You’ve traveled this route many times. Your footsteps are on automatic pilot and your dog is tired of smelling the same patches of grass. You continue your daily walks sticking as closely to the same path like a beagle honing in on a scent because your dog needs exercise for his health and as an outlet for pent up energy. Walking is what you are supposed to do with a dog, right? Well, yes, but there’s a movement afoot that challenges the traditional ideas of what dogs and humans can do together for fun and physical conditioning. So if you and your canine companion are getting a little bored with the same activities day after day, here are some suggestions to shake up your routine.
Follow the Dog
Try this twist for your daily walks. Instead of walking your dog, have your dog walk you. Wherever she goes, you go. Think of your dog as a four-legged, furry, walking GPS that isn’t letting you know where the final destination will be. You’ll be amazed where the nose will take the two of you.Running with your dog is like multitasking — you and your four-legged athlete get to enjoy the great outdoors while increasing stamina and strengthen muscles. Dr. Lucy Spelman, renowned veterinarian, educator and author on domestic and wildlife animals, agrees that running with your dog is a great activity with one caveat: “Remember it’s your dog’s outing. You should be willing to stop when the dog wants to stop — to sniff and greet other dogs and people — even if that slows you down.”