Fall is one of the best times in Central Texas to get out and have some fun with your dog. The weather is great and the weekends are full of dog-friendly events. Check out a few below. What are we missing? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add to the Pet Friendly blog on statesman.com and to upcoming calendars.
The Mid-town Muttminster is a dog show with an Austin twist. Instead of purebreds, mutts are celebrated as they compete in seven categories, culminating in one winner, the Mighty Mutt 2012. Registration is closed for competition, but adults, kids and their dogs (on leash) are welcome at the event, which also will have music, food and pet-friendly vendors. The whole thing benefits Austin Pets Alive, which will have dogs available for adoption on site. Free to attend. 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Brush Square Park, 409 E. Fifth St. www.midtownmuttminster.com.
Dogtoberfest is all about celebrating dog rescue groups and having some fun. New this year is a Dogtobertrot — a 1K “run” around the Domain for dogs and their two-legged companions. Registration for that is $25. With a costume contest, weiner dog races, silent auction, demonstrations, vendors and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Domain. Free to attend (donations are tax deductible). www.dogtoberfestaustin.org.
Camping (and hiking) with your dog can be great fun (Ginger and I have gone five or six times now, including three trips to Colorado). I learned any outdoor skills I have through trips with the Canine Center for Training and Behavior (of which I’m a longtime client). The trainers and staff there are offering an overnight camping “dress rehearsal” at the center in Oak Hill for folks who are interested but perhaps a little nervous about sleeping in a tent or how their dog might do. Meals will be provided, and, of course, there will be lessons on hiking, training fun and other activities. 4:30 p.m. Oct. 20 to 11 a.m. Oct. 21. $100 for one person and dog, $135 for two people and a dog. morefunthandirt.com.
For Pit Bull Awareness Day, the folks at Austin Love-A-Bull will have their annual Texas-Sized Pittie Parade. Tons of dog-friendly vendors, trainers, rescue groups and more will be at the following festival, which also features special guests from Animal Planet’s “Pit Bulls and Parolees.” Assemble for the parade —all breeds are welcome — at 11:30 a.m. in the Statesman’s parking lot, 305 S. Congress Ave. The parade starts at noon and goes down Congress Avenue to Republic Square Park at Fifth and Guadalupe streets. The festival, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. Go to love-a-bull.org for more information and details on the Oct. 27 VIP kickoff party.
Run for the Rovers includes a Kids K at 8 a.m., followed by a 5K at 8:30 a.m. Your four-legged “kid” can run with you, too. Registration will open soon for the event, which benefits Blue Dog Rescue. Old Settlers Park, 3300 Palm Valley Blvd. in Round Rock. Go to www.runfortherovers.org or bluedogrescue.com to register and pricing.
The Schrodi Training Fund is a dog training scholarship started by Shari Elkins to honor the dog that brought her into the professional dog training world. Run Like the Wind is the yearly fundraiser for the fund, which is overseen by the Animal Trustees of Austin and helps folks who can’t afford training. You have some options: 5K run, 5K walk/run, Kids K and distance runs of 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours (registration fee varies by event), with the whole thing starting at 8 a.m. Best bid auction, plus vendors and other dog activities, all at the Canine Center for Training and Behavior in Oak Hill. Well-behaved dogs on 6-foot leashes are welcome (no retractable leashes, pinch or choke collars) and can participate in the 5 and 1 K events. schrodifund.org/RunLiketheWind.htm.