I am always looking for fun things to do with my six dogs (4 deaf and 2 hearing) so I decided to come up with a fun list for you all to get your wheels turning to think about including your dogs in your plans this upcoming Labor Day weekend. I hope you implement some of these ideas and have fun with your pups in the month of September.
10 Fun Things To Do With Your Deaf and Hearing Dogs on Labor Day Weekend
1.Buy your dog a new sprinkler or kiddie pool. This time of year the kiddie pools and sprinklers are on sale. Go buy a pool and a sprinkler and set up a little dog themed “water park” party. Invite friends and their dogs over for a fun water themed party. Provide refreshments and snacks for your human guests.
2. Make some frozen treats for your dogs. Since we are going into an Indian Summer with temps still in the 90’s think about making frozen dog treats. This is a fun way to treat your dog with home made treats so you know they are made with love and completely safe. Click here to read 10 Frozen Treats For Your Pets To Eat.
3. While the weather is still warm and pleasant do some scent tracking games with your deaf dogs. Hide a couple of high value treats in the back yard (out in the plain sight to start) and give the sign, “go find the treat”. Once your deaf dog gets good at finding the treats in plain view, make it a little harder each time.
4. Teach your deaf dog a new trick. Start slowly by showing your deaf dog the new “sign” then lure your pup into place with a high value treat. When the dog does what you ask, then give a “thumbs up” sign, a smile and a treat. Be sure to repeat the entire process over and over. Remember to repeat, repeat, repeat. Think about breaking the frisbee out and teaching your dog the new trick of catching and playing frisbee.
5. Take your dog on an early morning hike (before it gets hot outside). Although most national parks allow dogs on trails be sure to check the park’s rules before you go. Many cities have Greenways or nice walking trails that allow dogs on a leash. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, poop bags and a first aid kit.
6. Take your deaf dog shopping! The pet stores usually have ROCKING sales on the Labor Day weekend. If your dogs are like mine they love to go into Petsmart and pick out a toy. I let them go up and down the toy isle and pick out a few toys on their own. This way they usually stay interested in the toy they’ve pick out verses a toy I pick out for them.
7. Think about taking a Staycation with your dogs. Most dogs love to ride in the car and we have so many great historical parks in Virginia. Be sure to pack a picnic basket, a ball, frisbee, dog treats and a back pack with some goodies for all of you. Also always check in advance to make sure dogs are welcome to the destination your are planning on visiting. We try to keep the drive within a two hour drive each way.
8. Have a drink with your dog. Here in Virginia we have vineyards and microbreweries which provide large seating and tasting areas outside. Most wineries and microbreweries will allow you to bring Fido but be sure to check their website for information or give them a call to make sure you can bring your dog.
9. Find or plan a doggy meet up with your neighbors, friends, or family. Check out your local dog parks if your deaf dog enjoys the company of other dogs. Many times we will invite other deaf dog families out her to the farm where we have the Deaf Dogs Rock Dog Park for them to run and play.
10. Do a Photo session with your dog with you being the photographer. I once read you can improve your dog photography 100% just by putting a little extra effort into the detail of getting prepared. Make sure you practice a lot of “sit and wait” when you feed your dog. By practicing “sit and wait” often, you will make your job of taking photos enjoyable and your dog will be much more relaxed. Be sure to bring high value treats to your personal “photo session”, your deaf dog will sit and wait when you sign for him/her to do so. Make sure you bring a couple of your dog’s favorite dog toys to throw (for action shots). Also be sure you have high value treats (I use Oscar Meyer Light Bologna cut into small pieces) so when you ask your deaf dog to sit, you can hold the treat just above the camera lens and get a good shot of your deaf dog looking right into your camera.
Photo above: Our little deaf Boston Terrier Bowie snoozing. I could not believe I got this shot of his tushie and wabbit feet!
Above: Our mini-photo shoot on the front porch with our deaf dogs Bowie, Bowie and Cornell
Set up and Instagram page for you and your dog and share photos with everyone. You can connect with other deaf dog families on Instagram by searching the #deafdogsrock hashtag. Follow our official Deaf Dogs Rock Instagram page by clicking here.