Dorset Dog Friendly walks: Part 2

by Carol Milner // December 2017

Dorset Dog Friendly walks: Part 2

Another of my dog Sweep’s favourite walks is Puddletown Forest, just off the A35 between Dorchester and the Puddletown turn off.  It offers so many different paths from narrow footpaths to wide forestry tracks, and there are miles and miles to choose from, most offering really nice circular walks back to your car.  You can also get there on the back road past our Saturday class venue, Kingston Maurward College!

I think, to be honest Kingston Lacy is my favourite because it has cafés!  See our blog http://www.dogstrustdogschool.org.uk/dog-school/dorset/our-blog/ds-dorset-14th-september-walks/  But Puddletown Forest, this is where Sweep gets to properly be a dog! 

We tell people in our classes how important it is to let your dog be a dog and often I use the example of Sweep with the Forest in mind!  Here, Sweep gets to partake in his most favourite thing in the world – bog snorkeling!  It has to be the most optimal mixture of mud to water for him to truly appreciate the bog.  If it’s too wet I see the disappointment in his face, if it’s too dry he just gets muddy socks.  He digs and digs in the mud and snaps at the water, it’s an incredible sight and one that never ceases to amuse me!

Bog number 1 – found sometimes on the way to his favourite bog.

Absolute favourite bog – and generally perfect for snorkeling in Sweep’s opinion!

The delightful aftermath! 

The bogs are past halfway on the walk so by the time we get to them we have done a nice walk, and we’ve also incorporated some training.  Sweep loves to train whenever and wherever!  We practice sits in different places with all the smelly forest distractions, we practice loose lead walking with and without the lead, and of course it’s great practice for our recalls.  Sweep also voluntarily comes back to me very regularly so I always reward him for that.  I want him to think that when a bog isn’t available, the party is with me!  To set us both up for success, however, I don’t try and recall Sweep from his bogs because:

  1. It’s number 1 in his top 10 of distractions so chances are he will probably not come back so I’ll be teaching him to ignore his name.

  2. By the time we get there he’s allowed to be a dog because he’s worked hard and deserves an environmental reward!

 If you have a bog snorkeler like me, remember to take a towel to Puddletown Forest and make sure you and your dog have fun!  Tag us in your #muddydog pictures, we’d love to see them!

 

 If you would like to find out more about our classes and events, call us on 07392 869380 or 07387 141057.

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