Robin here! I'm sure you already have fun bonding with your dog by walking them every day, but if you're wondering how you can freshen things up and keep your dog from getting bored from the same walking routine each day, this is the post for you!
1. Try a new route
Don't always walk in the same exact places every day. Okay, I admit I do this because I basically have no other choice, but it's good to switch things up sometimes. Walk in a different direction, stroll through the park, or you could even drive to a nearby walking trail for new experiences with your pooch.
2. Let your dog sniff
It's good to take your dog for some brisk walks to tire him out, but relaxing, leisure strolls are also good. Letting your dog sniff will keep them interested in the walk and will keep them mentally stimulated. There's nothing dogs like more than checking their pee-mail and leaving pee-mail!
3. Add training to the mix
It'll be fun and stimulating for your dog to train throughout his walk. When you're walking, abruptly stop and do some training with your dog, whether it's for 30 seconds or for 5 minutes at a time. Have treats on hand! Practice your dog's sit, stay, heel, lay down, speak, spin around, whatever...your dog's brain will keep busy and your dog will learn to listen you in a distracting environment, the great outdoors!
4. Add play to your walks
Instead of stopping for training on every walk, you can halt for some good old fashioned playtime with your pup! Bring your dog's ball, rope toy, squeaky toy, or whatever and gently play with your dog while he is still leashed. It'll get your dog excited and energized for some more walking!
5. Do some nosework
When your dog isn't looking, stop your walk and hide a treat in the grass, on the ground, under a leaf, or wherever you like and let your dog sniff to find it. If your dog doesn't have a sharp sense of smell or is having some trouble, you can give hints along the way, but this is a test to see how determined your dog is to find a yummy treat.
6. Bring along some friends
Sometimes bringing along another walking partner, whether they're just accompanying you on the walk or they're actually walking your dog, can be fun for your pooch. Your dog can learn to listen to others besides their owner by being walked by a friend, and if your special walking partner for the day is another dog or a friend who has a dog, your dog will especially be thankful to have a canine comrade along! To them, it feels like a pack walk.
7. Make some friends
Let people who are interested in your dog pet them if your dog is safe to do so with. When you see a neighbor walking down the street with their pup, ask if both of your dogs can meet. Your dog will be more excited to go for daily walks if he knows he'll get to meet people and pups along the way! In our old neighborhood, Chris and I knew all the dogs there and every evening Chris got to sniff some of his canine friends who were also going for walks at the time. He got better socialization around other dogs, became more excited to go for walks, and when he met other people and kids, he learned to be less skittish around strangers, too!
8. Take breaks
I don't mean training breaks or play breaks. I don't mean breaks because you or your dog is tired. I mean breaks that will help you bond with your dog and relax outside. Just sit on the curb and unwind for a while. Pet and talk to your dog, take pictures, read a book, or just enjoy nature. Chris and I had the perfect place in our old neighborhood to take breaks at, a nice grassy bus stop with some shady trees. Find a place relaxing to you and your dog!
9. Have a ritual
Maybe that ritual is your dog gets a treat when you come back home after a walk. Maybe after a walk is when your dog gets a dental chew or playtime or lays on the couch with you. Have something for your dog to look forward to and get accustomed to after his walks.
10. Do what works for you and your dog
Don't force you and your dog to walk too far. Don't force yourself to walk too briskly or take too quick of a walk. Don't rush. Hug your dog. Enjoy strolls in the grass. Laugh and play and talk with them along the way. A walk is the best thing you and your dog could possibly do together, so make it yours.