As a dog owner, it is not unusual for you to get bored of the same old routine of taking your dog on a walk to the same old park. It is in our nature to get tired of repetition.
Do you wonder if your dog also feels the same way—bored of and disinterested in the same old route?
- Do Dogs Get Bored Going on the Same Walk?
- Signs to Look Out For
- Why Take Your Dog on a Walk?
- How to Make the Walk Fun Again
- How Else to Stimulate Your Dog
- Things to Remember
- Before We Say Goodbye
Do Dogs Get Bored Going on the Same Walk?
Although your dog waits at the doorstep with a wagging tail, all excited for a walk, your dog might still get bored with the same walking route. You have to also remember that dogs love to explore and try new things.
On a walk, dogs do not solely depend on sight. They heavily depend on smell and sounds. The same dog park at the same time would mean your dog will experience the same sights, smells, and sounds.
A walk is meant for your dog to get some physical exercise as well as get stimulated mentally—much like what a workout does for us.
If we keep doing the same exercise over and over again without any variation, it will lead to lack of motivation and interest in the workout. The results of the workout will also not be as pronounced as it would be if you enjoyed it.
Similarly, it is important to recognize that the same route for a walk might become significantly less fulfilling for your dog.
There are a few ways in which your furry companion will let you know that they are bored out of their minds.
- They are barking incessantly and you can’t find a reason.
- They are digging up everything.
- They are chewing everything—shoes, couch, pillows.
- They are constantly asking for attention from you.
- They seem visibly restless.
This is the time when you would ideally provide your dog with some energy-burning exercise—one of those being taking your dog out for a walk.
But if the dog is showing the following symptoms during the walk, they might be bored of the walking route too.
- They show a lack of enthusiasm on their walk.
- They don’t sniff around as much on their walks anymore.
- They do not look up at things on their walk.
- They stop while on the walk and refuse to move.
All in all, if you have to drag your dog on a walk, it’s time to think about your walk.
Walking your dog regularly has a host of benefits for not just your dog, but also for you.
Walking your dog a handful of times a week has shown improved cardiovascular fitness, stronger muscles and bones, lower blood pressure, as well as reduced stress in pet owners.
There are benefits to walking your dog not only in terms of health but also in terms of socializing. People with dogs are perceived as more approachable and friendly.
Hence, you have an advantage in making friends when you’re out with your dog on a walking adventure.
Most domestic dogs are susceptible to obesity. This is often accompanied by a myriad of medical complaints such as osteoarthritis, liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and insulin resistance.
A walk helps in dealing with obesity and all the related diseases as well as keeps your dog from becoming bored or destructive.
Much like you, your dog will also get an opportunity to socialize and form bonds with other dogs on their regular walks. This is necessary for them to become well-adjusted in society and to not get scared when faced with strangers.
There are a few things you can do to make your canine rediscover their interest in walks.
The most obvious answer to how to break your dog’s boredom is to take your dog along a new route.
Your dog has 300 million scent receptors compared to the 5–6 million of a human. Imagine how exciting it would be for your dog to explore a new route with the array of new smells in addition to the new views a new route has to offer.
Try walking around a different block instead of your usual one. Or walk in the opposite direction from which you normally start on your usual route.
For a change of pace, you can drive your dog to a different dog park once a week.
If you feel too tired to take your dog on a walk after a long day, you can just walk your dog to any local errands you need to run. This gives an excuse for your dog to step out of the house and feel refreshed—even if very slightly.
If you cannot do any of these, try walking your dog during different times of the day. A difference in time will also bring some difference in the walking experience for your dog.
If you have a friend who has a furry friend of their own, you can always arrange for playdates for your dogs.
You can make this into a ritual. Alternatively, you can go to the local dog park together or walk around the block together.
This way, both you and your dog will have company on your walk—you can talk about your day with your friend while your dog can go on a sniffing journey with its dog friend.
It is normal for a single person to take one dog on a walk. But it could be so much fun if there was another human being to walk your dog with you!
Bring your family on the walk with your dog. Your dog will love the walk with more company and will absolutely love the attention that two of his family will shower them with on their walk!
A great idea to make your walk even more enjoyable is to take a break in the middle of your walk for some playtime. This will help your dog engage with you in a more joyous way and release a lot of energy.
- Play with a Flirt Pole with Your Dog: It is an amazing toy if your dog is full of energy and loves to play. This will tire out your dog after thoroughly entertaining them. They will have a lot of fun chasing around after a toy that you get to maneuver and keep your doggo engaged.
- Play Fetch with Your Dog: Fetch is another all-time favorite game amongst the dog and dog owner community. You throw a stick, and your furry buddy will retrieve it. This helps your dog run around while also staying focused.
Avoid throwing wooden sticks as they might cause injury—for instance, throw splinters. You can always use a Frisbee or a plastic stick for your dog to retrieve.
- Play Brain Games with Your Dog: During playtime, include short brain games for your dog to stay not only physically but also mentally stimulated.
- Train Your Dog: You can make short 2–5 minutes training sessions out of the small breaks in your walks. Carry some treats with you and use them during your training session.
Remember to stop for playtime only in the areas that are leash-free. After you are done with a rigorous playtime, you can finish off your outing with the rest of the walk back home.
By the time you come back, your doggie will be exhausted and fulfilled from their walk and go to rest. They will also be way more excited about their walk the next time!
If you cannot take a new route on a day your pet seems especially disinterested, try and walk a little further than your usual distance. A little change will bring a significant variety in your dog’s walk.
While on the walk, try jogging for a little while. You can also play red light green light with your dog.
Instead of dragging your pet behind you on the same old path, let your dog take you on a Sniffari.
A Sniffari is an outing where your dog gets to go on a decompressing walk. They sniff their way around and find a route they most want to explore.
All you need to do is stay close to your dog and keep a hold on the leash. Your dog will most probably be too engrossed in sniffing their surroundings to make a run for it, but it’s better to have a hold on them than run after them in their full-energy mode.
Following your dog on a Sniffari can lead you to discover places that you would have never seen otherwise.
And if you can find a place where you can let go of the leash, let your dog roam free.
This way, they will be able to explore and play exactly the way they want to while you get to catch a rest.
Due to lack of time, you might not be able to discover new routes for your walk with your pup.
One trick would be to reverse the direction of your usual route. Your dog will get used to the same sequence of sights and scents if you keep walking in the same direction every day.
If you walk in the reverse direction, your dog gets a new sequence of sights and scents, even if they are familiar.
Different dogs need different levels of exercise based on many factors—breed, age, size, overall health, etc.
A Collie or a German Shepherd are active breeds of dogs and need a lot of exercise to thrive. Puppies will also demand more exercise compared to their older counterparts.
Just walking your dog would almost be not enough. You will need to tire them out in your home or outside with different exercises and tricks.
Make an exercise routine for your dog and try to follow through with it in addition to taking them on a walk every day.
There might be days when you can’t take your dog out on a walk for whatever reason.
You can always play with your dog inside your home. One hour of playing with your dog should be enough to entertain your dog and not let them go into a I-will-dig-everything-up mood.
You can play fetch, tug-of-war, or let your dog play with water if they like it.
If you can’t give as much time as you ideally should, you can also try signing up for a dog sport. These provide not only physical exertion for your dog, but also mental enrichment.
You can start with one sport and see if your dog enjoys it, and move on to explore others.
There are also many sports options where both you and your dog can get involved. This will be a great physical and mental exercise for your dog while also creating a bonding moment for you outdoors in a social setting.
When taking your dog out on a walk, there are a few etiquettes you should always keep in mind:
- Always carry plastic bags or scoops to clean up after your dog.
- Always keep your dog under control.
- Prepare before the walk with stretches.
- Carry your own toys/equipments for your dog to play with.
- Always keep an eye on your dog around young children.
- Avoid walking in extreme heat.
- Carry fresh drinkable water for both you and your dog.
Also Read: Why Does My Dog Bite My Ankles When I Walk?
Your walks with your dog do not only affect your dog, but it affects you too. Research shows that walking recreationally with your dog has significant benefits for you over walking your dog as a chore.
Since dogs pick up on their owners’ emotions, switching up the regular ol’ walk and making it fun will lead to a better quality of life for both you and your furry pet.
So don’t wait. It’s time to switch things up and give the joy of walks back to your pup!