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Unique ways to spend more time with your dog

Deirdre still can't believe SheKnows pays her to do what she loves. She began telling stories before she could even write. Once someone gave her a pen, there was no prying it away; so a degree in journalism was the only thing that made s...

Beyond playing fetch

Does Fido seem a little down lately? Maybe it's time you changed up his routine. We're sure he loves eating, sleeping and fetching, but maybe he'd rather be a dog about town. Perhaps it's time to schedule a K-9 friendly adventure.

Dogs are smarter than you think. (Well, some dogs, anyway.) And just like smart kids, they need to be properly engaged with challenges and activities or they get bored. You know what happens when they get bored: They look for their own entertainment. Don't let his boredom turn him into a "bad dog." Find ways to bond and play that are new and engaging.

Skydive

Who knew this was a thing? Rumor has it that even the military utilizes skydiving dogs. But you don't need to be a member of the 101st Airborne to take The General on the ride of his lifetime. You just need the nerve to jump from a plane once. This pooch seemed to enjoy it.

Visit hospitals

This may not be a unique option, but it's an important one. If your dog grew up with your family, he may be more lonely now that your kiddos have left for college. Once a week, you and the bird dog should try trading your empty nest for the hospital. It'll boost everyone's morale.

Learn to surf together

Whether you're already an avid surfer who leaves his pup on the shore or you're hoping to cross surfing off your bucket list, it's time to get your dog in the water. We've seen plenty of dogs (and even a cat) do it, so we're sure yours can, too.

Teach her to jump rope

Apparently, it can be done, though we're not sure how. You seem like a smart chick. You can figure it out. Or maybe just cuddle up with your lazy Labradoodle and pet its belly while getting in some belly laughs from pet videos.

Do yoga together

Thinking of joining the gym? Instead of spending yet another hour away from your little Buddha, look online for a yoga class you two can take together. Don't live in a cool enough town? Buy a video and do it at home.

Practice canine freestyle

We bet Fluffy has moves you've never even seen before. Turn on some Jason Derulo and practice your swagger together.

Teach him to track

Playing hide-and-seek with an item that smells like you can teach your dog how to track like crime dogs do. In winter, stick a Milk-Bone or other treat in a glove and bury it just beneath the surface of the snow. Can your pup find it?

Test her agility

One great way to bond with your dog is to create an obstacle course that you can do together. That could mean a professional-level setup, where you run beside the dog, or you could put together something more wacky and fun that you or the kids could do with your furry friend.

Get artsy

Need some new wall art? Dip your puppy's paws into some nontoxic finger paint and let her pace across the canvas board. Now that's a true family heirloom.

Plan a pooch-centered vacation

There's really no need to kennel your dog when you go on vacation. Small dogs can fly in carriers stashed under the seats on most airlines. And many hotels (including Hawthorne Suites) now cater to pets. Make the trip more special by planning activities specifically catered to your pup, like dog park visits or hiking.

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