activities to do at dog parks

Looking for activities to do at dog parks?

Spending time at the park with your woofer doesn't need to be routine and dull.

He will not only get the exercise he needs from different activities, but these can also help him develop certain skills—agility and obedience, for example!

But the best thing is that you can strengthen your bond with your dog by engaging in these activities.

So, if your pooch becomes bored with the same daily walk, spice it up with one of these enjoyable activities to do at dog parks!

Ready to have fun? Then let’s get started!

9 Activities To Do At Dog Parks

Did you know that Fido can do a lot more fun activities at the dog park other than running?

Well, most of the listed below involve running—but only MORE fun because they boost your woofer’s mental skills!

What could be more exciting for your furbaby than romping freely in a green space with his dog buddies?

If you’re looking for what to do on your next park visit, here are 9 fun activities to do at dog parks for your pup’s exercise!

1. Play Fetch or Frisbee

One of the traditional dog park pastimes is playing fetch with Fido.

It strengthens your bond, keeps him active, entertains and exhausts him, and is a lot of fun!

It’s an opportunity for your furbaby to use his instincts for chasing and retrieving.

Plus, it can help dogs who might otherwise be prone to destructive actions reduce anxiety.

To play, just toss a toy for them to fetch.

It might be a stick, a ball, or a frisbee.

Your pup will become enthusiastic and chase the object to get it!

Make sure to give your dog a treat or a head rub each time he brings the toy to you.

He needs to know he's doing a great job!

Remember to choose areas of the dog park with little activity so your pooch can exercise safely.

The likelihood of your dog becoming distracted or overexcited increases as more people and dogs are nearby. 

SUGGESTED READ: How To Train A Dog To Fetch: An Easy-To-Follow Video Guide

activities to do at dog parks walking and jogging

2. Go for a Walk or Jog

You can always count on your canine friend when you want a jogging or walking partner!

Spending time with your dog will help you burn calories, build muscle, and enhance your health.

Plus, your dog will find a lot of sights, noises, and smells to explore in the park.

Mental stimulation allows him to be less bored, which helps to prevent bad behaviors.

We'd also want to add that you must pack the appropriate equipment for exercising safely when walking and running.

RELATED: How to Keep Your Dogs Safe on Daily Walks

Bring the Right Supplies

Unless you are at fenced dog parks, keep your dog close to you at all times by using a leash.

Also, remember to carry enough fresh water for each of you to drink while you are walking or running. 

This is necessary because not all dog parks have water fountains for your pup.

We advise securing a backpack filled with first aid supplies for your woofer for additional safety.

Include paw balm, and don't run around too much unless your dog's delicate feet have been trained to tolerate rough surfaces.

RELEVANT READ: How To Tell If Your Dog Is Dehydrated?

Precautions on the Trail

Usually, off-leash dog parks have trails for fur parents and their dogs to follow.

Be alert for any signs that your furry child needs rest.

They can be as minor as excessive panting, increased salivation, or slowing down.

Honor your dog's desire for a break by giving him water and some time to cool off.

RELATED: What Causes Dogs to Pant Excessively?

best way to exercise your dog catching tennis ball

3. Automatic Ball Launchers

Want your four-legged friend to play independently?

While other dog parks include tennis ball launchers in their amenities, others don’t have them, unfortunately.

But don’t worry!

If you can't participate in the fun with your dog for any reason but still want him to be active and content outside, you might want to consider buying a throwing ball machine.

Any launcher will let you relax while it does all the work—while your furbaby enjoys themselves to the fullest!

For your convenience, we found the best ball launchers you can bring to the dog park. 

Considering their main advantages, such as range, ball capacity, and portability, these are the best we can recommend!

SUGGESTED READ: 5 Safest Tennis Balls for Dogs

4. Play Tug-of-War or Rope Pull

But I heard tug-of-war teaches dogs bad behavior!

Don't allow ‘dog tug-of-war myths’ to stop you from playing this enjoyable activity with your furry buddy!

If you don’t prefer running much, it’s one of the activities to do at dog parks to burn surplus energy.

Contrary to the myths, tug-of-war may bring out the best in your dog when played properly.

Researchers actually looked into how this activity changed dogs' dominance and bonding patterns toward their furry parents.

When playing one-on-one with their owner, the dogs were shown to be more confident.

They also found that if a dog's fur parent started a tug-of-war, the dog was less likely to act aggressively.

See? This is why it's essential to establish the “rules of the game” up front!

SUGGESTED READ: If You Have a Tugger, Chewer, or Swimmer, This Toy is What You Need

Tips To Establish A Dynamic Tug-of-War Session With Fido

  • Always tug from side to side, not up and down.  Fido's neck may get hurt from the up-and-down motion.
  • Don’t overdo it. Be gentle! When playing tug of war, consider your furbaby's size.
  • Pick a toy that both you and your dog can grip comfortably. For you both, soft, flexible material is ideal.
  • Your dog must drop the toy when you tell him to. Teach Fido to “drop it” to reinforce the rule that he must stop when instructed.

Important: Since your puppy's teeth, jaws, and mouth are still developing and changing, you should avoid playing tug of war with him. Bite problems may result from excessive tugging.

activity for dogs at dog park flirt pole

5. Use a Flirt Pole

Using a flirt pole on your four-legged buddy is one of the fun activities to do at dog parks.

How can I use it on my dog, though?

It’s a piece of cake; you just have to swing it around! 

That’s why we recommend doing it outdoors, such as in dog parks, as it involves jumping and running!

By motivating your pup to chase the toy at the end of the lure as it swings around, this entertaining game uses his prey instinct.

Flirt poles are a terrific way to exercise your dog while also teaching it patience and self-control.

If DIY is your thing and you have the time in the world, this is how you can make one. 

How To Make A Flirt Pole

  1. Buy a 3/4″ PVC pipe, 10-15 feet of rope, and a dog toy for a medium-sized or large dog.
  2. To prevent the rope from slipping in and out of the pipe, thread it through it and knot each end.
  3. Tie a toy to the end of the rope.
  4. Optional: Buy fun-colored electrical tape in funky patterns to wrap around the PVC pipe.

Note: Never flirt with a dog who has joint or hip dysplasia.

6. Play Hide and Seek

No matter where you are in the world, everyone can play this!

But unlike the traditional hide-and-seek you played as a child with other kids, you will hide from your dog!

Your dog cannot count aloud, so you must tell him when to look for you.

Let's get started by going over the game's rules and guidelines! 

How To Play Hide-and-Seek With Your Dog

  1. Leave your woofer in a particular area in the park. Put him in sit/stay command before allowing him to find you. Then hide. 
  2. Pick a spot that isn't too challenging at first—try hiding behind a nearby tree since you're in the dog park. You want your woofer to find you!
  3. Call him. Do this with happiness and enthusiasm.
  4. When Fido eventually finds you, give him praise and treats.
  5. Repeat a few times until the concept becomes clear. Once your dog understands, you ought to be able to stop giving him goodies.

You might grow tired of hiding at some point.

If you want, you can hide your dog's favorite toy or treat to make the game more challenging.

7. Go Swimming

Well, who wouldn't enjoy jumping into the lake on a beautiful day after an exhausting game of fetch?

Swimming is also one of the exciting activities to do at dog parks!

Luckily, some dog parks feature swimming pools, ponds, and dog beaches where your pup can cool off.

Have we mentioned that your goofball may benefit most from swimming as a cardiac exercise?

It greatly improves his general health by giving him an aerobic workout that tones his muscles!

So, what are you waiting for? 

Include this on your ‘to-do’ list so your dog can have an aquatic adventure after long walks on the park trail and fun games in the grass.

RELATED: How To Dry A Dog After Bathing or Swimming

fun activities for dogs agility courses

8. Make an Agility Course

Are you looking for a fun way to bond with your athletic woofer and put his instincts to work?

For active woofers, there are various agility dog parks that provide equipment like tunnels, poles, see-saws, A-frames, jumps, and more!

It's a fun activity you can do with your goofball to get both of you physically and mentally active.

But do you know what my favorite benefit is?

The increased teamwork and trust that comes with completing multiple obstacle courses. 

So, we urge you to give it a shot as well!

Indeed, this is one of the thrilling activities to do at dog parks (even heartwarming to watch as you run off side by side).

Make sure that Fido is off-leash so he can be more confident and work his body freely.

RELEVANT READ: Dog Agility Competition: Pros and Cons

9. Enjoy a Picnic

Last but not least, there is no reason you cannot enjoy a picnic at locations close to dog parks.

We say “close” because you don’t want other dogs to get a whiff of the goodies in your basket, right?

Nobody likes to cause a fuss!

After all the running and playing you did, your furbaby will eventually become exhausted.

In order to help him have a great day, you might want to add a picnic session.

For his main meal, be sure to bring Fido's regular food. Bring along his bed or blanket as well, if you can.

He can relax or take a quick nap if you put it under a tree that provides shade.

But hold on—there are still some factors to consider when selecting a picnic location that welcomes dogs.

How To Choose A Dog-Friendly Picnic Spot 

  • Check to see whether dogs are welcome and if picnics are permitted. Choose a location that permits dogs before packing your things into the car and driving off.
  • Avoid poisonous plants. Although they may be pretty, always watch your furbaby when they are among unfamiliar plants.
  • Find some shade. Utilize the park's areas that are shaded by trees!
  • Skip off the off-leash dog park. Having your picnic close to a park is preferable so that Fido can have a snack and rest immediately afterward.

RELATED: Flowers Toxic For Dogs: 10 Beautiful Plants That You Should Look Out For

activities to do at dog parks

Activities To Dog At Dog Parks: DOs and DON’Ts

Indeed, there are a lot of fun activities to do at dog parks that boost our dogs’ health.

But in order to enjoy them, you must adhere to a few rules so that Fido can play peacefully with his other dog friends.

What are these? 

Below are the DOs and DON’Ts you should remember before letting your canine friend loose in dog parks.



Do ensure polite introductions (with canines and humans) are made – this is an important dog park safety tip. Don’t let Fido run full pelt toward a group of dogs he hasn’t met before – you don’t want hostile dogs to chase your furball.
Do always pay attention to your dog – you don’t want him to engage in dog fights. Don’t be immersed in your phone or chatting with other fur parents – neglecting your furbaby may get you both in trouble!
Bring your dog's water bottle and goodies with you – some dog parks don’t have water fountains or stations. Don’t share treats and water with other dogs – they might have dog allergies or diseases you’re unaware of.
Do bring your trained and fully vaccinated dog – this means less trouble! Don’t bring your unvaccinated and untrained puppy – they risk contracting diseases from dog parks and becoming prey to larger dogs.

SUGGESTED READ: Mistakes Dog Owners Make In Dog Parks

Activities To Do At Dog Parks: Summing Up

Some dogs require more mental and physical activity than a usual leash walk can offer.

Who would’ve thought that there were many more fun activities to do at dog parks?

There are several activities to enjoy, such as agility courses, fetch, swimming in lakes and pools, and playing in the sun.

Whatever you decide to do with your energetic goofball, remember to take frequent breaks.

Once the plan is set and all the gear is ready, let the adventure begin!

If you’re up for trying something new on your next park visit, try any of these dog park activities to keep your dog’s tail wagging!


How Aubrey describes love is a wet nose and a happy tail. She now has over a year of experience writing about canines with a particular emphasis on health and behavior. She enjoys sharing dog tips, fun facts, and pet med topics, among other things. Her passion for both writing and dogs inspired her to share her knowledge and experience with other dog parents so they could provide the greatest care for their pets. She also stands against alpha, leader, and dominance theories. She believes there’s no need to do extra things like eating prior to your dogs.