After a lot of deliberation and planning, November saw the arrival of our new puppy, Bertie the cockapoo. While having a puppy has been a bit of a learning experience, it’s also brought a lot of joy and love to our family.
At the moment, taking Bertie out for a walk is still something of a novelty for Busby and H-Bear, but I know it won’t be long until it becomes a normal part of our daily routine and they start to lose interest. Because of this, I’ve been starting to think about ways to keep them engaged on dog walks, to keep them fun and fresh.
Here is what I’ve come up with.
Make Walks Educational
Being out in nature provides a great opportunity to teach your children. To make learning fun, plan out a scavenger-style hunt before you leave the house by writing down a list of things to find. This could include different animals or colours. Your little ones will love this activity and you’ll be helping their development, too.
Change the Route
Walking the same loop day after day can be boring for adults, let alone young children. Instead, where possible, try to mix up your dog walking routes as this will provide new things to see and areas to explore. This is why we’ve introduced ‘Beach Sunday’ to our weekends! If you have a toddler, remember to keep walks relatively short for their little legs!
Add Fun Stops and Breaks
As well as changing the route, adding little stops at the halfway point can add an element of fun and give your children something to look forward to, keeping them more engaged with the walk. You could play a game, visit a nearby park, or use it as a chance to train your dog and let your children reward your pet with treats.
Obstacle Course Fun
Making your daily dog walk a game is an easy way to keep your kids happy. Create an obstacle course by introducing fun rules, such as running around trees, avoiding cracks in the path, touching lamp posts and jumping over curbs. Remember to adjust the rules to keep it fresh!
Dress for the Occasion
Your kids will look forward to walking the dog if it means they get to wear something they love. This could be their favourite wellies, fancy dress outfit, or even a pair of Proline roller blades. Dressing up will give them the chance to use their imagination, making dog walking more exciting.
These ideas require little preparation and I’m looking forward to trying them out if/when the novelty of walking Bertie starts to wear off. Try them and see if they work for you, too.