Ideas To Keep Your Dog Active This Winter
Have you always wanted to run your own sled dog team, but living in Australia never thought it was possible? Well it is possible. Become a real life musher, just like in Alaska and Canada. The WA Sleddog Sports Association and RunningWest hold sled dog races around WA (from the metro area, south and east of Perth) each winter. With classes for all age groups from 3 years upwards. In WA dog breeds range from your typical Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies to Samoyeds, Greyhound, Staffies, German Shepherds, Labradors, German Shorted-Haired Pointers Weimeraners and even a Bull Terrier, as well as various cross breeds.
They have beginner days throughout April for you and your canine friend to give the sport a go!
Who doesn’t love a good game of hide and seek, and now you and your canine friend can “find” your children when you ask them to “get lost”. Tracking encourages your dog to use his nose to follow, or track, a person from a given point to where they stop and hide. Trackwest and the Advanced Tracking Club of WA are just beginning to get out and enjoy the outdoors with their dogs and help you learn to work with your dog to find those poor souls send out in advance to find a hidey hole and make themselves comfortable until you and your team arrive to rescue them. Not only is this great fun, but your team learn valuable new skills and you can even use these same skills, slightly modified, to help track your missing keys, mobile, whatever you have misplaced. Beginner days are starting soon so now is the time to think about getting lost!
Got yourself a gundog and no idea what to do with it? Maybe retrieving is for you. Your dog must love water, and let’s face it, who doesn’t like a wet dog on a winter day, and not be noise shy. The Retrieving Club of WA is preparing for a busy season with plenty of trials planned for the coming months. Retrieving encourages your dog to follow commands given verbally, visually and by whistle to head out and retrieve a downed dummy, bringing it back to you through water, marsh and brush. These dogs work off lead, so good control and the ability to both stop and recall your canine friend is essential. Time to get your gundog out to be a real gundog and enjoy the great outdoors.
Like the idea of retrieving, but want a more social activity? Imagine heading into the bush with a friend and your dogs to flush out game. With the dogs working in pairs they find and flush birds ready for you to fire. A great way to combine your love of the outdoors, time with your dog and feeling like a real hunter. For those of you worried about the impact on our wildlife or not liking the idea of actually killing game, in WA only blanks are fired and the retrieved “bird” is actually a dummy, so no wildlife are harmed in the running of Field Trials. There are trials for Utility dogs, Pointers & Setters and Spaniels & Retrievers, so there is something to suit every breed of gundog and their owners. Contact the club to see when you can give it a go.
Like the idea of getting out on the bike and going for long rides with your canine friend? Then endurance trials are the go. Over three heats you and your dog will travel over 20km (8km, 6km and 6km), with a short obedience session both before and after the 20km run. Travelling at a steady pace, and with your dog next to you, not pulling, you will travel along a path or track enjoying your solitary time and the consistency or constant movement. This is a great way to ensure you and your dog are fit and healthy and getting regular exercise. Endurance trials are conducted in association with Dogs West.
With so many activities you, your family and your canine companion can enjoy this winter there is no excuse for sitting on the couch saying it’s too cold to get out and about and have fun!