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Fun Ways to Get Your Dog Excited for Walks

Fun Ways to Get Your Dog Excited for Walks

The Crazy Dance Before Walkies

Oof, where do I even begin? I have a pack of pups at home, and let me tell you, the pre-walk excitement can be downright bonkers. Take my dog Heston, for example – that guy lives for his daily strolls. The moment he hears the jingle of the leash, it’s like he’s had an espresso shot and a side of red bull. He’s circling, barking, and practically vibrating with anticipation. And let me tell you, trying to get that lunatic out the door and on a calm walk is about as easy as herding cats.

But here’s the thing, all of my furry friends get amped up before a walk. Amigo whimpers and runs around, Tilly cries and dances, Effel does this weird paw-lifting thing, and Benji just straight-up barks his head off. Trying to put five leads on 200kg of excited dogs and get them out the gate? Forget about it – I might as well be training for the Olympics.

The truth is, this pre-walk frenzy is my own doing, either intentionally or unintentionally. I’m the one who’s setting off all those little triggers that have my pups spinning and yipping like they just won the doggy lottery. And as their human, it’s my job to get this under control. Because trust me, you do not want to experience the wrath of a pack of over-aroused pups on a walk. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Identifying the Cues

So, the first step in taming this crazy dance is to figure out all the little things I’m doing that are getting my dogs so riled up. It’s like a secret code that they’ve cracked – every time I tie my boots, pick up my keys, or even just push in my chair, Heston starts making a beeline for the door. These are all unintentional cues that I’m giving, and my dogs are experts at reading them.

As the wonderful folks at Woof Like to Meet explained, these cues can be completely unavoidable, like locking the door or putting on my coat. But there are also plenty of non-essential ones that I can easily eliminate, like opening the shutters or putting on my hat. By getting rid of as many of these predictable signals as possible, I can start to disrupt the chain of events that has my pups bouncing off the walls.

Breaking the Excitement Cycle

Now, the real trick is breaking the connection between all these cues and the big payoff – the walk itself. I need to take the fun out of things like the leash and harness, making them totally boring and mundane. As the clever Redditors suggested, I can start leaving the harness on even after we’ve come back from a stroll, or clipping the leash on and off at random times throughout the day. This way, my dogs won’t associate those items with the excitement of going out.

I’ve also got to get creative with teaching my pups some new behaviors to replace the spinning and barking. Following the advice from Stacy the Trainer, I can try having them go grab a toy or find a specific spot whenever I do something that used to trigger the pre-walk frenzy. This way, instead of careening around like Tasmanian devils, they’ll have a constructive outlet for all that energy.

And you know what? I’ve gotta be patient and persistent with all of this. Undoing years of built-up excitement isn’t going to happen overnight. But I’m committed to making my walks with the pack a whole lot calmer and more enjoyable for everyone involved. No more crazy dogs, just happy, focused furry friends ready to explore the great outdoors with me.

Embrace the Chill

At the end of the day, I’ve realized that my dogs don’t actually need hours-long, exhausting walks to be content. What they really thrive on is a good mix of mental and physical stimulation – and that can come in all sorts of forms, not just long treks around the neighborhood.

So I’m embracing the chill. Sure, we’ll still go on our daily strolls, but I’m not going to let that pre-walk insanity happen anymore. Instead, I’m going to focus on giving my pups plenty of puzzle toys, training sessions, and good old-fashioned playtime to keep them happy and healthy. And you know what? I bet they’ll be way more relaxed and ready to enjoy our walks when I’ve got their excitement under control.

It’s all about finding that perfect balance – channeling that boundless pup energy into productive, calming activities. No more crazy dances, just content canines ready to take on the world, one peaceful walk at a time. Bring it on, walkies!

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