Dog walks are the perfect opportunity to bond with your pooch and shake off some of that energy. Sometimes however, we can be guilty of allowing our dog walks to get repetitive.
This can ultimately result in both you and your canine companion getting bored and frustrated. Engaging, exciting dog walks help with recall, training and bond you and your dog closer together. So, here is some advice for injecting more excitement and adventure into your dog walks.
Let Your Dog Take the Lead- Sniffari!
Whilst it is not advised to literally give your dog their lead, you can certainly allow them to take control of where they want to walk. Rather than walking with a predetermined route in mind, let your dog’s nose lead the way!
Pop your pooch on a long line lead, this keeps them safe but gives them plenty of space for fun. There is no rush with this kind of walk, it is all about encouraging sniffing and exploring. To help get your dog started, try throwing some treats on the ground.
Remember walks are all about the scent finding, pulling dogs back constantly from sniffing can result in a lot of disappointment.
For us we can walk whenever we like, for our canine companions they get only one or two walks a day. So let them have the walk that they want, this will go a long way in keeping them happy and enriched.
Try Recall Games
Take out your dogs favourite toys (the ones they really love playing with!). These help to encourage dogs to return to you and of course make every walk more fun.
Try sending your dog around a tree or post, as they do this, run the other direction. This encourages their drive to return to you and makes for a pretty exciting game.
If you have a friend or family member willing to get involved, both stand at opposite sides of the field. Call the dog between the two of you, this helps your dog understand there is value is coming to who calls them. Meaning every member of the family should find recall a lot easier.
Encourage Impulse Control
This makes for an entertaining walk and can help to reduce livestock and wildlife chasing.
- Throw a toy into the long grass and make them sit and wait before finding it. This encourages sniff work too.
- Teach your dog to listen to stop and start commands. You could even play childhood games such as Red Light Green Light.
For help with teaching your dog new tricks, read our Clicker Training Guide.
Walk Somewhere New
Do you always walk the same route with your dog? We certainly all have our favourite areas to walk in and admire the view.
Seeing the same sights and most importantly always smelling the same scents, can get a little uninteresting for our dogs. Variety is the spice of life and that is certainly true with dog walks.
Try dedicating at least one or two walks a week to a new location. Walking in new areas allows dogs to explore new terrain and sniff out new and exciting things.
If you need help finding a new location to explore, head over to Best British Dog Walks. This owner reviewed page is the perfect place to find your next adventure.
Use Interactive Toys
Engage your dog’s senses by using exciting interactive and activity toys whilst out and about. The Frogg and Frubba toy ranges are perfect for relieving boredom and creating more mentally stimulating walks.
All toys are made with natural sustainable rubber or a gentle foam rubber mix. With lots of shapes and sizes, there is something to really stimulate every dog.
Smear delicious wet food in the Frogg fetch toy and use it as an exciting game or reward on your next walk. Mix up the flavours and types of toys you use each time to keep it fresh.
Feed Your Dog on the Walk
Did you know dogs have between 100-300 million odour receptors in their noses? This is compared to our rather weak 6 million…
Smell is everything to a dog, it is how they navigate and understand the world. Whilst physical exercise is very important for overall dog health, mental exercise involving scent is just as important. Every dog walk should encourage sniffing, this is what is truly tiring and exciting to our furry friends.
Make walks more fun and encourage dogs to use their powerful sense of smell, by feeding meals ON your walk. Find a suitable location (be aware of dangerous plants and flowers in the environment) and scatter your dog’s favourite food or stuff it into toys.
What dog wouldn’t love a woodland dinner?
Remember the smellier and more palatable the food the better! Try a natural high meat content diet, that’s bursting with tasty and healthy oils.
Join A Doggy Walking Group
If your dog LOVES other dogs, try joining a local dog walking group. Check your neighbourhood social media sites and pages for walks happening in your area.
Some communities host breed specific walking clubs, where you can get together with other owners. So, whether you have a Dachshund or a German Shepherd there is sure to be a walking group you’ll fit right into.
Remember to top up all your walking equipment before your next adventure. For more advice on keeping your dog enriched, check out our Fun Ways To Exercise blog.
Enjoy every walk with your best furry friend!