Going on a walk is a very special time for you and your dog. So here how you can make this time way more fun for you both.
1 – Take a different route.
Go and explore streets and squares you’ve never been before; if you live by the sea, a different beach, or go in-land; and if in the country, a different field, another path. If you go too far, find a pub and have a quick break.
You can also do the same route as usual but backwards.
2 – Go at different times.
Dogs like routine (humans do too), so for 4 weeks keep going out at the same time every day. Then change the routine, and for the next four weeks keep another walk-time schedule.
3 – Go on Sniff Walks.
It can be infuriating when your dog stops at every single lamppost or tree to have a sniff, but remember their sense of smell is so developed, it is really important to them; it is an important social activity and a great mental stimulation. So go on Sniff Walks sometimes. It might take you half an hour (if not more) to go to the end of your street and back, but it is a brilliant way to give your dog something else to concentrate on. You can use a longer lead for that type of walk to give your dog a little more freedom around you.
We have lavender outside our house in London, and I love when my dog stops to get a good sniff of it just before getting back inside.
4 – Different destination.
If you are on your way to the dog park, surprise your dog with a different route and maybe go to a different park all together. You might meet some lovely new potential friends and so could your dog (especially important when socialising your puppy). Change your destination, go and visit a friend for a cup of tea, and make this your destination this weekend.
5 – Bring a friend.
Talking of friends, invite them for walks with yourself and your dog. If they are dogless, they could probably do with a good walk and a game of fetch; and if they have a dog then they can play together, either way it’s a win-win situation.
6 – Training.
A little Loose Lead walking here, a little Heel Training there, so much can be done, just make sure you bring enough treats, your clicker (if you are using one – it is not essential), and an appropriate lead for training.
Remember, if you are going to train your dog to walk well on the lead, don’t go towards the park. This is an exciting destination for your dog; so he will probably pull to get there faster, so until he’s trained set him up for success by taking him towards an unknown destination.
You can also do some scent work, and get your dog to practice some instinctive life behaviours, such as hiding treats at the base of a tree, in the grass, or get your dog to find some items such as a favourite toy in long grass, woods, etc.…
7 – Meet your trainer. (Moi maybe?)
Training outside is brilliant fun; I can meet you for my Park and Street Wise Training. I can show you how to introduce your dog to the Dog Park; getting your dog to focus on you when you need him to, to sit before crossing the street, and much much more.