Kygo and I are discovering Dutch destinations that welcome wags and woofs…
“Can my dog come?” Is a phrase I ask often.
It’s no secret that well-behaved dogs have more freedom. Putting your training to the test in real life situations builds confidence and reinforcement history at both ends of the leash. I like to seize every opportunity possible. A dog will benefit from exposure and training in a variety of social situations. They become a balanced canine citizen to be proud of and one that gets to explore the world at your side. All those scents never sniffed and stimuli never seen are exciting and engaging. Enrichment and exposure are essential pieces of the training puzzle to achieve a successful bond built on trust, communication, understanding and love.
Luckily, The Netherlands is generally very dog-friendly. Bars, cafe’s and even shops will welcome wet noses with a smile…and often house a secret stash of dog cookies behind the scenes.
Train don’t complain is our motto for a reason. Practice, proof and repeat.
In this series of blog entries, we share our adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to take your dog too – and maybe, just maybe motivate other businesses into allowing four paws access to their event or premises.
So, without further ado, here is our very first Dog Day Out Entry…
DESTINATION: Brederode Castle – Sandpoort Zuid, North Holland.
ENTRY FEE: Humans: 5.00 EUR pp. Dogs: FREE
PARKING: Yes. Free next to the entrance.
Brederode Castle dates back to the 13th century and boasts a long history. If you fancy stepping back in time and wandering a smaller yet impressive piece of the past in a beautiful location, Brederode ticks the boxes. The ruins became the first national monument of The Netherlands and is one of the first restorations conducted by the government.
Just entering the grounds is a confidence course to conquer. Navigating narrow bridges over water was a challenge for Kygo but one that he overcame quickly once those front paws made contact with the help of luring and target training. (Never underestimate the power of these training techniques people!) King Ky always prevails!
There are various areas in the castle that require concentration and ultimately a good understanding of proprioception (body awareness) from your pooch. Climbing and descending aged, spiralling, brick staircases for example. It’s a bit of a workout but the beautiful view you are rewarded with once you reach the top of the tower is worth every effort.
There are a few items on display to view inside the castle. Think medieval torture devices, weapons and various contraptions that were uncovered on the grounds. (I found it pretty cool but I’m a geek like that.)
There is also a small cafe offering hot and cold beverages and snacks located just in front of the main bridge next to the water. The coffee was great, the staff were awesome and very attentive to our Kygo – asking if we wanted water for him (we always carry our own bottle and bowl) and if they could greet him. They complimented his good behaviour along with other visitors inside the castle walls which is always great reinforcement for us!
Brederode Castle is certainly a hidden gem and due to its size, does not take particularly long to scout the area. Throw in a cuppa and a light snack and you’re looking at around a 1.5 – 2 hour total visit. We highly recommend checking it out (as well as the rest of our photos below!)
If you do go and explore, make sure you tag us on social media so we can see what you and your dog get up to. If you have any questions or know a place we should visit, please don’t be shy. Oh yeah and keep an eye open for our next Dog Days Out post! 🙂