Dog Walking Games.
We all love to get out into the countryside with our dogs, admire the views, and hopefully enjoy some fine weather – while our loyal companions give us company on the way. Some people say, you can feel only half dressed if you go out walking without a dog! In this Holidays4Dogs article we look at dog walking games to make outings with a dog even more enjoyable.
A happy, well trained dog is always with you, always attentive and always looking for what to do next. Many dogs are better behaved when they are given things to do that exercise their minds as well as their bodies – it also helps to keep them stress free. Many dog owners take toys with them on walks. Toys can really help to keep your dog’s interest, meaning he is less likely to run off, or get into mischief.
Dogs love to be doing things when out and about, so retrieving games are ideal. There are lots of different dog toys on the market, including rubberised tubes to throw for dogs when out walking. These toys are much safer than sticks. Sticks can cause a lot of damage to dog’s teeth. In addition, if they lodge in the ground when thrown, the dog could effectively impale himself as he retrieves it.
One of the most popular toys for dog walkers is a tennis ball launcher. This is a long plastic pliable handle with a cup on one end which holds a tennis ball.
This can then be launched with ease by the dog owner. The tennis ball can be flung far further than throwing by arm alone. The added benefit of these toys is that you can scoop up the ball once the dog has returned with it; thereby avoiding dog ‘slobber’ all over your hands.
Another suggestion for an activity while walking, is seeking articles. You could start off with an old glove for your dog to find, for example.
To begin with, let the dog see where you have hidden the article, and encourage him to ‘find it’ or ‘seek’. This works well for dogs who are already able to retrieve toys and love doing so. However, even if your dog will not bring the article back to you, you can reward him with a titbit for tracking and locating the item.
Once your dog gets the idea with a ‘seen’ object, try partially hiding the item. Encourage your dog to find it, going forward and helping him where necessary.
Always praise enthusiastically as soon as the dog finds the article. This game can even be played quite successfully with the dog on a lead, or long line. In fact, it’s an ideal way of providing extra interest to the dog that cannot be let off the lead.
Hide and seek.
The other person (the dog’s owner is best to begin with), runs off and finds a place to hide. Let the dog see which direction the ‘runner’ has gone in.
Begin with short distances. If your dog has trouble locating the person hiding, they can help the dog by stepping into the dog’s visual path. If necessary, encourage him by calling and arm waving. Gradually, build the distance up and reduce the amount of help the handler needs to give.
Eventually, your helper should be able to face the dog away, while the ‘runner’ finds a place to hide. Once the dog finds the person hiding that person can reward the dog by throwing a ball or giving a titbit and praising enthusiastically.
Using logs and other natural obstacles in the environment is another way to interest your dog and help keep him fit. Of course, you need to be aware of your dog’s current fitness levels and age, so take care with very young puppies, older dogs, or dogs with a history of previous injury. You can find lots of obstacles in urban settings too and can really make a town walk more interesting.
These are just a few a few ideas for having fun while on the daily dog walk. Interacting with your dog while out walking is fun for the dog and creates a stronger bond between you and your pet. All our dedicated carers will provide lots of daily enrichment for your dog while he is on holiday. If you wish to find out more about our services, do give us a call or visit our FAQ pages.
For ideas on exercising your dog indoors follow the link.