Our small group enrichment walks are not your standard dog walk, this is a group adventure packed with fun training games, scentwork and parkour activities led by Kate Cert. WCC ADTI, an experienced and qualified dog trainer. Exercising your dog both physically and mentally helping you have a dog who relaxes more and demonstrates good impulse control behaviours.
Although insured to walk 6 dogs, I keep my group size small and when possible keep to a maximum of 4 or 5 dogs per walk to ensure your dog receives lots of individual attention, enabling me to add more enrichment and monitor the dogs interactions. It also means less travel time in the van.
After a complimentary initial ‘meet and greet’, all dogs joining will be required to complete a solo walk. This enables me to get to know your dog better and find out what motivates them so that we can assess which type of walk will be most suitable and then integrate them safely.
If your dog needs to brush up on their recall training, then more solo walks may be necessary before joining the group and this will be assessed on an individual basis.
Once the solo walk is completed, and all has gone satisfactory, your dog will be ready to meet their new friends and join in the fun on our group enrichment walks.
Let the Sniff-Ventures begin…..
Physical exercise makes up only about 40% of your dog’s energy expenditure. What actually causes your dogs to sleep for longer is proper mental exercise.
I take a bit of extra time to work with your dog on a walk and provide them with challenges, this means your dog has to concentrate more, focus on me, and filter out all the distractions around them. All this added concentration costs your dog energy. So the more I ask your dog to think, the more energy they will burn.
It is not necessarily about walking further, it is about walking smarter. A mentally stimulated and tired dog is much more likely to relax comfortably and act-out less than a physically exhausted dog.
Adrenalin is a stress hormone and it is released when dogs are involved in Strenuous exercise.
Sniffing games and moderate exercise activate something called the Seeking System part of the brain. It’s a part of the brain that is also responsible for the release of Dopamine. Dopamine increases feelings of motivation and reward and is related to enhanced memory.
Simply put – dopamine makes your dog feel good.
Our walks are structured to include special places where we can stop and play fun training games that allow your dog to be a dog and create a safe outlet for natural predatory behaviours.
All the treats we use on our walks are 100% pure natural treats that are grain-free, and free from artificial colourants or preservatives.
As well as having active time, we also love to slow down and to stop and play lots of fun scentwork games.
There are lots of amazing adventures a dog can have through their nose, from searching for catnip scented toys, small treats or tennis balls hidden in Autumn leaves or long grass, to ‘cheese trees’ or ‘sausage walls’.
And as these calmer activities help your dog relax we always ensure we also play one towards the end of our walks which will help lower your dogs arousal levels so they are dropped off home calm and relaxed.
Your dog will love our Parkour and low level agility sessions! – Practicing low impact behaviours on different natural obstacles in the environment. So when we see a tree in the environment or a bench or a log, we incorporate these into some trick training.
Its a great confidence booster and helps the dogs to get incredibly fit and also helps to build their relationship with me.
Do you worry when letting your dog off lead that it won’t come back to you?
I use my knowledge and skills as a dog trainer and build fun training games into each and every one of our walks. These games motivate your dog to listen and teach them to stay connected even when presented with all the other exciting distractions in the environment.
Your dog will have a fun walk, playing lots of training games involving focus, recall, self-control and frustration tolerance, while also learning to take turns and have good manners around food.
Some of our favourites games to play include:
Sit, Stay and Release
Sniff with me
The Catch-up Game
After the enrichment walk is over your dog can be dropped at home with a tasty Kong stuffed with high quality ingredients. Not only is this helping to keep them occupied for longer, but licking and chewing also has a soothing effect as it is associated with feeding and rest.
You’ll also get frequent updates on how your dog is doing on their walks including photos and videos.
Who are Group Enrichment Walks for?
- Dogs who can safely and reliably be let off their lead
- Dogs who are comfortable and friendly around other dogs
- Dogs who can commit to at least one fixed day per week