Practical Alternatives to Walks




There are lots of things you can do with your dog when you are not going for walks. Choose calming things if you need to reduce your dog’s arousal and mix it up so you and your dog don’t get bored.

You can choose to exercise in a different location. You may know somewhere remote where you will not meet other people or you can use a secure field or a large garden if you or a friend has one.

But you can also try low impact exercise that can be done in a small space, such as ACE Free Work. You could book your dog a swimming session at a local hydro pool or give your dog a workout with a quality strong chew. These can be done even if you don’t have outdoor space.

Interactive games are great fun and will build your bond with your dog. Play with a flirt pole, building in self control by occasionally stopping the game and making starting again dependent on them waiting. You can also try fun agility, parkour, tug or Hoopers in your garden or yard!

Sniffing games and scent work are essential to satisfy your dog’s need to explore and use their nose and their brain. You can go on sniffaris – expeditions to explore an area with the nose. Perhaps visit an industrial estate, a nearby hedgerow, or a recently vacated field that has housed livestock.

You could also play hide and seek for food, toys or family members around the house.

As well as adding scent based enrichment such as snuffle mats, finding treats in ball pits or wrapping treats in a rolled up towel to search.

Spend time training your dog. You can train anything: tricks are fun and choice-based training can be great to prepare your dog for vet visits and nail trims.

There are many commercial toys available to entertain your dog when you are not going on walks – puzzle toys, activity mats, treat dispensers and filled chew toys. But you can also make your own. Use safe recycling to hide treats inside. Put shredded paper and toilet roll tubes in a cardboard box and scatter treats in it to make your own snuffle box.

And remember that many dogs enjoy just hanging out with you. If your dog likes physical touch consider massage or TTouch to help them to relax.

You do not need walks to meet your dog’s needs. You just need a little imagination!

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