Shake It Up on the Walk ~ How to find the right spot for Spot
Biddy and Tristan LOVE to go on walks, but I've realized that I need to shake it up a little bit each week to keep it interesting for them. I find that if I do the same neighborhood walk/run every morning it does't really "wear them out" as much as if I do something different a couple of times a week.
Tristan anticipating the walk....2 dogs, the camera and a lot of squirrels...not a good mix!
I truly believe that they get bored with doing the same thing each morning. I also find that if I just walk in the neighborhood - it is really easy to not "go the distance" (and to be honest - I get bored too!). I've mapped out 4 different walks for us to take during the week. Two are versions we can do without getting in the car and the other two are quick car trips.
I have a GPS watch that I wear - so I can track how far, how fast and all that good stuff. Sometimes I get a little lazy and just rely on them to play with each other or me with the ball for exercise in the yard. I think it is great for them to just be able to play...but they both really need a good solid 30 - 45 minutes of walking and running each day to stay fit and also to help keep their behavior in check! Two of my three walks take us out of the neighborhood and around other people, dogs, bikes, squirrels and other distractions. I find when they get home from those walks, they really rest up and don't spend the afternoon pacing and asking to go in and out of the house to the yard.
Neither one of my dogs are great leash walkers even though we practice all the time. The only time I ever really have a loose leash is when I'm running and towards the end of the walk when all of their frantic energy is worn off! Biddy can also be a little reactive to other dogs. I think when she sees other dogs she gets over excited and wants to play, and sometime is a little uncertain about them too. She does't bark a mean, aggressive bark, rather I very high pitched, relentless bark (nice huh?!) - so the more I have her out and about the less she seems to do it...so leaving the 'hood and doing something new is really important for her for a lot of other reasons as well.
I am lucky that I have two really great parks with nice trails super close to my house. Our favorite park is on the river, and is about a 1.5 mile loop that takes you down to the beach and the river, around a pond and in and out of all kinds of shady spots. Our other favorite walk is the park downtown on the river front. Shady trails, out on the river and next to our little downtown where we get some big time exposure to people.
I checked my spots out really carefully before I brought my dogs. Here are some things to check out before you go: 1. Parking - is it really busy where you need to get your dogs in and out? If so - are they solid on their "wait" command before getting out of the car? 2. What kind of trail is it? Can your dogs walk on the grass or something soft? Be aware of blacktop or other hot surfaces that can damage your dog's paws. 3. Are dogs required to be on a leash - I find that at the busier parks around me, people keep their dogs on leashes...at the quieter parks - they let them off even though they are not supposed to. Make sure you check it out and are comfortable with what other people are doing. 4. Is there enough shade? I live in S. Florida...to much heat/sun is not a good thing especially when you are moving. I always travel with my own water for everybody, collapsible bowl, poop bags and doggie first aid kit. Where do you like to walk/run?