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How to Keep Your Dog Entertained During Walks?

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Does your pet seem bored on your daily walks? Do you have a pooch that pulls on the leash or seems uninterested in the surroundings? As a Jack Russell Terrier owner, I can tell you firsthand, some dogs need more than just the basic walk around the block.

For some dogs, walks are more than just potty breaks. If your dog seems bored on the walk, it might be time to switch things up and do something.

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I believe walks are more than just taking out our dogs for potty. Walks help strengthen the bond, provide mental stimulation, physical activity, and ensure your puppy gets most of the experience.

Why Every Dog Needs Engaging Walks

I said before that some dog breeds need more than just a walk around the block. But that doesn’t mean that even apartment dogs and couch potatoes like Shih Tzu, French Bulldog, and others, cannot benefit from some enrichment.

Walks provide physical activity, but they can also provide some mental health benefits. Do you know how much happier your dog will be if you put some effort and mind into the walk? Do you want a happy dog?

Or do you want a dog that lies around at home all the time, looking sad and helpless? Can you recognize the signs of boredom during walks? Let’s take a deeper look:

  • First and foremost, leash pulling. If a dog is constantly straining at the leash, he is eager for something more engaging than what you provide. Your puppy is trying to lead the way to more interesting smells and interactions
  • Lagging or trying to turn back is a clear sign of a disengaged dog. Yes, dogs might sometimes want to go back home. For example, Milo doesn’t want to walk when it is raining. But if this happens all the time, you have a problem
  • Lack of sniffing and exploring is another red flag. Think about it, dogs are natural explorers. Sniffing is their way of gathering information and getting familiar with the world. Bored dogs, on the other hand, show little to no interest in investigating the surroundings
  • Repetitive behaviors like spinning in circles, barking, or chewing on the leash
  • Lack of focus is another sign to watch for. Your dog will look distracted and unresponsive to commands and cues
  • Yet, the worst sign is destructive behavior after the walk. If you do not provide enough physical activity and mental stimulation, your pet will try to burn that pent-up energy at home. And that is when you see them chewing on furniture and barking excessively

How to Provide Entertaining Walks

If you want a dog that listens to you, one that you can train easily, and follow you, then, it is all about the emotional connection. You build that connection at home, and you build that connection outside. Who wants to be around people who are not fun? Would you hang around with someone who doesn’t provide basic entertainment? Do you love to be bored?

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Of course, you do not. Well, neither does your dog. Entertained walks result in happier, well-behaved dogs. If you make yourself interesting and entertaining for your pooch, then your dog will want to be around you. And will listen to you. Because your dog knows that what you are instructing and asking is fun. That being said, here are some ways to spice up your walking routine:

  • Try different routes and scenery. Yes, dogs thrive on routine. And it is great when a dog knows its entire walking routine and can do it on autopilot. But I am not a fan of it. I try to change up the walking routine at least every two to three days. You cannot tell me there are not enough streets in your neighborhood
  • Try some training games during walks and basic obedience practice. Just getting your dog to sit, and say hello to you during walks can change the routine. Or bring a ball up and play with it every few minutes
  • Add a sniff walk every now and then. Sniff walks, when done properly, are the best mental stimulation for your furry friend. Dogs have 10 times more powerful scent receptors. So, allow your dog a full 10-minute sniff once in a week
  • Use interactive toys like tug toys during walks. Tug toys are amazing for getting your pup’s attention. The trick is to make the tug toy appealing and arousing. Do not just get it out of your pocket. Play with it. Interact with your puppy. Talk to him
  • Socialize with other dogs. Every dog, even the most reactive dog has a fellow he loves and enjoys spending time with. Socialization will help your reactive dog as well. Schedule play dates. Nowadays there are plenty of apps and ways to find a buddy for your puppy

Extra Tips for Success

Finding ways to make the walk entertaining is all about varying the routine. Dogs thrive on routine, but they need some different things now and then.

Remember, you also have to pay attention to safety and gear. Use appropriate gear for your puppy, including a comfortable harness, leash, and always, always carry poop bags. You do not want to be the dog owner everyone gazes at with contempt and disdain, right?

What Makes Your Dog Happy on Walks?

Does your dog have a favorite game to play during walks? Is your dog happy when you leave your home? As a fellow dog owner, I love to see dogs and dog owners that share a bond. I want dogs to be excited when you say “Let’s go for a walk”.

What gets your dog’s tail wagging? Share your experiences. If you have any other ideas for making the walk a more interesting experience, do share them.

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