Archie exploring a recently opened power station yard - VIDEOThis is an afternoon in the park for Archie. Not all dogs are lucky enough to get treated to two off lead walks per day. But fitness wise, mental stimulation and socialisation wise there are massive benefits.
In the wild dogs are hunters in packs for food. Besides play to work out their position in the pack, and sleep, the major activity a dog will do is hunt for food. As Archie's breed is based on two retrievers, he has a keen sense of smell and loves tracking. In our local area, one of the main vermin he can track are rabbits.
It is also true that social dogs love exploring new areas, just like humans they grow bored of the same old stomping ground. Non social dogs are often fearful of the unknown and new open areas, but social dogs love it as it gives them a chance to explore from scratch, and to catalogue a wide range of smells and sights in their brain that they can access later if they are brought back to the same area.
This video shows Archie in a park section that was previously closed for maintenance. This means that it has had very few dogs in it, but as an area is cleared of dogs, rabbit activity massively increases.
Like many off lead dog parks in our local area, this one only became available because it is not suitable for commercial development. The grounds are what an old coal fired power station used to be on, and above the park is high voltage power transmission lines from the new gas fired power station.
Fortunately there is some kind of arrangement between the power station, the Ports authority and the local council to ensure that the grass is kept at a reasonable level. Perhaps this is to ensure the safety of the workers from snake bites? Whatever the reason, you can see Archie completely relished his chance to visit this 'secret garden'.
No rabbits were found in the video, but high speed tracking made sure that all known animals that have visited the area were catalogued for future comparisons.
To the casual observer, Archie's movements might seem like he is having fun, but he is hard at work, doing his duty, finding food for the pack. All his previous dog breeds and any actions inherited from the wolf ancestor are at play in satisfying his retriever requirements.
Give a dog what it needs (an activity that suits its breed needs) and you will satisfy a dog mentally and physically much faster than providing it with a generic dog game to play.