If you didn’t read the Part 1 yet, you can find it here.
Here we are in a safe environment. It’s a private park, and Brodie can walk off the lead. I always do interesting and different things with him each day, which is important to a dog. With this in mind, after 10 minutes’ walk, I do something unpredictable to test my connection to him, and also to ensure that he doesn’t wander too far away from me: without calling him, I stop and wait for him to realise that I’m not with him. I do this exercise occasionally, without creating anxiety in the dog. When he finds me, I give him a treat, so that he understands that there is always something good waiting for him! This connection is very important in a person’s relationship with a dog.
After the first 15 minutes, Brodie is free to run in the park. Most of the time, he meets other dogs, and plays with them in a variety of ways. He does this for 20-25 minutes. In this way, he socialises with them, and puts himself out there, which can be really funny. In this video, he plays with a 9-month-old dog. (Even when he’s playing with a young dog, I always check the dynamics of the game.)
I also do some interesting things when we’re on our way back home. For instance, I sometimes run with him just before we arrive home. Or, we sit down on the steps at the front door, and watch what’s going on in front of us. It makes arriving back home more pleasant and interesting for him.
And once we are at home again, I do a treasure hunt, or a problem-solving game for the last 5 minutes. Sometimes I do a neck massage. He likes that a lot, because it helps him relax. I prefer to say ‘goodbye’ when he is in a state of calm.
This is just one example of how I work. I created this routine because it works well with Brodie. The most important thing about activities for dogs is that the dog should have fun. I am very happy with that, because it means enjoying 1 hour of quality time with him/her.
All the Best,
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