike too, then this could be a match made in heaven.
Perhaps the total opposite to the last hobby, this hobby doesn’t require as much energy or stamina and instead can be very relaxing.
Whilst this might not be the ideal hobby for some people, others will love the calm and simplicity that knitting can bring to your life.
Imagine being able to create Fido his very own one of a kind clothes? You could make him novelty Christmas jumpers, Halloween costumes and birthday outfits! What’s not to love?
There are plenty of free patterns available online, and if you’re new to the hobby, there are also plenty of free tutorials which will teach you how to knit. If your dog doesn’t like the feel of wearing clothes, how about knitting some dog related clothes for yourself or other dog lovers?
About the Author
John is a professional dog trainer and is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.