A walk with your dog is a fantastic way to get some exercise and fresh air. Just walking however can get a little boring. We have all gotten into a rut from time to time where we just walk the same path day after day to keep up with our routine. Although our dogs love their walks and they would never dream of complaining, they can get bored from time to time with the same path, so here are some things that you may want to do with your dog to break up the monotony.
Take Away the Leash
Under the Road Traffic act not only is it illegal to let your dog off the lead along the road it is dangerous. Some parks have areas that dogs are not allowed off the lead (or may not be allowed at all). However, in North London we are blessed with lots of places such as Dollis Brook, Hampstead Heath, Coldfall Woods and Highgate Woods to name but a few that you can let your dog off the lead.
Dogs spend a lot of their lives restricted and there are times where they need to be allowed to walk on their own in a suitable area( never on the road or pavement) It may make you nervous at first, but after some time your dog will respond to your voice making your leash less walks less stressful. It is also worth contacting a local dog trainer such as Tip Top Dog School so that your dog will recall when you call him and not pull when he is on the lead
Even if your walk will be along the same path you can make it a little more enjoyable by walking in a different path or changing the speed of your stride. The dog may be a little confused at first and you might get a few looks from passersby, but he will catch on following your movement, and who really cares what others think.
Every walk can be made a little more enjoyable with a toy along. Bring a toy that will enable you and your dog to play a game. Many catch and retrieval games are enjoyable for dogs and do not take a lot of time to play. Even if you are not in the best shape for running due to age or poor health you can still play these games with your dog because he will be doing most of the work anyway.
Training is an important part of owning a dog. Even if you have your dog trained for practically everything you wish him to do you can still train him for fun activities. Even a short training endeavor will enable your walk to be broken up and less mundane. Dogs like to be challenged and they have the ability to learn far more than most humans allow them to. Give them a chance to expand their horizons with a little extra training.
Praise the Dog
Dogs have to be trained to walk with humans. It is in the dog’s curious nature to want to walk ahead thereby pulling their owner along for the ride. It may be easy to control a dog that is of a smaller breed, but much larger breeds have a stronger pull and if they get excited they can literally pull their owner down or get away from them completely. This is dangerous for the dog if you are walking him on a busy street, but more dangerous for the owner who can be hurt during one of these pulling feats. While walking your dog it is important that you let them know when you are pleased with their behaviour through praise.
Go Somewhere Completely Different
In the monotony of our daily walks with our dogs we seem to forget about other places that we can take them. For some owners this may be a little stressful for fear that your dog could get away from you in not so familiar surroundings. If this sounds like you just be sure to use a harness or a restraint system that enables you to have more control making it less likely that the dog will get away. There are other places all over the map that are just waiting to be explored and your dog will appreciate the new sights as well as the new smells he gets to enjoy. Why not try Dollis Brook
Trail of Treats
For a very fun way to break up a walk try making the dog a trail with treats. Tie your dog to a stationary object within a park and walk around dropping treats in random places throughout a specific area of the park. Go back and get the dog and allow him to find the treats using his own nose. You can lead him around or if you are comfortable with it, let your dog off of the lead for a true hunting experience.
Walks are wonderful ways to allow owner and dog to bond. It may not always be easy to stay out of a rut while walking your dog, but it is important to try new things to break up the routine. Your dog will appreciate the differences and you may actually run into some other dog owners that are trying the same things and strike up a friendship from simply changing things up.