Most of us dog owners have a – at least fairly – regulated daily life. You may also wake up your dog or vice versa, brew coffee and get ready for the walk.A usual day is lying ahead of us, where follow our routine and at the end of the day, everything is like always. That`s all well and good, but yet it sometimes is a bit boring…
But STOP! *drum roll*
Because in this article, I will give you 7 tips how to make your daily life with dog more exciting 🙂
1. A day trip
For me, day trips with dogs are a nice thing in many ways. You don`t need to plan much ahead, all you need is a good place to go to. Walking to the next ice cream shop in the next village or on the other side of the city, a ride to the next park or forest, a beach at sea or a city trip: there are almost endless possibilities to spend the day with the dog different from usual. While doing so, you even do something good for your health at the same time. Dogs really like familiar procedures like daily walkies on “their” route. However, they also like to discover new paths, smells and to get to know new four-legged friends. I normally take Jake anywhere and that`s why you would probably meet me in a café not only with friends, but also with my boy.
2. Jumping into a river or lake together
When it`s hot enough, most people like to jump into cold water in order to cool down. There are numerous options to do that like in a (public) swimming pool, lake for bathing or ocean. Of course, it is a bit more difficult with dogs, because they are not allowed to join us anywhere. But often there is a lake or river close by to enjoy a cooling. Next to the fact that it makes so much fun for most of the dogs, swimming is one of the healthiest sports activities.
As with humans, muscles are trained and relieved at the same time, because the body weight is lighter in water. In particular, it is a great way to train dogs after a surgery (not directly after, because of the high danger of infection of unhealed wounds), or to train older dogs in general. Furthermore, swimming promotes the cardiovascular system, obviously also those of humans. What`s your excuse to not go swimming then? 😉
3. Finding a new good friend
Wouldn`t it be awesome to have Facebook for dogs? They could just meet each other to howl through the streets and mark the most exciting trees. In the countryside, it is still okay without social media for dogs. After one or two weeks, you know where to find all the other two- and four-legged friends.
In contrast, it may be more difficult in the city. However, there are also good options to meet new friends. Make sure other people with their dogs recognise you sometimes and you also recognise them when you walk your dog along your route. Dog meadows are a good opportunity to meet new friends as well. For Jake, it is the greatest thing to meet one of his old (or newer) buddy and to celebrate this by doing a triple salto backward piked. Old friends are always good to have, but also newer ones! That is why is it always a good idea to expand the circle of friends, isn`t it?
4. Travel with dog
A travel with dog obviously needs some planning in advance. Where do we go to? Where do we stay the nights? How do we get there? How does our daily routine look like? These questions are important and eligible and should be clarified. I`d suggest to proceed step by step:
You could make a weekend trip to the sea or a city trip in order to check you and your dog for suitability of such events. Meanwhile there is a sufficient number of dog-friendly accomodations. On campsites it is mostly no issue anyway. For those who prefer more comfort, lots of hotels are available as well. Just pick a destination and google or check airbnb!
If you are already experienced with travelling with your dog, you probably know some good places. If not, check the closer coastal areas!
5. A new trick
I am not the biggest fan of training my dog all kinds of circus acts. However, a dog might be happy about that, because he would be cognitively challenged andpraised a lot after making a handstand. Also, it is indeed kind of a cool thing to present one or two tricks whenever friends come to see you. If you are someone who likes to do that, think about a new trick and surprise your buddies again! But also if you don`t train lots of tricks, just try it out. It doesn`t have to be a double salto yet…
6. Practicing an exercise as good as possible
Everybody knows that feeling: hundreds or thousands of times we told our dog to sit or stay, but there are those days, where it just doesn`t work. At least there are those situations where you doubt about the receptiveness of your buddy. Even well-known dog trainers say that a dog won`t listen always.
Obviously, it is much worse with humans. However, if you belong to those persons who never ever disregarded an order or who always listened perfectly to your parents, I encourage you to stop reading here. Write a guidebook instead how to become a perfect human. But please mention my name in the preface, because I would obviously be the creative input and starting point of your book.
The fact that our dog doesn`t listen always well is – to be honest – mostly the case, because we do not practice enough. Commands or tricks can`t just be practiced and will stay saved for the rest of your dog`s life. That`s why I regularly practice all of the different things again and again.
A good example is the recall. The dogs are playing and running around, but you want to go after a while and call “come, Hillary!” (are there people who name their dog “Hillary”?). But Hillary doen`t come and still has a lot of fun or finds that blade of grass much more interesting. In my opinion, only one thing really helps here: practice, practice, practice. Whenever it is possible. Felt a thousand times, I saw people calling their dogs and if they come, they don`t get any reward and are leashed instead. Why should Hillary come to you then? Understandably, Hillary would prefer to play with her buddy Donald (are there people who name their dog “Donald”?).
7. Changing a habit
Routine and habits in dealing with your own dog is right and important. It makes daily life easier and gives us a structure. The dog gets his food after the walk, we do our stuff and have our usual day. This is also the case in the cooperation with the dog. We unleash the dog at the same point like we always do and everybody is happy.
However, I`m a friend of variation. I rarely unleash Jake at the same point like I did the day before. Sometimes, he can directly go exploring the very first trees. But another time I walk further than actually necessary before unleashing him. Jake mostly looks a bit surprised and one thing is recognizable: He looks at me more often and his focus is higher than usual. He is literally forced to follow me and therefore also adapts his habits. As a consequence, we rarely have a “regular” walk and this is why his attention span baseline is higher.
Just pick any habit and change it. Just because. And check out what comes up then!
The more of the 7 tips you finally implement, the more likely you will recognise a change in the relationship to your dog. Because of being so excited, your dog may look like Jake: