5 things To Do On Your Dog Walks
Carrying out dog owner duties takes a great deal of hard work, dedication and love. Leaving your dog home alone all day can be extremely detrimental for their health and development so taking regular enriching walks gives your dog the perfect opportunity to learn all about the world and determine good behaviours. This article will serve to explain a few ways in which you can make your dog walks more fulfilling.
- Games – Playing ‘find it’ games engages your dog and encourages him to use all his senses. Most dogs love the thrill of going on a scavenger hunt and discovering a tasty treat to play with. Finding a discarded chicken bone is an exciting achievement for your dog, so make him feel like a winner by periodically tossing treats in front of you and give him the cue to ‘find it!’, signalling that the hunt has begun. This game can help you to control your pet’s instinctual scavenging behaviour by setting up an organised game rather than pulling your arm out of its socket when darting for a half-eaten sandwich.
- Scent – Most dogs enjoy the opportunity to put their powerful sense of smell to excellent use, so it is important for you to encourage sniffing by organising a few scenting activities. For example, leave your dog in a sit/stay position, or if the temptation is too much for your beloved pet ask a friend to hold him while you lay a short trail of tasty smelly treats, allowing him to see your hand and watch as you lay the trail. Place the treats at close distances to begin with and as your dog improves at this sniffing game start spacing them further apart. If you fancy making the task more difficult, try zigzagging the treats so he really has to use his nose to thoroughly sniff them all out
- Pick up pace and change directions – Lead by example during your dog walk by picking up the pace to improve loose-leash walking. This works as your dog is focusing on keeping up with you meaning he has a harder time rushing ahead. Periodic changes in direction means he knows you are in charge as you are the one deciding on direction and speed, staying close to you at all times. Another recommendation is to change the route of the walk to add variety. If you have a limited number of everyday routes try adding some variety by walking them in reserve rather than always heading the same direction. You could also try walking on different sides of the road where there is a pavement if it is safe to do so – although it may look the same to you, there will be a host of different scents for your dog.Be imaginative with your walk and use what is available on the route to test your pet, such as asking your dog to weave in and out of fence posts.
- Find a walking buddy – Liven up the dog walks by finding a friend to walk with. Not only does this give you an opportunity to catch up but it also makes it easier to play hide-and-seek games. Further to this, it is safer to go with a friend if your walking route takes you to more isolated areas, and if your friend is a dog owner too then it provides the perfect opportunity for them to play together – just make sure you keep a close eye on them to ensure games do not become too rowdy or start to get out of hand. If compatible, this is an excellent way of your dog to learn how to integrate with other canines while making the walk more interesting for you too!
- Training – While out on walks, try incorporating a few training exercises when both on and off the lead including sits, stays, downs and heelwork. Reward your pet between each exercise with plenty of praise, a treat or an exciting game before releasing him to run free on his own.During walks, practice existing tricks which your dog can perform perfectly at home, as they can be much harder for him when he’s out in a distracting environment with lots of fascinating sights, sounds and smells. Be sure to include lots of recalls as this is essential if you’re going to be able to let your dog off lead safely, offering plenty of rewards to help motivate him.
Here at Jaycliffe Pets, we offer a safe and exciting place for your dog to stay while you are at work, providing entertainment, dog walking and socialisation for a happy and healthy dog. Whether you require our services for a few hours or need to leave your dog all day, you can rest assured knowing that we will provide the best care, encouraging better behaviour and development. For further information or to book an appointment, simply get in touch with our friendly team today!