It's all fun and games
Once you get to the park, then get creative. Play hide and seek. Dogs love this and what better way of reinforcing a speedy recall? We are fortunate enough to have such a wonderful park with so many fantastic areas for us to play with our dogs in. Try throwing a toy for your dog, let him chase it then hide before he has chance to turn around. Call him and see the delight on his face when he finds you. If you are walking with a friend, partner or the children, take it in turns to call your dog.
Make a treat tree out of a fallen tree or log – ask your dog to sit and stay or place him on lead. I place Marleybones natural air-dried treats along a log so he can see them. Release him and ask him to ‘find’ them. My dogs love to play this.
If you watch groups of dogs, look out for all their silent conversations and how they interact with each other – a dog will go and sniff an area – before you know it, the other dogs are also there, getting the local news. You can join in by making this natural behaviour into a game. Have a treat or toy in your hand. Bend down to investigate an area – it can be a piece of grass or a bush. Make your voice bright and say something like “Ooh, what’s this?” Before you know it your dog will be rushing over to see what is so exciting. Once he’s looking around the spot give him a treat or his toy.
Walking your dog should be enjoyable for both of you. For me, it’s not just a walk in the park.