June 18, 2021 5 min read
It’s no secret that dogs make great adventure companions and at Meander we’re all passionate about getting out and about with our four legged friends! Dexter dog (our resident founding fluffy team member) is a keen hiker (and frisbee champ) and has even conquered a few Munros. Sadie and Belle, Lewis’ pups are big fans of wild swimming with him, although Sadie often prefers to observe from the safety of the shore. My own dogs, Tilly and Norah, are keen dog sport enthusiasts, originally playing regular Flyball and now training up to become Agility champs!
There are very few things better than getting out on a new adventure with your dog, even if its just a trip to the pub or down to the beach. Often just as physically and mentally rewarding for your pooch as it is for you! We’ve put together a few adventure ideas you and your 4 legged friends can embark on (pun intended).
If your dog loves the water why not up the ante and give paddle boarding a go :) From bulldogs to huskies this adventure isn’t limited to any breed or fitness level.
Dougal (pictured - above left) and his owners love getting out on their boards, although apparently he was a bit unsure at first:
“He didn’t like us being on separate boards, so there was a lot of board jumping. He settled down eventually and was a wee star, even jumped on and off himself”
Thankfully Dougal seems to have got into the flow of it now :) With plenty of opportunity to swim and observe the world from the board your dog will be sure to love it. Floating along on the loch on your board is a fun and relaxing way to spend an afternoon plus you’ll no doubt get a good core workout just staying upright with your dog jumping on and off!
If you’re going to paddle far from shore, it’s best to invest in a doggy life jacket, even if they are a strong swimmer.
Yep - getting out into the fresh air and up in the hills is so enjoyable - especially in Scotland where we have so many amazing places to choose from.
Our friend Tristan Cameron Harper who is a Scottish mountain guide and photographer, regularly takes his rescue dog Nacho hiking all around Scotland. We had a catch up with Tris to hear about their adventures:
“Nacho is a rescue from the the Nasty dog meat trade in South Korea and has been hiking with me for 4 years. Hiking has been extremely positive for his own well-being as he suffers from PTSD and a few other underlying problems, the biggest thing about taking him into the wild is he is allowed to be a free spirited animal with no modern distractions such as the types of loud inorganic noises you experience in the city life. Any place that l can take Nacho that he is challenged in a physical manner while encountering new smells and scenery always adds to his confidence. He is with me every day and even gets to come join me when l take clients into the Scottish Highlands, the Mountains being his favourite.”
Who knew there is a fancy name for cycling with your dog in the dog community - “mushing”!? More than just a casual urban cycle with your dog, this is an official sport where you can compete against other dogs and their owners! It’s usually done with your dog attached to the bike using a special piece of equipment called an “arm” that sticks out in front of your bike with a bungee lead attached for your dog.
If this is a bit full on and you’re more into casual cycling, then you can go for it with your dog running along beside you and still get the adrenaline flowing - you don’t have to compete to enjoy a day out pedalling with your pooch:)
For those dogs who aren’t able to keep up with you and your bike there are always trailers and baskets that allow you to take your fluffy friends with you and they will love watching the world fly by.
If you enjoy being out on the water but prefer the stability and safety of a boat over a paddle board canoeing could be the right adventure for you and your pup. Watson the adventure dog loves packing up his canoe and heading out for a wild camping trip. There’s plenty of room in the canoe for camping supplies and food which is another benefit of a canoe over a paddle board.
Something a little bit different for the winter months and especially good for avid skiers is Ski Joring! This is an official sport (and one that sounds pretty epic) where you pop on some skis and your dog pulls you along in the snow. Ski Joring is much like mushing but instead of a bike you are on skis and your dog is pulling you along.
However, if you’re not convinced about tying yourself to your dog while flying down a hill then perhaps a trying a more relaxed, camping and chilling in a hammock is more for you….
Whether it’s wild camping or staying at a campsite, having a little adventure away from it all with mans best friend is always a great idea. Just being outdoors can be great enrichment for dogs so while you’re relaxing by the campfire or looking up at the stars your dog will be chilling out too enjoying all the interesting smells. Watson (pictured) loves to make his camping adventures more interesting by chilling out in style in his very own hammock.
Canicross is the simple act of running with your dog. There are many ways you are your dog can take part in canicross from the occasional jog, definitely my method of choice, to trail running, joining a canicross group or even racing. Often canicross groups will run with their dogs attached to them round their waist much like Ski Joring. This is great fun and when you’re tired you can always rely on your dog to help pull you along those more challenging stretches.
Huge thanks to everyone who’s shared their stories and pictures of adventures with their wonderful pooches, hopefully they’ve inspired you and made you smile as much as they have us. There were far more amazing images than we could fit in one article, so we’ve wrapped up below with a gallery of a few more we loved but couldn’t quite fit in:
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