Many dogs come to us with history.
Even small puppies have often experienced quite a bit. Which of course can also be positive.
But certain experiences or even missing experiences make our dogs insecure or fearful.
Such dogs can then hardly find their way in their new environment.
For them, everything is new and scary at first.
Of course, every constant is really comforting.
With rituals and routines, we can give our dogs such constants. If the same things always happen in the same order in the same places and at the same time, the dog knows what is happening now.
If these things are pleasant, he will look forward to them more and more.
So we get a dog that is happy more and more often. This, of course, works against anxiety.
But what about walks?
Sure, in the beginning, walks don’t make any sense at all.
Neither for puppies nor anxious dogs.
At some point, however, the dog is ready to get to know the big wide world.
As an understanding owner, you feel your way forward bit by bit until you have found a round (can also be forward & back) that your dog can walk in a reasonably relaxed manner.
Now you want to offer your dog of course a little bit of activity, especially if the round is not very long and he already knows it well. So not soooo much sniffing anymore.
Then the islands come into play.
At certain places on the round (always the same), you can place your islands.
For each of these islands, a certain activity is valid.
You have the following possibilities
– Search games
– Throwing games
– Other games
There are no limits to your imagination. Allowed is everything that brings a smile to both of your faces.
So your dog gets the expectation certainty that at place XY something funny happens again.
This increases the fun factor for the whole walk, the bond between you two and reduces the fear (your dog now knows exactly what will happen).
And a small additional effect: if your dog gets startled/scared, there is a good chance that he will then be able to come down a bit on the next island.
He has linked it with positive emotions.