Take your dog to a (dog) forest
Dogs love freedom and running. Here in Finland, this is a bit of a problem for many dog owners because, according to the Public Order Act, dogs must be kept on a leash in built-up areas. In addition, the Hunting Act stipulates that dogs must be kept on a leash when outdoors between 1 March and 19 August. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that wild animals are not disturbed during their breeding season.
Fortunately, there are several fenced dog forests where dogs can always run free. Dog forests are safe fenced areas where you can enjoy nature together with your dog. You can also use the area for practicing various useful skills without being slowed down by the leash. We interviewed Varpu Halonen, the owner of the Rallatus dog forest, to find out what dog forests offer. Varpu told us what Rallatus is and why she established it.
Fenced dog forests are a safe place for training or playing with your dog and meeting friends. Thanks to the fences, you can let your dog off the leash without having to worry about it running after a wild animal or a passerby. After booking a time slot, you will have the entire forest to yourself. You can spend time there just with your dog or perhaps you would like to bring a larger group of friends with you. For many dog owners, it is important that they don’t have to worry about running into other dogs if their dog does not get along with them. The dog forest is also a good place for various types of games, so make sure to bring some toys with you.
Dogs need a lot of exercise, and running free is the best way to improve their level of fitness. Running is an excellent form of exercise and it improves your dog’s coordination and strengthens its muscles. Dogs love running, and it makes them more energetic. In a forest, dogs can take their time to sniff and explore the environment off the leash. Nature also helps us humans relax – just listen to the birds singings and enjoy the smell of the forest.
More information about Rallatus:
- Located in Leppälahti, Jyväskylä
- 2 hectares in size
- Parking spaces for 10 cars
- Campfire hut and firewood
- Two picnic tables
- The fences have been embedded deep in the ground so dogs cannot dig a hole and escape.
- Waste containers for food wrappers and poop bags.
Five fun activities to do in the dog forest
- Fetch! Find an open area where you can throw a ball or a frisbee. Reward your dog generously with your Train’N’Treat when it drops the toy.
- Calming down. Try to make your dog calm down in an environment full of interesting things. If you are successful, reward your dog generously with your Train’N’Treat.
- Try a scent game. Hide a piece of food or a toy in the forest. Give your dog a scent-based clue and say “Go find.” If you have never done this at home or indoors, start with an easy activity. If your dog understands what is going on and finds the treasure, reward it generously with your Train’N’Treat.
- Basic obedience training. Are you able to get your dog’s attention? Does your dog listen to your commands? Does your dog sit down when you say “Sit”? Does it walk next to you when off the leash? Stay! Whenever you are successful, reward your dog generously with your Train’N’Treat.
- Run wild! For once, your dog is allowed to run as fast as it can. Let your dog enjoy the rush of excitement. How does your dog react when it is allowed to run wild and even gets rewarded for it? Always have your Train’N’Treat with you when playing with your dog.
Have a slicely funnier summer in the forest!
Here you can find 25 amazing dog parks in Finland (link below)