As I set off on my regular morning walk with little Ava (our Jackapoo puppy) I started to think whether dogs get bored doing the same walk over and over? During the first lockdown, I remember feeling bored and frustrated that I was only allowed to walk from my house which was very limiting. But do dogs feel the same? The short answer is.. it depends!
So I Googled it….
When I got home, I Googled “do dogs get bored doing the same walk?” and there is quite a lot of discussion on this very topic. I went down rabbit hole after rabbit hole spending way too much time on this, but I thought I would share my findings with you all.
#1 – When most dogs go on a routine walk, they know all the areas that need sniffing and make sure that the appropriate spots receive a “blessing”. Dogs enjoy protecting their territory, so yes, a regular walk has its benefits.
#2 – Not all dogs enjoy a walk. I'm not sure why that surprised me as my older dog Poppy had to be in the mood for a walk. She would often be off the lead and before I knew it she had turned around and started to make her own way home. She also detested walking in the rain (understandable!).
#3 – One person wrote, some dogs get bored if they only get one or two routes. The guy who wrote this article talked about his dog that would sit in the middle of the path and just not budge until he turned around and walked back home. He then changed tactics and took the dog for a short drive in the car and then went on a walk around the local woods. His dog had a great time and the sitting in the path eventually stopped.
#4 – Dogs Can get bored over anything that’s too routine. Mix up your walk locations. Find activities that excite your dog with a sense of adventure.
#5 – Nobody can read a dog’s mind. It is impossible to tell what they are thinking at any given moment in time. However, rather than being bored, it would seem to be safe to assume that a dog would love walking on the same route because they would recognize everything and feel safe. If they are male, they would also be able to smell their own urine on trees that they have marked. And all dogs can scent where another dog has been.
I believe that dogs need stimulation and if you live in an area where you can let a dog off the lead to do “dog-like” things then your dog won't get too bored doing the same walk over and over. If however, you live in a built-up area and you are simply walking your dog around the same block a few times a day then stimulation is limited and a dog may get bored. Boredom often leads to behavioural problems, especially in younger dogs. But, and here is always a but, all dogs are different and, like some humans, not all dogs enjoy exercise.