Other Fun Activities You Can Do With Your Beardie
Charlie's favorite activity is archaeology!
Beardies just want to have fun! Whether you're the competitive type, or would rather just kick back and enjoy yourself without all that pressure or having to dress up, there's an activity out there for you. Here are some other things you and your Beardies can enjoy together:
Treibball, sometimes known as "urban herding" or "dogball," involves training your dog to maneuver a vinyl exercise ball into a goal. The sport originated in Germany, but has now been brought to the States in order to give American dogs some needed exercise. Best of all, you don't have to keep sheep! This would be perfect for all of the resident Beardies, especially Seamus.
This sport was absolutely tailor-made for herding dogs, but any dog of any breed may join in the fun. The American Treibball Association website offers rulebooks for sale, as well as memberships for individual owner/trainers or clubs.
This is one of the newest dog sports out there! Based on detection dog training techniques, K-9 Nosework involves hiding treats and/or toys in a certain location, and then directing the dog to find them. Dinah and I took our first K-9 Nosework class at Paw-zn-Around in Saco, but All Dogs Gym and other venues are beginning to offer it as well. Seamus and Badger train in nosework with POC. It's a terrific confidence-builder for the retiring doggie personality, and all dogs love to use their noses! Advanced nosework and nosework trials involves such tests as car searches.
For more information on K-9 Nosework, here are some resources:
- K9 Nosework.com is the site of the sport's originators. They're in Southern CA, but offer a list of workshops across the US, scent samples, and many other resources.
- The National Association for Canine Scent Work (NACSW) is the certifying body for K-9 Nosework.
- Jean McCord's Fair Play Dog Services home page lists upcoming K-9 nosework events around the New England area. If you're looking for an ORT or trial, this is a very helpful resource. Jean offers nosework classes in Hudson and Methuen, MA.
- Piscataqua Obedience Club, ME: (207) 363-2574. POC now offers a weekly nosework class at the Kittery Rec Center on Cole Street in Kittery, ME. This is where we train.
- Beyond the Leash in Boxford, MA offers "See Spot Sniff" classes.
- Paw-zn-Around in Saco, ME offers introductory and advanced nosework classes and is hoping to build up a competitive league sometime.
You'd think that Dock Dogs would be a sport more tailored toward retrievers and sporting dogs, and you'd be semi-right. Dock Dogs trials are open to all dogs regardless of breed, size, or ability. Some Beardies have even tried Dock Dogs at Beardie Camp! Seacoast Dock Dogs is the local Dock Dogs club.
Dog camps are springing up all over the country. Some are general camps that cover the spectrum of dog activities, and some are geared toward one type of activity, such as agility or herding. Duncan and Cadence went to Camp Gone-to-the-Dogs in Vermont, and Duncan also attended Herding Camp there. Although we decided that we preferred to spend our activity time and money doing more specific things, a good general-purpose camp can provide you with a week (or weeks) of opportunities to try out all manner of activities, and to see which ones you like. Here are some camp links for you:
- Camp Gone-to-the-Dogs, Brattleboro, VT
- Camp Unleashed, Lenox, MA
- Dog Days of Wisconsin, Almond, WI
- Camp Winnaribbun, NV
- Clean Run Productions' Agility Camps , Chicopee, MA
In addition to the camps listed here, there are great lists of dog camps around the country at the dog-play camp listing.
Charlie atop Mt. Abbot, with the White Mountains in the distance
Charlie loves hiking — so much so that he'd rather do that than any sort of dog sport. Badger is also an avid hiker. Hiking can be a great way for you and your dog to enjoy the outdoors together and get plenty of exercise. Here are some links you can use:
- Hike With Your Dog! contains links to dog-friendly hikes in the US and Canada, guidebooks, hints and tips, and a list of current regulations for hiking in national and state parks with dogs.
- The dog-play site contains an extensive and helpful list of hiking and camping resources for you and your dog.
- Camping With Your Dog, from Coyote Communications
- Dog Paddling Adventures: A Canadian adventure company that sponsors canoeing trips with dogs
- Newf Goodies has a great list of backpacking and travel resources and recommended books, including canine first aid guides.
Traveling With Your Dog:
Your vacation can be even more fun when you bring your dog with you, but it does take a good deal of research and planning. Here are some links to check out:
Canine Freestyle is a choreographed performance, set to music. Seamus has had some training in canine freestyle, but the rest of us have only watched it performed. If you're interested in learning more about freestyle, here are some places to get started:
- Canine Freestyle Federation
- WCFO -- the World Canine Freestyle Organization
- Dancing Dogs Video
- Musical Dog Sport Association
Talk about exciting! Flyball is as fast-paced as a dog sport can get. Here are some links for getting started in Flyball:
- The Flyball Home Page
- North American Flyball Association
- United Flyball League (U-FLI)
- Flyball.com -- flyball resources all over the Internet
- i-Flyball -- links for NAFA and U-FLI flyball organizations and flyball lists.
- Flyball Maineiacs
- Maine Coast Runners — Maine Coast Runners offers flyball classes with Shirley Rand through POC.
TTouch and Canine Massage:
One wonderful, gentle way to bond with your dog is to perform massage or TTouch (Tellington Touch, developed by Linda Tellington-Jones). Some rescuers I know use these techniques to calm and reassure rescue dogs. Cadence and I attended an introductory class in TTouch, and Cadence was used as the demo dog. He fell asleep in the middle of the demo! Here's some basic information to get you started:
- Team TTouch -- Linda Tellington-Jones' site
- TTouch and TTEAM UK
- DOG -- Dog Owner's Guide article on TTouch and submissive urination
Dog Scouts of America
Yes, there is such a thing! Remember the fun you had hiking with your buddies and telling stories around the campfire? Well, now there's the Dog Scouts of America! The focus of the Dog Scouts is socialization and training, but you can also earn merit badges in Community Service and in Cleaning Up America -- as well as in lots of dog-related activities.