Job to do for pup when out on walks

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!


Member Since
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 3:32pm PST 
My girl is a real working dog: extremely intelligent and very alert. She's 7 months old now and as I got her from the shelter I don't know what she is exactly, but she seems like a belgian shepherd/collie mix. She hit puberty just now, has been quite the handful when it comes to her energy levels and alertness. I'm visiting my parents in the woods now for the holidays and all the changes (plus experiencing fire works for the first time) have made her quite hyper out on walks. I would have her off leash at first, then put her on the field line just a security leash and I would just let it drag on the floor without holding it, and now I'm at the point where I don't feel comfortable with that anymore and just keep her on leash at all times. The reason for this is that she has gone into MUST-CHASE mode more and more. I taught her to not chase joggers and was working on cars and bikes and this was going wonderfully: she entirely stopped noticing joggers. Now when she sees one from a distance less than 50 meters, she'll want to chase with the biggest smile on her face. Keeping her on leash now is going well, we trained not pulling quite a lot and that's going really well. However, I would also like her to be able to run around without me having to go into eagle mode, scanning the surroundings continuously.

I want to give her something to do: next to the training of not chasing, I want her to feel like she has a job and that she's useful. She loves it when I tell her to jump over/circle logs, so I do a bit of that while out on walks. When she's a bit older I'll definitely wanna do lots of agility, herding etc. with her. I wanted to ask you guys: what kind of job can I give her when we're out on walks? All ideas are welcome, especially the ones that include me also being able to relax and not having to constantly be on guard/focus every last bit of my attention on her silenced
(I'm also keeping in mind the times that I'll want to walk with someone and have a conversation which is quite impossible at the moment ^_^)

For instance, I was thinking of letting her carry something that is important, like keys or a wallet. Of course I don't expect a dog to know that these are high value objects, but with how smart and sensitive she is I can imagine her to understand by watching me that these are important things. How would I go about getting her to like to carry stuff around up to a point when it is much more interesting than the environment, especially those fast moving human legs? This is still a child craving to explore every last bit of her surroundings. Yet she loves to focus on me when I am being interesting (i.e. telling her to do something), so I am sure that with the right conditioning and motivation she will be able to have more than enough focus.

Any other ideas?

Thanks a lot!

forever loved
Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 6:56pm PST 
Doggie back-packs. Start with just introducing the pack, then gradually add weight to it over time. For many dogs, it gives them a sense of purpose and will give them a bit more exercise both mentally and physically.

That's all I really got right now...I need sleep.kitty Have fun with your pup!puppy

ETA: Does your pup have a favorite toy? Twist looooves balls, and will gladly carry one around.

Edited by author Wed Jan 2, '13 6:58pm PST

Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
Barked: Thu Jan 3, '13 9:43am PST 
'Job' is always hard to sort out since human concept and canine concept are a bit different wink

I love the pack idea...

Have you done agility? We do... and I work with Charks on directional exercises as we walk. That is, I'll signal left ('haw') or right ('gee') or straight ('go on') or jump or touch (for interesting things). And we work on left heels ('heel') and right heels ('right') and auto-stops at the curbs.

We take a variety of walks, so Charka will often indicate which direction SHE would like to go (she auto-stops at the crosswalk lined up for her choice). I sometimes take her suggestion and sometimes not... using my body language and all those directional commands to indicate which way we'll go. So, we 'talk'... it certainly makes walks fun for both of us... of course I walk out the door for each adventure thinking about how to do something different. Winter is not as easy, but when warmer and more activity out there, I also introduce her to as much new and interesting as I can... meeting the clown this last summer was too amazing (she handled herself well shock).

Member Since
Barked: Mon Jan 14, '13 9:04pm PST 
Maybe you should really try getting your dog into some agility training. You wouldn't want her to be very exhausted so you might want to go for those easier agility trainings, or the shorter ones. And the doggie backpacks isn't a bad idea. Your dog would still be carrying it on her even if she's a bit distracted with a pair of human legs though. wave

Life is supposed- to be fun!
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 4:42pm PST 
Many ideas can be incorporated on a walk. Drop your gloves and have her run back to find it. Throw or hide a glove deep into the forest and have her find it. Go with a friend and have her find them. Stop periodically to do some training or tricks. Practice distance cues: that is the dog is running ahead or behind and you cue her to do a behavior at that distance. Environmental agility-jumping over benches, sending around objects and people,
You can find out how to train these: www.dogvideoindex.blogspot.com