Training our dogs is important, especially new puppies who have so much to learn about living with their humans, but sometimes the dog and the human just need a break from all the sitting, heeling, no’s and other command and responsibilities of the day. That’s when I say “let’s go for an adventure walk”. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, your dog will love you for it and you will later realize you’ve benefitted from it as much as fido.
Where I live, there’s plenty of pasture and wooded areas to explore so I don’t have to go far to give myself and my dog an adventure break but regardless of where you live, try to find an adventure spot where your dog can be free to roam and explore a bit. If not off-leash, then at least without the heel command or other restrictions that make it hard for you and your dog to enjoy the time together.
Give your dog the freedom to do what comes natural like marking a spot or following a scent they have picked up along the way. Some dogs have more interest than others so let them give you the cue on what they’re interested in doing and enjoy the time just watching and engaging in their interests instead of the dog always having to follow the human rules for a walk or adventure.
For these little adventures, I typically don’t even give rewards or treats of any kind because I don’t want my dog to feel this is yet another training session of some sort. I want him to just enjoy the great outdoors and have me enjoy it with him. If he keeps his nose to the ground, chases the ducks and goats or decides to go for a swim in the pond, it’s his time and I love watching him enjoy nature and do what he was meant to do.
If you take these kind of adventure breaks with your dog, you’ll probably discover, as I certainly have, that it will benefit you as much, or more, than it does your dog. He will be well exercised, calmer and ready for a long nap and you will, as well. The problem, of course, if most of us humans don’t have time for that long nap but maybe a power nap will be possible. If not, I can still guarantee, you’ll have a clearer, more refreshed mind and body if you take the time to be like your dog and just explore and enjoy the beautiful world that God created for our enjoyment and his glory.
Happy adventure walks!