Dogs and humans alike have favorites. Walking routes included. But after walking the same path over and over again, you might be feeling a little tired of the same scenery… but is your dog? If you’re noticing less enthusiasm from your pup when you start on your walks, boredom might be to blame.
Dogs can get bored with the same walk. As much as dogs appreciate routine, they also love exploring and trying new things. The same walk for a dog means the same sights, smells, and sounds. Without anything new to look for, dogs can get bored.
If you suspect your dog is getting bored on your regular walks, then this article is for you. Keep reading for the tell-tale signs of doggie boredom, as well as some tips and tricks to prevent your dog from getting bored on walks.
Dogs do get bored of the same walk every day, sometimes twice a day. Dogs rely so much on their nose and ears, so the same sights on a walk aren’t necessarily what makes them bored. Sounds and smells will vary a little bit on your walking route, but not enough to keep your dog completely engaged after walking the same route.
While it’s nice to know what to expect when you have a regular path to walk, it’s just not as stimulating for your pup. The same walk, day in, day out, can become mundane, leading your doggie to be less interested and eventually bored.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Bored of the Same Walk
Here are a few tell-tale (tail?) signs your dog is getting bored of the same old walk:
- Lack of enthusiasm for walks
- Slouching head
- Stopping during the walk
Lack of Enthusiasm for Walks
We’ve all heard of the dog that brings their leash to their owner while wagging their tail – can we walk? Please! Other dogs jump for joy at the mention of going outdoors for a nice walk. If your dog isn’t doing this, then there is a chance they are underwhelmed with your choice of route.
Also, keep an eye out for this same lack of enthusiasm during your walk. If your dog isn’t excited to smell all the smells and explore like he or she once did, boredom is a strong possibility.
If you manage to drag your dog out the door, watch them and gauge their demeanor during the stroll. Are they sniffing and wagging and pulling on the leash? If not, they may be bored.
Stopping During the Walk
If you have a dog filled with an independent personality, then you may find them pretending to be a dog statue the moment you get out the door. They won’t budge. Indeed, some dogs will refuse to walk. They could be bored.
Keep in mind. Assuming your dog is bored should be low on your list of concerns. You should first ask if there is something else making them resist walks.
- Are they scared of something? Cars? Loud noises? Children? Other dogs?
- Are they hurt? Is something wrong with your dog’s joints?
These are a few things you should ask before assuming your dog is bored.
How to Keep Your Dog from Getting Bored on Walks
So, you’ve decided your dog is bored with their walks. Great, now time to fix the issue. You’re their companion, and you know best. Here are three ideas to make your dog’s walk in the park more adventurous:
- Walk a new route!
- Pause during the walk for some playtime
- Change the pace
Walk a New Route
This is, of course, the most obvious fix. Your dog will enjoy learning a new area and experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells. If you live in an area without many options, you can consider driving a little way to a new location. Or, you could try to walk the same route, but at different times of the day.
Pause for Play Time
This is another good idea if you don’t have many options for a new route. However, you can also incorporate some playtime on a new route. If you walk past a park that allows dogs to be free, throw the ball around for a few minutes. Your dog will love you for it.
Change the Pace
Try jogging a little bit, or playing red light green light with your dog. Jogging is an especially good idea if you have a dog that is bred to work, like a collie or a German Shepherd. These dogs thrive when active, so be sure you are incorporating some open space playtime as well.
Be mindful of your dog’s age and health conditions. Some dogs may not be up for running a marathon. If you have a smaller dog and you plan to run, staying close to home might be a good plan, you’ll end up carrying them home sometimes.
Try a Sniffari
That’s right, a sniffari! The brilliant doggie experts at Preventative Vet suggest this cleverly named activity to keep your dog from getting bored on walks. Bring some of your pup’s favorite treats, and hide them along the way.
Make sure to use smaller training treats, since these are a healthier option if your dog is going to be eating a few. Depending on how much your dog loves treats, this will keep him or her engaged for quite some time.
Just make sure you don’t do this in an area where there are other dogs or possible critters. This activity is best to do along a trail or the sidewalk, where another four-legged friend won’t intercept the treats.
Here are some training treats to try that are potent enough to keep your dog sniffing for as long as you want.
- Zuke’s Naturals Training Soft Chewy Calming Dog Treats
- Nativo Naturals Num Num Training Treats
- Blue Buffalo BLUE Bits Natural Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats
Whatever You do, Don’t Quit Walking Your Dog
As a general rule, you should try to give your dog some exercise every day. Some dogs do very well with up to two hours of activity every day, and others might only need a half-hour. Times will vary based on the breed of dog you have, so be sure to ask your vet, they will be able to put your dog a specific exercise routine.
Also, read your dog. Do they continuously seem to be whining at the door? Or are they wiped out and ready for a nap after going outside to use the bathroom? Your dog will have specific wants and needs.
If your dog seems to be acting strangely, there could be several reasons for this. It’s a good idea to consider if your dog needs more training, but also don’t forget that your dog could be having a medical problem.
We covered all things, dogs, walks, and boredom. Depending on your dog, they may become bored on the same walk. It’s a good idea to change it up if you suspect they need something new. However, if your dog continues to act lethargic after you’ve made some changes, it may be time to take them into the vet.
Remember, your dog changes – just like you! It could be that now they’d rather play ball in the backyard then walk down the street. And that’s okay. As long as you and your dog are getting outside and bonding, then you’ll have a happy human and a happy dog too.