There are certainly no steadfast rules and regulations when it comes to creating dog walking games for girls. Creativity can go a long way. These games should enrich the dog and handler and be performed in an environment that is safe for both the girls and the dogs. The games are most appropriate as on-leash applications, unless working within the confines of a secure indoor area or yard.
Musical Chairs with a Twist
Musical chairs is a great human game to adapt for dogs and girls. Count the girls and place the same number of chairs in a circle. Make the circle large enough for the dogs and girls to get some exercise walking around it and so that the dogs have room to sit next to each chair. Start the music. When the music stops, each girl must find a chair and put the dog into a sit next to the chair. No one loses the first round so the dogs and girls can practice for future rounds. After the first round, remove one chair per round. The teams can be counted "out" in two ways. One way is if the girl does not find a chair. Or, another is if the dog is not in a sit position when the girl finds a chair. Keep playing, removing one chair per round until a winner is found. Use age-appropriate, upbeat, current and fun music for this game. Let the music play a bit between rounds so that all get beneficial exercise during the game.
One of the newest of the dog sports is freestyle. Freestyle in competition form is a combination of fancy heeling and dancing with your dog to music. Freestyle heeling for the purpose of a game can be done on-leash, using music appropriate for the ages of the girls. This is another game that promotes beneficial exercise for both dogs and girls. Once all the dogs are on lead, start the music. Girls can heel quickly to the beat to fast music or slow down the pace for slower tunes. They can make circles, squares and patterns that suit the music. You can allow them to heel as a group if you have space or make up individual routines. Mix fast and slow music so all benefit from bursts of speed and slow cool down periods. Add more fun by giving prizes for the best interpretation of the music or letting the girls dress themselves and the dogs based on the theme of the tunes.
If you live in an area where dogs are allowed on hiking trails, parks or beaches, get everyone packed up and get out there. Games can be created by seeing who can make it to certain landmarks in the shortest amount of time. You can also make a nature walk into a scavenger hunt. Use small landscape flags to mark hidden clues or prizes. Have the girls follow the clues to places or small prizes along the way. If you are away from home, make sure each girl carries water and a drinking vessel for herself and the dog, and clean up waste if nature calls while the dog is in a public area. Keep younger girls in sight at all times. If the teams will be out of sight, make certain that two girls are teamed together or that an older child or adult accompanies each team. It is also best that the girls carry cell phones or walkie-talkies and that they keep your phone number on hand. Pick a time when all teams have to be back to a designated meeting area.
- young smiling girl in a sunny garden with her dog image by ennavanduinen from Fotolia.com