How to spice up the dog walk and keep things fun
The walk: it’s part and parcel of dog ownership and something that you’ll be undertaking regularly. The walk is not just a chance to exercise your dog, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate that you’re the pack leader in the relationship. But when monotony sets in and the walk becomes more a chore than a pleasure, it’s time to spice things up. Take a look at our tips and incorporate them into your routine going forward.
Tip #1: Change up the route
This is a simple one to start, but it’s amazing the number of owners who never vary the path they walk. It’s as simple as going in the opposite direction or exploring a new patch of turf altogether. Your dog is more likely to want to stop and sniff its surroundings if it’s in a new spot – and this is something you should actively encourage. Dogs use their noses to interpret the world. In other words: don’t be a drill sergeant. Let your dog delight in the new smells its discovering.
Tip #2: Make it a run, not a walk
Looking to really spice things up? Have you and your dog run together, or if that’s too much, push the pace and make it a fast walk. Dogs love to run and exercise and so there’s every chance they’ll positively respond to this uptick in tempo.
Tip #3: Make it a social affair
Bringing along a friend (and their dog) is good for a number of reasons. It gives your dog a chance to befriend another. It keeps things exciting for both animals. And it also alleviates the boredom you might be feeling. If you really want to get sociable, why not considering joining a dog walking club in your area?
Tip #4: Make a pitstop
Break up the route by finding somewhere to go during the walk itself. Is there a good dog-friendly restaurant in the area you’ve been dying to try? A great park that’s suitable for dogs? Making a pitstop will keep things fresh and turn the dog walk into something fun. In the end, it’s the monotony of any activity that makes things feel like a chore.
Tip #5: Bring some toys along
Next time you head out, pack a frisbee or a ball. For the first twenty minutes, make sure your dog is walking obediently at your side, with allowances for new smells he’s come across. After that point, feel free to whip out the toy and let him have some fun. Playtime should be earned, mind, so only give him the satisfaction of play if he’s behaved himself on the walk.
In the end, the dog walk is an absolute necessity, so anything you can do to keep it feeling fresh and fun is OK. A dog that doesn’t receive enough exercise will quickly grow rowdy, so give it plenty of exercise each and every day. You’ll soon find that this fixes any behavioral problems that might be present, and it’ll pave the way for a happy, contented animal.