Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Variety in dog walks?(29 Posts)
We have a dog walk near my home that is only 5 mins on the pavement, then there are 2 fields I can boundary walk whilst dogs are off lead. I take the dogs (by car) to different walks every other day so they can have a variety of walks. Is this ridiculous? Am I anthropomorphising?
I don't think YABU. I have my "normal" walks which is fields around the village, there's a bit of variation but not a huge amount, and to be honest I get bored with it too! At the weekends I take DDog to other places by car and she is always very excited to go somewhere new - I don't think she minds the field walks as much as me, but I can tell she loves the woods a lot more.
We use a mix of different places for walks too. The dogs undoubtedly like some (even) more than others, and I like the variety too.
Yeah we mix it up too. It must be really boring for dogs to go to the same place every day. At weekends we research and download countryside walks that are near nice country pubs
If it's not too inconvenient for you then I think it is a good idea. The dogs will get good enrichment from it. I do worry a bit about people who always drive their dogs somewhere to walk them, if for some reason your dog got out and was wandering the streets near your home it would surely be harder for them to make their way home? We walk our dog around the local streets 3 times a day. He goes in the car for fun beach kr forest walks on the weekend. He knows his way home from all the nearby streets/back alleys.
YANBR - but it does depend onthe dog. The same all the time becomes less valuable in terms of stimulation but I think a dog that is nervous out and about may enjoy the comfort of going somewhere familier.
Plus, you're more likely to want to go for a walk if there is variety, I think.
I always vary the walks. I'm sure my dog has favourites, but the walk isn't just for the dog, you need to enjoy it too.
I have an over-excitable type of pooch and have 3 regular walks that I alternate. She also goes out with a dog walker 3 times a week. For me, keeping it to the same few walks works better as it stops her getting too over-excited which in turn can negatively affect her behaviour. It's all about keeping her arousal levels below a certain level. She's a nervy rescue so that's what works for us. I can see the benefit of completely new walks if you have a well-rounded, relaxed dog though.
Varying your walks (even walking a circular route in the opposite direction) helps to keep the dog's focus on you, as it will be wondering where you are going next. It's also helpful to proof different commands (recall, sit, stay etc) in different places so that if you do take your dog somewhere new, it won't go completely off-piste.
I train my own dog in a dozen different places, to get her used to different scents, different obstacles, different entries into water, different types of undergrowth, different distractions. It's definitely more interesting for her: she goes up on her toes when we go somewhere we've not been for a while. It's also more fun for me - the usual pre-work early morning route can get bloody boring!
I walk on a local heath every day , sometimes twice , it’s got a large grass area with a trim trail on it so it gets mown by the council and then a large wild area with mown paths around and through it . I do it in different directions etc but it’s different for the dog every time because there are different things to smell every time and apart from playing ball that’s what he’s interested in .
We usually take her to the same park, normally because she loves it and has a gang of mates up there. But will take her to other places too.
I don't get any choice - my dog (and the one I had before) sets off purposefully in a certain direction and she has clearly decided in advance where we are going. She varies these walks as clearly finds it boring to go on the same old one. At least once a week she wants to go on a (hilly) two-hour hike to a viewpoint. Sometimes I really can't bear the thought of the route she wants so we have a little stand-off at the corner (I win but she insists on a dog treat for graciously giving in). Another dogowner locally has the same with problem with his lurcher (I have seen them discussing the matter at a junction and he confirmed it - I noticed he never seems to win the argument though).
I would love to do this....
Even if it’s something different for me if it isn’t for the dogs.
But my two won’t walk if they deviate from their normal route
We are moving house today which means they will need to get used to a new route
3rd attempt to reply. second one disappeared so sorry if you get 3.
We do a variety. They have one long one that's mainly off lead. They much prefer it to on social as pavement walks.
To mix it up we go to the beach, some national trust places (but they have to be on leads), 10/15 mile countryside walks, shorter walks around the block, go to the local park or Riverside.
I do think the range of places has made her recall better. She's really good at picking up commands and whistle patterns in different settings now.
I try, I really do, to vary our walks.
Sometimes she's okay with it at other times she just sits down and refuses to move.
There's a beautiful walk near my vet, new vet, so new walk. She was fine the first time and we had a lovely walk. The second time we went there I set off for another lovely walk but she wasn't having it. She sat down and refused to move so we drove back towards home and went to the park, which she loves.
If we walk near the house, there are a couple of walks we can do that combine street and field but will she go in a slightly different direction? Hell no. We even have to cross the road at the same point. Otherwise I get the sitting down, staring at me treatment.
She quite likes to go into town sometimes, but there have been occasions when I've driven there, parked the car, put her lead on and she's decided she's not up for a walk in town today. Once we get back towards home though she's fine.
She's 8 years old and for her breed that's not particularly old so I don't think it's age related.
When she was younger we lived somewhere where there were many different walks we could go to from the house: street, field, beach, park and so on. Sometimes we'd get to the park and I could tell she just wanted to go somewhere else.
I've just come to the conclusion that she's a stick in the mud who knows what she likes.
One day she'll be happy to indulge me in a different walk, another day she's going to have her own way regardless of what I want.
I'm getting a bit desperate tbh, I not sure how many more years I can take of doing the same walk day in day out.
When I first had her as a puppy, one book I read on training told me that as the human I was the one who decided on the route our walks would take, and I did.
I not sure now how one gets round it though when a dog sits down and stares you out with a 'we're not going that way, and that's an end of it' look.
Mine is only just coming up to 3 pigsDOfly and also very set in his ways we do vary our walks and drive to different places, but if he's been there before he wants to do the same round and also do the sitting down staring at me if he deems I'm going the wrong way.
In our local park, which is the most frequent of our walks, we can't go near one entrance unless we are going to the pub as he loves the pub and we usually go there in the weekends with him, but if it's a mid week he won't go past that entrance/exit so best avoided
We have two local walks from the house - woods or a riverside walk with a nice big field - and our dog will decide for himself, and lie down very purposefully on the pavement if I try to take him the 'wrong way' for that day. He also does this if DH's car is in the drive, as we do lots of different walks at weekends and during the holidays. There have been days when DH has had to drive us to the end of the road, after which he will get out quite happily and carry on with the local walk. He's an odd bod though - he doesn't get excited at the word 'walk' or the sight of a lead, only at the word 'car'. We don't know much about his past but he's forever trying to get into random vans, so I think he must have been driven about a lot by his previous owners.
We have two main walks near us: The three fields and Bill’s Fields. DP does one in the morning and I do the other one in the afternoon or evening. We go different places at weekends though.
God it gets boring doing the same routes, even if you go round the opposite way. Dog doesn’t mind, as long as he can run round being a twat for a bit.
I’m not looking forward to dark walks in winter either.
I'm so glad I'm not the only one with an awkward, bossy dog.
I love the idea of having to drive the dog to the end of the road in order to get a walk, that made me chuckle. It's a bit like driving your child around in the car in order to get him/her to fall asleep.
I suppose if they lived in the wild they'd go where they wanted at any given time so for those dogs who won't be told where to go, it, no doubt, makes perfect sense.
I just want a change of scenery from time to time.
I like to vary walks too . Her favourite is chasing squirrels in Hyde Park - amuses the tourists .
We mix it up too. We have four places we go on work days (convenient due to distance) and at weekends we go further afield and explore new places.
We're very fortunate to live on the coast so we can always go to the beach for a run/swim for an easy option!
Blow the dogs, I need some variety, or i'd go mad!
Also, I like to know how far I've walked, so signed up to Strava, then found out that all my walks were not as long as I thought they were, so am now going to have to up my game!!
I vary as much as I can. My previous dog was very set in his ways and ended up not liking change.
With our current dog I've created a wide number of walks which I'll even do backwards!
I also try and think about what he might need eg on a shorter walk it will be somewhere "sniffy" with lots of things for him to look at so he gets more mental exercise than going to the park.
I am lucky though that I live semi rural.
(not read all the posts), But yes, we also change route regularly with ours. Always have with other dogs. Aside from it being a change of scenery for you and dog, it's more interesting, stimulating, and decreases the dogs' chance at becoming cliquey with others.
Mine is a teen atm, so I try and get him around as many different dogs/people/area as possible and get him out of his comfort zone. I think it's a good thing, and a lot of research has been done it!