A big part of having fun with your dog can be taking him or her to an off-leashed park. We tend to go to the ones in Lake County (even though I live in Cook County) because they are abundant in variety and in terrain. You can join dog parks that are out of your county for a fairly modest fee that covers 12 months per year. And we use it 12 months per year, weather permitting.
It's my little piece of heaven, and my dogs' as well. We spend at least 2 hours there on our visits, meeting up with other people who are passionate about their dogs and, of course, their dogs as well. The benefits of these experiences speak for themselves. Other than getting exercise for myself, dogs play with other dogs if they want; dogs walk with owners if they want; dogs get very dirty if they want; dogs come home exhausted (at least for a short while). OK, enough of the pros. There is one big, huge, even mammoth CON. The series of pictures below will speak better of the con than I ever could. But if you look at the last photo, there is ONE BIG GRIN ON WIGGLEBUTT DUNCAN!
But all said, it makes for a great bonding experience and is tremendous fun other than the cleanup. These photos were taken at the Lake Forest Dog Park, located on Waukegan Road, north of Route 22 and south of Old Elm Road on the east side of the street. Maybe you'll join us there someday. Enjoy.