Summer holidays...entertaining the kids and dog!
Trying to get the kids out to join you on that daily dog walk can be difficult, here we explore some ideas that will make it fun for you, the kids and the dog to get out and about!
You can't beat a trip to the woods...both the kids and the dog will love it! There's no need to walk for miles, especially if you have very young kids. How about a bit of den building, if your dog is happy to explore off lead they may well just have the best time sniffing about as the kids get busy. If you're not too confident with your dog off lead you can always use a long lead.
Whilst the kids are busy give the dog something to entertain them... Scavenging for some treats in some of the leaves and logs is great (I sometimes use dried up grated cheese for this...you don't need much, it's high value and sprinkles amazingly, plus dogs love using their nose to hunt it out). This will not only mentally tire the dog with all the processing of scent smells, but also using uneven surfaces of logs and undergrowth will give them a physical workout too!
The woods gives loads of other exercise opportunities too! It has a natural outdoor trim trail that both the dog and kids can try out together...make it into a follow the leader type game or get one of the kids to leave a little Hansel and Gretel type trail over obstacles to encourage your dog to climb and build confidence in a canine parkour course. If you need help trying to build this kind of confidence, pop along to one of our Fit n Focused classes and we'll be able to show you how!
And what's better than a dog on a log picture? One that includes the kids too!
Top on my list of tools that got the kids to walk that little bit further with enthusiasm was the Geo-caching app. This worked wonders for them, it's an app the helps you locate hidden treasures where the kids can record they've found it and swap small none-perishable items with those in the treasure box (just remember to take something with you to trade with....hair bobbles, key rings, rubbers etc. are all perfect). There are hundreds of Geo-caching sites all around the UK and abroad and some areas where you may go walking may have multiple sites that will help you get out of the car park, round a loop and back again!
At Jay K9 we've just started offering Mantrailing workshops... This has to be one of my favourite activities to do with the kids (usually when they're that little bit older and you're happy for them to be out of sight). Mantrailing is the dog sport of searching for missing people, so works like a game of hide and seek with the dog working as the seeker each time.
Take it in turns for each of the kids to run off and hide somewhere (you may want to put a few rules in place about hiding areas and places they can go before you start this game, but as your dog gets better and better at finding them you can let them become that bit more adventurous), then set your dog on to finding them. I love playing this at my parents farm, the kids know the rules of where they are allowed to go and hide, but the dog got so good we use to have to wait for 30 mins to 1 hour (to put delay on the trail and make it more difficult) before setting off to find them...the perfect amount of time to finish of that little task or have a quiet cuppa!
For dogs that like to pull turn it into an advantage... Cani-crossing is a great dog sport where you run with your dog (only suitable for dogs over 1 year of age who are physically developed). In cani-cross you encourage your dog to pull, to avoid undoing your loose lead skills it's important you use a different and specific cani-cross harness that's been designed for the dog to pull into. If you don't fancy going fast you can do cani-treking (the walking version). It's really important that you use the right equipment (for both you and the dog) if you are unsure do get advice (we'd be happy to help). The kids love running our dogs (wondering if that means we need to get one more dog for the child that misses out and currently runs without one?)
Our kids love going for a bike ride and the little dog loves to come along for a ride too! At the beginning of the year we invested in a little bike basket for her, knowing that her little legs wouldn't manage to cover the distance we would on our bike. It took a little bit of training to get her use to riding in the basket, but was pretty easy. Amazon have a good selection of bike carriers and some of them can hold dogs that weigh up to 7kg (check this out as each brand is different).
Leah loves riding around like a little princess in her bike basket. What I love is the smiles she brings to people's faces when we cycle through town...who couldn't love a dog in a bike basket.
Going for a paddle also has to be high up on our list of days out...great in the warmer weather with lots of lovely spots locally for a little cool off. Don't forget the towels for the kids and the dog (you don't want damp dog smells in your car)! Make the most of it and combine it with a bit of a picnic... our next Settle Cafe is going to be a picnic special, working on dogs being calm and settled whilst both their human family and food are on the floor at their level!
If you have some top holiday activity ideas that are great for dogs and kids feel free to share them with us on our Facebook post https://www.facebook.com/jayk9dog/posts/2435528959840157?__xts__=68.ARACx7N8ZRRudCXhITxuHsqq9otZFsPUQdfdnrk_JcjPWSMvLR13UpVJInAry_7qdnZQKGl_XQxgPP1O_qEvZRI3psQuEClycBgotWBA9cUyMYVPhl6DIsmpNNhFiX0Asy2OlBSiVBtztTGdxwg2jyIlg9Ru9_-G-XX29OzdLNShv3eSAjyc-JJujC5ZkIYeZYKyOe14oFDLfIRZebHjes1TlEBjvUIaW6ogTbGZRptzlizg8erR6rMO99krMnpDUa-v-Ex08vkNXMhWJeKYoMng4kNz6Lnm3A7ZJGI2N7GBWzyZeI2fd5I006zO3m-iXvS1FcIOJEDyAhsjrXhSkNDBvYfq&__tn__=-R