Let’s be honest, after a while it’s easy to fall into a routine when it comes to walking your dog. You follow the same tried and tested route, you see the same people as you’re walking, your dog runs in the same direction, probably barks the same number of times after a while, or at least it seems that way.
Living through a pandemic is strange but it also makes everything seem quite repetitive. If you allow it to, every day seems like Groundhog Day. The good news is that you can mix things up a little and make everything seem different, simply by changing just one or two small details.
Try a Different Route
It’s easy to go on autopilot and simply turn in the same direction when you leave your house; your dog might automatically start walking in that direction too! However, make an effort to try a different route and mix things up occasionally. There are bound to be many places you can go with your dog, you just need to do a bit of research first. Why not join a dog walking group on social media and look for inspiration on local areas of beauty that are suitable for dogs?
Let Your Dog be the Leader
If you’re not sure where to go, why not let your dog decide? Dogs are experts at sniffing out something interesting, so let them lead and go where they choose. This helps them to explore and gives them the mental stimulation they need from their walks and it mixes things up for you too. You never know you might end up somewhere you love, and you can use that as another go-to walking spot in the future.
Use Your Walk as a Training Session
Tick two items off your list in one by using your walks as training sessions too. This can be either for you or your dog! Do some squats, some jumps, some lunges as you’re walking, and in terms of training your dog, use the walks as a way of training them to do other things, such as tricks, loose leash walking or even commands for younger dogs. This helps to keep the time interesting and not just monotonous.
Set Goals For Your Walks
Everyone loves a to-do list and you can use your walks in the same way. What do you want to achieve from that walk? Do you want to practice mindfulness? Do you want your dog to have a number of minutes’ exercise? Perhaps even recording how well your dog does on loose leash walking. Whatever it is, choose a goal or two and work to tick them off your list.
Use Your Walks as Play Time Too
This is particularly useful if you have a lot to do when you get home, e.g. if you’re working from home. Go for a walk earlier in the day and use it as playtime as well as walkies. That way, when you return home your dog will be tired out and you can get on with your day, and it also means your walk is more fun and varied.
Dog walks don’t have to be monotonous and boring, as these few tricks go to show!