Many guardians can’t keep their dog’s attention on walks and often trainers tell them they need to be more interesting. Is it really that simple? A good dog walk isn’t just about exercise, it is much more than this It is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between you and your dog. When it is done well our dogs give us their attention and focus. We must do the same for them – switch off our phones, watch what they are doing, learn how they communicate. Problems appear when we aren’t providing those opportunities to engage with us and often they will entertain themselves if we don’t. We need to remind ourselves it is their walk as much as ours. We can all make more effort to ensure our dogs enjoy being with us.
A regular walking routine helps to improve our physical and mental health. Physical benefits include getting fitter, weight loss, better muscle strength, supple joints and general toning. When we walk our bodies release ‘feel good hormones’ called endorphins and these help us concentrate better, have higher self-confidence and gain better sleep. Dogs also enjoy these benefits, like us they have physical, mental and emotional needs. A good dog walk can satisfy these needs and when we take these into consideration, walks become a pleasurable experience and not a chore.
Dogs have been bred to seek out human company. If this is not happening we need to ask ourselves why? What is it that competes for your dog’s attention? A potent wildlife smell? Another dog to play with? Something scaring them? During our walks we need to see the world from our dog’s perspective. This isn’t always easy. Our dogs are individuals and their experiences are completely unique to them. We need to learn their language because they do tell us what they need if we take time to listen to them.
So how can we improve our dog's walk?
Choose An Appropriate Location
Provide Engagement Activities
Think About The Speed
By keeping our focus and attention on our dog during our walks together we will engage them and keep them with us. This simple step will help build the bond between us and make our walks more than just exercise.
Do You Need Help?
If you need help to stop your dog walks being boring, please contact me using the button below.
I offer individually tailored 1-2-1 Canine Coaching to help you develop your relationship with your dog. We will work together to improve your training skills.
Sessions can be in the comfort of your home or in a real life setting to suit your needs. Each session is 1-2 hours long and includes a follow up email and telephone support. Sessions start at £45, packages are available for multiple sessions.