Dog walking or dog running is as much a chore for me as it is anyone else. I’m often tired or it’s cold or snowing or whatever. And walking is often boring.
But guess what? If I’m bored, my dog just might find me a bit boring.
Here’s an example of the walk Ace and I took Sunday night that was far from boring. We incorporated exercise, training and play:
1. Started out through the front door as usual.
2. Went left instead of right (We always go right).
3. Walked down a busier street, through a different parking lot and approached the park from a new angle.
4. Put Ace in a sit, unclipped his leash and sent him to pick up a plastic bottle using the command “Get it!”
5. Worked on heeling off leash around the park while Ace carried his prize.
6. Worked on teaching Ace “hold” and “give,” possibly for use during future pheasant hunting.
7. Doggie bathroom break.
8. Put Ace in a sit and walked 20 yards or so to the Dumpster and back.
9. Released Ace, sent him to get the bottle again.
10. Worked on sit-stays with a lot of distance (20 to 30 yards), dropping the bottle between us, doing a combined “Get it!” with a recall.
11. Walked to playground.
12. Practiced some calm “agility” by sending Ace over the swings, up the ladders and down the slides.
13. Put Ace in a heel-sit and then sent him after the bottle 20 yards out or so.
14. Reviewed “hold” and “give.”
15. Practiced more off-leash heeling all the way home while Ace carried his bottle.
16. Had Ace “drop” the bottle into our recycling bin. What a good citizen!
17. Put Ace in a sit at the door and then released him. Good boy!
Total walk time was about 30 minutes. Ace came home tired, and I felt like the coolest owner/trainer ever with the best dog in the world. Beats the usual walk. He even got to do some retrieving, and I didn’t throw a single object. He did not slip into an obsessive state of mind once.
Post an example of a fun walk with your dog below. Ace and I will give it a try!