How to make walkies more exciting!

by Rhiannon Allsopp // May 2018

How to make walkies more exciting!

As the evenings get lighter and the days get warmer, the last thing you want to be doing is sitting indoors. It’s no secret that doing the same thing every day gets boring, so walking the same route with your dog can become a chore for both you and your pooch, so here are a few tips to help you and your dog turn them morning trundles into an exciting outing without that much effort!

Firstly, use what you have!

If you see a lamp post, can you get your dog to go around it? Can they put two paws on random textures such as a bench, a tree, a pole? Dogs don’t wear shoes like us, so they feel all the textures they stand on with their pads, be mindful it’s not going to be anything that could injure them. Getting them to put their feet on new items is a great way to build confidence and have a bit of fun, whilst enhancing your relationship.

Teach your dog at home to do some cool tricks such as weaving through your legs or spin in a little circle next to you. To do this, envision what you want the end result to be, lure them around or through your legs and then give them a treat when they have done it. They will soon learn it! Once they have, take it outside. As your walking along a boring path, ask them to do the tricks. It shouldn’t slow you down much as your dog keeps moving with you, but does a fancy looking trick as well!

Play games with them. It sounds simple, but making your relationship with your dog playful and exciting means you will achieve a better recall as they are more likely to give up on playing with another person or dog if they get to come and play their favourite games with you! Take them to a grassy area and play tug (If you would like to make your own tug toy, our January blog has a step by step guide). Keep the toy at the dog’s head height, make noise move it side to side, maybe even run away slightly so they must chase you! Your dog will love it! Make sure that they win most of the time, as then they will want to come back for more. If you always win, they will soon learn that it’s not fun or worth it to play with you as they always lose.

Other games you can play are hide and seek, where you hide behind objects and they have to find you (Don’t make it too hard to start with, otherwise they could get worried they’ve lost you completely!) or taking a bit of their food and scattering it over some grass so he has to find it as opposed to eating out of a bowl (be mindful that there are no other dogs who could pinch his food!)

Have you ever considered that the route you choose to go with your dog, may not be the one he or she wants to go on?

Letting them choose does need a little patience, and some dogs struggle to choose but after a couple of goes, your dog will get the hang of it and it is interesting to learn where your dog wants to go or where they value. Ask them excitedly ‘where do you want to go?’ and stand still until they decide and then follow them wherever they want to go (Just be mindful of roads etc!). Some dogs will struggle with this and just stand there and stare at you confused that you’re not moving, but be patient. If you dog really struggles, start to walk slowly and when they take their focus off of you, follow them.

Lastly, let them sniff. It may not be the most fun you’re going to have, but your dog will love you for it! It is predicted that due to dogs having no Fovea (An area of the eye 100% covered by colour receptor cells) their eye for detail is 6 times worse than that of a human. However, they make up for this by using their nose to smell everything! They can smell the difference between people, they can smell hormones and pheromones, they can even detect odours that are up to 40 feet underground! We need to make sure that they are allowed to sniff because that is how they figure out their world. It can also help them calm down if they are anxious or excitable and it’s a great distraction if you need your dog to be busy for 5 minutes!

To find out about other games, things to do on walks or how to teach your dog not to pull on a walk please contact us at hertfordshiredogschool@dogstust.org.uk or call us on 07770374686.

We would love to see where you and your dog have been visiting- tweet us pictures or stories of your dog having fun in different places @DogSchoolHerts or tag us on Instagram: @dogschoolhertfordshire