Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Walking your dog is something you have to do, but it can get boring to take the same route and do the same thing every day. So, it might be time to change up your routine. There are many activities you can do with your dog to make your walks much more interesting for you both.
6 Activities to do With Your Dog While on a Walk
Follow Your Nose
The easiest way to change things up is probably just to let your dog lead you. Let them take the time to sniff the flowers. This is really an exercise in letting go. Let them follow their noses while you guide them around the complexities of your journey, like crossing streets and giving others room to walk.
Instead of just stepping out into your normal route, let your dog decide which direction you’re going. Your dog may walk you over to that tree where they barked at a squirrel that one time, but giving them the freedom to choose can be wonderful for them. And it gives them a chance to try new things.
Explore a New Park
Instead of just heading out the front door, check out your closest local parks. Many parks are large enough for you and your dog to find interesting things to do, even if it’s just sniffing around. Just be sure to check signs to make sure dogs are allowed.
If you don’t have very many open areas around for you and your dog to enjoy, consider checking out a local forest preserve as well. Most forest preserves have maintained paths that you and your dog can walk. They also usually have a combination of different textures, such as gravel and wood mulch, that you and your dog might find interesting to walk on. Your dog might enjoy a romp in the leaves or tall grass. Just be sure to put a flea and tick collar on your dog!
Try a New Route
If you and your dog are becoming bored of your normal route, give your dog a new one! If you normally leave your door and walk left, simply try heading right. Just going in a different direction or seeing things from a different direction is a nice change of pace. Even if you normally walk in a loop, try the loop in the opposite direction. This gives you and your dog a fresh perspective without the commitment (and uncertainty) of traveling somewhere new.
Inviting a friend along can make the old seem new again. A lot of people are trying to communicate over social media, but when was the last time you caught up with an old friend while just taking a walk? Walking with a friend is a great way to interact with friends or family while still maintaining social distance. And if you are trying to freshen up your dog’s walking experience, see if you can find your dog a walking partner.
A Change of Pace
If you are having a hard time figuring out a different route to take, try just changing the pace. If your dog is used to a fast pace while you two walk, try just to slow it down. Changing the pace forces your dog to listen to you. It also can give you both more time to enjoy your surroundings.
Slowing down lets you take in a lot more of your scenery and you might discover interesting things you didn’t notice before, like a new shop in town or landscaping ideas from your neighbor. Likewise, if your dog is used to a slower pace, try to speed them up a bit. While you might not take in as much of your surroundings, you will get a better workout.
Train While You Walk
When you walk your dog, you don’t need to be a taskmaster. But you might find it fun and interesting to do a bit of obedience training while you’ve got your dog on leash. You can try teaching your dog to walk with a loose leash. You can try other obedience tasks like sit, down or stay.
Your dog will benefit from a bit of extra training while on a walk, just make sure you don’t go overboard. Keep your training sessions short. Being outside is a completely different setting for training and your dog might have a harder time concentrating on you with so much stimulation going on. Be sure to keep your training sessions short and provide plenty of rewards too.
Why bother doing activities on your walk? Variety is the spice of life. The more interesting you can make things with your dog, the more fun you two will have together.