Looking for the opportunity to meet up with other dog owners and their dogs to walk around Canberra? Want to do more than just stand around in a dog park or dog off leash oval while your dog does all the exercising?
Actually walking your dog around a variety of different areas provides lots of benefits. Your dog encounters new and different smells. He/she is also exposed to a wide range of experiences typical of an urban environment - all important for a healthy, calm dog.
Walking is probably the best all-round exercise for human cardiovascular and mental health so dog owners get a big benefit too!
When you combine a walk with other people and other dogs, it gets even better. Your dog has a chance to socialise, as well as practice good on-leash and off-leash behaviour. You get to meet like-minded people who love their dogs. And maybe even get some advice or help with doggie issues.
The Canberra community offers several options for people keen to walk their dogs in the company of others.
Here's our top suggestions for Canberra dog walking groups. Click on the title to link to more info.
Yes, this is our very own Canberra Dog Walks meetup group. We schedule regular social group walks most weeks, usually following a favourite Canberra Dog Walks route. That means an off-leash opportunity (for reasonably obedient, well-socialised dogs); interesting stuff for humans like great views, historic buildings and cool sculptures; and an optional coffee at a dog friendly café at the end of the walk.
We run these on a not-for-profit basis and ask a very modest $5.20 from each participating adult to help towards our costs.
Go to the meetup page to see more info. Join up (it's free) if you'd like to know about, and rsvp for, upcoming walks.
The veterinary clinic at the Curtin shops organises a walk every Saturday morning at 7.30 am. The route takes about 45 minutes following a loop through Curtin's pretty off-leash areas, although most walkers keep their dogs on-leash. You don't need to register ahead of time; just turn up by 7.30 at the clinic at 31-35 Curtin Place (located at the far end of the car park adjacent to Theodore Street).
It's easy to track down this super friendly club - just follow the enthusiastic woofs! All beagles, part-beagles and 'honorary beagles' (any other dogs) are welcome. Group walks are usually held on the first Sunday each month. The club also organises play dates, scent hunts, sports days, and more. See the club's Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No teddy bears - but cute, adorable pugs are welcome at the Pugs Picnic organised by Jenny Tiffen at Yarralumla Dog Park at 3.00 pm on the second Sunday of each month. Of course ALL pugs are cute and adorable so if you have a pug, don't miss out on next month's picnic. Details and more info at the Pugs Picnic Canberra Facebook page.
A whippet whirlwind! How else would you describe a large number of high energy super canine athletes getting together in one spot? You can brave the whirlwind at Yarralumla Dog Park on the last Sunday of each month at 10.30 am. This informal, welcoming group also participates in an annual worldwide whippet walk. Details and more info at the Whippets of Canberra Facebook page.
'Personality plus' is how dachshund owners would describe their gods - er - we mean dogs. This friendly dog loving group meets mostly monthly on a Saturday or Sunday at 2.00 pm at the Yarralumla Dog Park, and other outings for special events like Floriade. Details and more info at the group's website page and Facebook page.
Other dog walking groups
For other breed get-togethers, try searching Facebook or the internet using the search terms 'Canberra' or 'ACT' and the breed of your dog.
There are also many off-leash areas in Canberra (not enclosed dog parks) where locals come regularly to exercise their dogs, and where you may meet other dog owners who are interested in a local walk.
See our blog on Canberra off leash meeting places for ideas about where to start.