A walk is the most anticipated moment of the day for your dog. As a good owner, you should know that it serves more than just satisfying your dog’s physiological needs. A daily walk is a chance to develop your dog, have fun, learn new commands and above all – build a strong bond with your pooch.
Of course, there is no single proven recipe for the perfect walk. Its length and frequency depend on your dog’s likes and dislikes, size, breed or willingness to exercise in general. We will try to tell you how to make your walks more varied. You, on the other hand, should keep a close eye on your dog and note which tips he likes and which he doesn’t like. Every dog is different.
1. A doggy friend
We probably can’t think of a better opportunity for socialisation than walking or playing with another dog. If you have friendly dogs in the neighbourhood or your friends have cheerful, gentle dogs who are eager to play – offer to take them for a walk together. It will be an interesting change for the four-legged dog and an opportunity for you to exchange experiences with other owners.
2. Avoid routine
Walking your dog is part of your daily routine. Thinking about the same route every day, sometimes you don’t even want to leave the house. Your dog also already knows it by heart. He always stops next to the same bench, barks at the same neighbour’s dog and even poops in the same place. Believe me, nothing will revitalise your desire to walk more than changing the route and avoiding monotony.
Your dog has a natural need to explore new places, he needs to sniff around, to learn about new surroundings, smells and sounds. Try to take a tram or bus with your dog sometimes and drive to at least a different area of the city. If you have the opportunity, go a little further afield – to a park in another city or a forest in the countryside. This will be a much-needed change not only for your dog but also for you. Wandering around your neighbourhood every day can become simply boring. Change your route as often as possible.
3. Take toys with you
Why not? You don’t necessarily have to throw a ball always at home. If your pooch has his favourite toys, take them with you on walks. A ball or frisbee will work great outdoors. Throwing a disc can be a sensational way to spend a walk. The idea is to toss it in such a way that the dog has a chance to catch up with it. Remember to choose the size of the frisbee to suit the size of your dog.
You can also take your pet’s favourite tug on a walk. It is one of your dog’s favourite toys. You can even use it instead of a treat if you want to reward your dog. It’s the perfect idea to use up your dog’s energy and build a close bond with your pet.
4. Bike vs dog
How about going for a bike ride with your pet? This is a great opportunity for active dog owners who love the sport. Such an activity is called bikejoring. There is nothing scary here. You attach your dog with a leash to the bike and you can set off on your journey. If this is your first time, watch your dog carefully to see if he is at all interested in this type of activity. Bikejoring will work great for more active dogs.
5. Running with your dog
Introducing you to another dog sport, ideal for active owners. Running with your dog will also work well for those who want to take care of their figure. How do you prepare for it? To ensure adequate safety for yourself and your pet, equip yourself with a special harness, leash and running belt.
Small breed dogs can fully enjoy all the benefits of can crossing (i.e. running with a dog) from the age of 8-9 months. In the case of large breed dogs, this is not possible until they are 15 months old. If your dog is a senior – do not choose this activity. You may find that such exercise is too much for him. If you have a physically fit dog, you can also opt for dog trekking, i.e. an intensive walk with your dog.
6. Let him sniff
Dogs love to sniff and explore – this is nothing surprising. Sniffing games are a trivial and inexpensive way to make your walks more interesting. Simply take a few of your favourite treats with you and hide them in the grass or tree bark, for example, and let your dog sniff out their prize. Believe us, it doesn’t require any effort on your part and it’s great for developing your dog’s sense of smell and providing lots of fun.
We have presented you with six ways to turn your walk into an interesting, active recreation for both you and, especially, your pets. As you can see, you don’t need a huge outlay of money or a few spare hours to turn a standard walk into an enjoyable, canine mind-expanding activity.
The most important thing is to observe your dog. Every pooch is different and everyone has different tastes and habits. Not everyone will be a good companion for cycling or running because they prefer to look for treats on the grass. And vice versa. Observe what your pooch likes best and get on with it!