Urban Agility Fun With Your Dog September 09 2015
Now that the weather's starting to cool off.... well it was 97 in NYC today but in 2 days it'll be cooling off.... so in 2 days we can start to stay out longer with our heat sensitive dogs in the city. But why just walk the same 'ol neighborhood on the same 'ol streets with the same 'ol smells? I like to keep my dog moving while we're out because around here we have what I call "doggie takeout" just about anywhere you look. Lots of restaurants and somehow food always finds it's wall to the street!
I used to do agility training with Starr when she was a rambunctious puppy and needed to expend energy and ramp on training, but agility isn't easy in the city with the space constraints. That's when I thought, why not take it to the streets! Our city - and really any setting - is full of faux-gility obstacles and challenges, if you just use your imagination! You don't have to buy any fancy equipment and repeat the same things over and over.
Around here some of our favorite obstacles and challenges are small fencing around our little tree plots lining city streets, low-ish (Starr can actually jump really, really high - i.e. she jumped into the pizza place service window at my shoulder height when she was a puppy) chain fences around some grassy areas in parks, traffic cones found all over the place, bike racks along the sidewalks to lock up bikes (see photo), steps around the amphitheater and the benches around it. You get the picture. One type of bike rack we have here (not pictured) actually mimics weaving poles. Get creative and the possibilities are endless. Adapt activity to your dog's individual needs and tolerance. Even at a low level of physical activity, the mental stimulation is a work out - for you both.
What great urban faux-gility ideas do you have? Tell us in the comments.