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Fun ways to exercise your dog

Exercising your dog is a vital part of keeping them fit and healthy. As well as walking your dog, there are lots of other things you can do to ensure they get lots of exercise (both physical and mental) and have fun along the way.

Ways to make your walks more interesting

  • Meet up with friends and find new walks to take your dogs on and watch the spring in their step with all the new smells. Even better if there is a dog friendly café at the end, to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and cake plus a drink of water for the dogs.

  • Meet up with friends and their dogs and enjoy helping each other in doing some dog training together.

  • Use natural features on your walk as training aids that you can have some fun with, for example, a fallen tree can be used for your dog to retrieve over. Or, if you’re with a friend, one of you can hide behind something, then call the dog to come and find you.

  • Do some whistle training whilst on your walk.

Exercise by throwing balls / fetch in safe areas

  • Take a ball and ball thrower with you

  • Take a Kong stick or gundog dummy with you and use them to do some fetch and recall training at different points of your walk. You could do a straight forward game of fetch, or you could hide the item somewhere then send your dog to find it under your direction and let them use their nose to find the item.

  • At Oakington Dog Day Care Centre we do hire out our secure fields during the summer months, so you can exercise and train your dog in a secure, clean environment.

  • Don’t throw wooden sticks for your dog as these can get stuck in their mouths and throats causing injury.

Agility Classes

This is a great social activity and there are several agility clubs local to us in Cambridgeshire. It is great fun and super exercise for both you and your dog, whilst also being mentally challenging too. Dogs love it!

Heelwork to music

You might think this is not for you. But it is great fun and you will probably have a good giggle whether you’ve got good rhythm or not. It is also mentally challenging for your dog and you’ll find things that your dog does naturally that look amazing when set to music.

Obedience training

Find a local dog training class. There are many available that train both indoors and outdoors, which will help and your dog in everyday situations you come across. Dog training classes are good places to socialise your dog and chat with other owners and trainers to exchange ideas and anecdotes. Whatever your dog is doing, you’ll find that many other dogs have done the same thing too!

You can do little bite sized bits of obedience training on your walks and you’ll be amazed how much this makes a difference when you go to your class the next week. Big gold star from teacher!


There is more to flyball than just a lot of dogs barking with excitement. A flyball club will break down the whole process so that the dogs learn each bit separately and then when it comes together they can run, collect the ball and return safely. Like any training, this helps strengthen the bond between you and your dog.


Canicross is a new way for both owner and dog to become healthier and fitter has been growing in popularity since its introduction in 2000. ‘Canicross’ combines Canine and Cross Country running. A harness goes around the owner’s waist with a line that attaches to the dog’s harness. Just remember when you are out running to have breaks so that your dog can have a sniff, toilet and drink.


A lot of dogs love to swim, but some just love to paddle. Find somewhere that has an easy entry and exit point so your dog can enter the water safely and not panic if the bank is too steep when exiting. Also keep away from weeds where they can get tangled up and don’t throw anything into the water if you are not sure what is underneath the surface, you don’t want your dog to jump in and hurt themselves on anything. Provided you take precautions, your dog will have a great time messing about in the water.

Exercise / play with other dogs - Oakington Dog Day Care is perfect for this!

Yes, Doggie Day Care is perfect for socialising your dog with a variety of other dogs in a safe and secure environment. There are lots of toys, activities and interaction with doggie day care providers, as well as enjoying the company of other dogs both inside and outdoors. Your dog will come home happy and tired after their day with us.

Breed Specific Activities

Use breed clubs to find out about breed specific activities for your dog. These will harness the natural abilities of the breed and you will get a thrill by seeing what your dog does naturally. These, as other activities, work the dog physically and mentally and you will see their enjoyment in doing what comes naturally to them.

These are just a few examples of breed specific activities

  • Gundog training

  • Husky sled pulling

  • Newfoundland waterwork

  • Sheep dog trials

There are a lot of different approaches to see which activities and types of exercise suit you and your dog best. It is important to choose something your dog loves, but also make sure it fits into your lifestyle as well so you’re more likely to keep it up in the longer term.

Have fun with your dog!

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