Our New Adventure Dog: Zoe

Zoe the Adventure Dog is a yellow labrador retriever

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.
Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

I’ve always loved that quote from Groucho Marx and the idea that a dog is man’s best friend. My family had a dog when I was young, I took on a crazy dog that others couldn’t handle after college (one of the best dogs ever), and had dogs with my wife. After the last set, I wasn’t too keen on getting more dogs, just because of the expense, the work, and how it made travel more difficult.

My wife had other ideas. About a month ago, she brought home a new pup Zoe is a Yellow Labrador Retriever, looks like a bit like a polar bear cub and often sounds like a piglet. When she’s not sleeping, she’s cavorting and on the look for shoes, socks, chair legs and other good things to chew on.

It’s important to look at a variety of breeds when picking an adventure dog. Popular ones include Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shorthaired Pointers, Australian Cattle Dogs, Weimaraners, and Border Collies, among others, and the important thing is to choose the one that fits your lifestyle. Leave an active dog home unattended and you risk complete and utter destruction. Also, it’s just not fair to the dog.

With 4 children, we needed a family friendly dog. Since so much of our time outdoors is spent on trails and by the water, an athletic dog that likes the water was a must. Outdoor Life calls Labrador Retrievers “weatherproof, waterproof, and tenacious,” perfect for us.

Zoe the Adventure Dog is a yellow labrador retriever

While it wasn’t my idea, I’m warming up to our new adventure pup. (And think of all the new gear!) At around 3 months old, she’s no longer a tiny little ball of energy, but now is big enough to join us on bigger adventures (just recently she hiked around Devil’s Lake with us).

I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store: stand up paddle boarding, swimming, trail running, who knows?

Zoe the Adventure Dog is a yellow labrador retriever
Look at those paws!

An adventure dog doesn’t just happen naturally, of course, but takes training. The 4 basic obedience commands (heel, sit, stay, come) need to be ingrained into your pup before you move on to anything else. The training from there is a personal preference.

Including Zoe, we’ve used the Puppy Preschool book with basic training results that worked for us. For the adventure aspect of it, we’ll take the training as it comes, following her interests and comfort level. For a nice simple look at getting started, check out Teton Sports’ 6 Steps to Creating an Adventure Dog.

How about you? Tell me your adventure dog story!

Adventure Dog Gear:


20 thoughts on “Our New Adventure Dog: Zoe

  1. I think you got Zoe and we got Inkling around the same time. Ours is a handful, and since neither Clarissa or I have much experience with dogs, we’ve been the blind leading the blind. So far the pup enjoys the trail, but she hasn’t been happy about the snow situation!

    We did a lot of research and reading on dog training (I LOVE the Monks of New Skete books, btw), but because of our own inexperience, we’ve booked a couple of private sessions with a trainer, starting next week! Fingers crossed that we can train this unruly beast!

    1. Training is key – we’ve used the Puppy Preschool for our last 4 dogs and been very happy. Sessions are vital too, we are planning to take her soon.

  2. We have two adventure dogs – a 9 y.o. German Shorthaired Pointer named Rosemary and a 3 y.o. Vizsla named Sage. Both run with me, although not at the same time! Both love going to my mom’s farm and trekking on the many paths near our house. They are a good fit in our busy household and collectively produce 1/10th of the hair of one normal lab. Win/win!

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