Updated May 2023
Looking for fun things to do with your dog?
If there’s one thing we can all learn from our dogs, it’s how to take more joy in the everyday! It really is almost impossible not to smile at how much our best friends revel in the little things – from a delicious breakfast, to rolling in the cool grass.
So, why not take a leaf from your pup’s book and make happiness a top priority?
Our ultimate list of fun things to do with your dog will make for a tail-wagging, smile-filled summer all round!
Here’s some inspiration for fun and good times together...
Get active with agility or flyball
Have you ever watched canine agility competitors at an event like Crufts and thought how amazing it’d be to do that kind of thing with your dog?
Agility is one of our top fun things to try with your dog – and it’s not only canine athletes and breeds like Border Collies who can get involved. In fact, there are agility classes open to all breeds and ages. Dogs of all shapes and sizes enjoy it at their own pace, from speedy Chihuahuas to more mellow Mastiffs.
Flyball is fantastic for all breeds of dog too. The aim is to have fun with your dog and concessions can be made for littler legs and new starters! In fact, the only real restriction is age. Dogs need to be over 12 months old to join in, so they don’t put excess stress on growing joints.
Give it a try:
Find your local agility class through the Kennel Club
Find a friendly flyball class through the British Flyball Association
Try training, volunteering or doggie dancing
Don’t fancy agility or flyball? Then there are plenty of other options.
Though building the basics of sit, come and stay are always a good idea, there are more fun things to do with your dog in the world of training than ever before including heelwork to music and even sniffer dog training!
Less mobile dogs can get in on the fun, too. Canine Good Citizen awards are suitable for all ages and fitness levels and are welcoming of dogs with disabilities. Or, if your best friend is gentle, friendly, in good health and loves a fuss, why not aim to qualify them as a therapy pet. It will be rewarding for you, them and the people they visit.
Make it happen:
Apply to join the Pets as Therapy Scheme
Fun for rainy days and older dogs
If your dog is a getting older – and seems to be slowing down – they may not enjoy lots of physical activity. ‘Brain games’ and gentle trick training is ideal for older dogs whose brains are more active than their bodies. They can also be great fun for active dogs on rainy days!
Teach your dog to read
This is an impressive trick that’s actually very easy to train, if you’ve already established good basic commands. See how it’s done here.
Teach your dog to count
Once your dog has mastered their ABCs, how about adding a bit of maths? This one’s a bit tricker, but that makes the game last longer. See how it’s done in this tutorial with clever Cooper, the counting Shih Tzu!
Kids games – for dogs!
From treasure hunts to hide and seek, there are lots of children’s games that repurpose well, to keep dogs entertained when the weather’s less than great! Give these brain games for dogs a try.
Days out with dogs
Heading out onto the road for a day trip with your dog can be a fun way to spend time together. Here are some ideas for days out to get you inspired…
Be culture vultures
Combine walkies with some food for thought at a dog-friendly English Heritage site. Imagine walking in the footsteps of the ancient Romans at Hadrian’s Wall, tracking down King Arthur’s Round Table in Cumbria, heading right back to the Iron Age in North Yorkshire, or discovering a hidden amphitheatre in Kent… and these are just a handful of the spots you can explore!
Culture vulture shortcuts:
National Trust dog walks
National Trust for Scotland dog walks
Life’s a beach
It’s an oldie-but-a-goodie… we’re pretty confident that there’s nothing to beat the moment you crest the dunes with your dog at your side, for a day at the beach! The smell of the sea, the sand between everyone’s toes and as much digging, fetching, and playing as you could possibly hope for. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, but just be sure that you’re vising a dog-friendly beach.
Check dogs are welcome all year round – don’t let seasonal restrictions stop the fun.
Don’t forget the poo bags – and consider a Dicky Bag if you’re heading for a remote beach.
Always take fresh water – many dogs will drink seawater if fresh isn’t available, leading to dehydration and sensitive tums.
Be city breakers
If your dog’s confident and outgoing, try a city break together! These days, there’s a warm welcome for our four-legged friends in many hotels and hostels, so city breaks needn’t just be for humans any more. Though you may need to skip the museums and galleries, walking tours are great fun for both of you, and you’ll get off the touristy beaten track.
Top cities to visit with dogs:
Bristol – huge green spaces, a beautiful harbourside (with dog-friendly ferries), dog-friendly pubs and cafes a plenty and an urban-art (walkies) trail. Perfect for a mini-break with your furry best friend!
London – yes, really! See a different side to the big smoke by walking the Thames, strolling in one of the thousands of parks, or even checking out a film with your furry friend! Or if you fancy a foodie treat, why not visit one of the capital’s best dog-friendly restaurants?
Whatever you decide to do together, don't forget to take plenty of photos – we love to see what you and your dogs get up to. If you’re feeling flush, you could even splash out on a camera for your dog!
Do you plan to try something new and exciting with your dog this summer? We hope so! If you do, consider giving them YuMOVE Joint Care for Dogs to help support them on all those active adventures.