Whoever said “dogs like routine” was right, but I think he/she has been misinterpreted. Some people feed their dogs the same food and walk them in the same place every single day – partly, I think, because “dogs like routine.”
Dogs do like to be fed and walked everyday, perhaps even around the same times of day. But the latter is where my biggest concern lies. The walk is by far the best part of a dog’s life, but imagine walking the same sidewalks and seeing the same things every time you left the house. A dog trainer I know once described sniffing and marking as checking messages and leaving messages. Wouldn’t it be great if your dog could check in with other dogs, in other areas of town?
The point of this post is really just to encourage dog owners to take their pups on new adventures and explore news parks, forests and fields. The dogs I walk professionally almost never visit parks close to their house when they’re on an excursion with me. I go to these lengths because the mental stimulation they get from new sights and scents is crucial to their overall happiness. Not to mention for my own sanity.
If you work longer hours than I do, and you can only take your dogs on an adventure once or twice on weekends, it will still go a long way in adding to their happiness. I guarantee that when you arrive at a new place, you will see the difference in your dog, and you’ll be so happy you took the extra time. On days you can’t leave the neighbourhood, walk up different streets, and on the opposite side of the street than you normally do. Every bit helps.
Not sure how to find new places? Look at your house on a map, zoom out, look for green spaces, and choose one. And please remember to always respect the leash laws of the parks you visit. Happy trails!
“Of course what he most intensely dreams of is being taken out for walks, and the more you are able to indulge him, the more he will adore you and the more all the latent beauty of his nature will come out.” Henry James