Top dog-friendly adventures

We love our adventures in the great outdoors almost as much as we love our four-legged friends. Check out some of the best ideas for dog-friendly adventures, bought to you by our friends at Land Rover Explore.

Camping

Dogs make camping more fun every time, even if they don’t help with your sleep, or cleanliness. There is something primal about camping out with dogs. They are natural camp guards and enjoy the experience as much as the rest of the team.

Dogs camping

Pros
New smells, new friends and bbq treats, the excitement is infectious.
Need to know
It means carrying extra supplies such as dog food and towels if you’re hiking and being vigilant to prevent scavenging if you’re camping around other people.
Top tip
If you’re serious about sleeping, create a space for your dog in your tent’s porch and not inside.

Canicross (dog-running)

This is the sport of cross-country running with your dog. Unlike your evening jog where Fido’s doing his own thing, canicross requires that you work together. Dogs are harnessed and lead the way, attached by an elastic leash to the runner, who drives the dog with voice commands.

Canicross

Pros
Canicross really lets you develop a working relationship with your dog and is great for both of your fitness.
Need to know
It doesn’t suit all breeds, especially dogs that love to run around in circles or dive into the nearest hedgerow. More info here.
Top tip
Teach your dog mushers’ commands: “Gee” is go right and “Haw” is left.

Wild swimming

Swimming out in the open – it’s invigorating, re-energising and one of the most popular ways to reconnect with nature. Dogs also love a paddle.

Dog swimming

Pros
Being able to take your dog on your amphibious adventures and not leave them behind.
Need to know
Don’t allow your dog to swim too close – unless you want to look like you’ve been pawed by a bear. Dogs’ claws are sharp. Consider wearing an old wetsuit.
Top tip
Get a proper harness for your dog so you can help them out of the water safely.

Country hikes and dog-friendly pubs

There are few things in life more pleasurable than a country walk with your dog before retiring to a traditional pub.

Dog and owner in field

Pros
Happiness is a cask ale beside a fire after a long walk, with your dog at your feet.
Need to know
Search for dog-friendly pubs using the Good Pub Guide and here's some routes to get your started.
Top tip
Have a towel handy. Even dog-friendly pubs will appreciate you giving your dog a quick rub-down before entering.

Stand-up paddleboarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is one of the fastest-growing watersports – and there’s no reason four-paws can’t join you too. The only skill required of your dog is an ability to sit still, which gets incrementally more important the bigger your dog. The more your dog moves about, the less stable you are.

Dog on SUP

Pros
The amused looks from other SUPs.
Need to know
Having a dog who loves swimming is not necessarily a good thing as getting them back on board can be a challenge. Never pull by the collar – invest in a harness.
Top tip
Try a doggie SUP lesson in North Wales.

Long-distance trails

Your dog has evolved over millennia to cover huge distances across the wild – just like you. There’s no reason your dog can’t accompany you on a longer hike such as the Pennine Way. Or split longer routes into smaller sections to take in some of the best spots along the way.

Dog hiking with owner

Pros
On a long-distance hike, you always need someone to talk to. Your dog is a faithful listener.
Need to know
Make sure you do your homework wherever you go. Some parks require your dog to be on a lead and only allow them in certain areas.
Top tip
Invest in a good set of doggy panniers so your pooch can pull their own weight.

And remember, whichever way you choose to enjoy the great outdoors together with your four-legged friends, make sure you do it responsibly.

To find your next route, check out OS Maps in your local area.



Thanks to our friends at Land Rover Explore for this blog. Discover their stories to help you #ExploreMore here.

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