Having a happy stress free walk with your dog
It’s really important to choose a walk with a dog carefully to ensure that you feel happy and in control. With so many lovely country walks around us, we have to stay aware of livestock, horse riders, other dogs and owners. No matter how much you trust your dog it is very important to always insure you control the situation not the dog, so that means we are never putting a dog in a situation where they may fail. After all dogs are dogs not robots. So I always advise my Learning to Listen clients to always call your dog to you and pop them on the lead, which mean you need to have 100% recall. This will keep your heartrate down and therefore your dog is likely to have more confidence in you. If they lunge or pull towards the livestock, person, dog, horse then simply and calmly just walk the other way. If this is not possible then get in front of your dog and wait until they are calm and relaxed before moving on.
What makes a good dog walk
When looking for a good walk for a group of doggies that we walk or just my own dog are certain things that I look for.
Is it safe and secure for dogs to be off lead – no gaps to roads, is livestock safely fenced off?
Is it quiet enough to be able to enjoy without having to worry about too many other dogs, owners, children, bikes, horse riders, people playing football etc ?
Is there somewhere to park close by ?
For a nice weekend walk (outside of lockdown) I always look for a nice cosy dog friendly pub near by for a little post walk reward.
As a bonus a I like a nice stream or river too.
These walks below are some of my favourite to enjoy with the doggies I walk.
Hatfield House is one of my favourite walks, the grounds are huge so there are a lot of different routes to enjoy. I particularly like going through the woods and down to the lake and then around the top field. You have to be careful of sheep on the top field as occasionally they are moved here for grazing so I always pop the dogs on the leads just before to make sure. In the woods there are springbok so if your dog as a tendency to go off when they get a scent, I would keep them on a long line through here.
You can gain a resident pass if you live in some parts of Hatfield for £50 per year or £75 per year for two people. Here is more information on that https://www.hatfield-house.co.uk/friends-of-hatfield-park/ If you are not a resident then you can buy tickets to the grounds when the season starts in March.
Parking – you can park behind The Great Northern Pub https://goo.gl/maps/w841q2ZYGyWmhrox6 for two hours for free for the entrance opposite the train station or in season you can park in the main visitor car park https://goo.gl/maps/Mn6sQCb12fzQhq7D7
Potters Bar Golf Club
This a closed golf Club awaiting planning permission to build on it. However local residents are campaigning against this so for the moment there is a right of way through the site and it is a amazing walks for dogs. It’s a quiet walk and is very open so you can keep an eye on your dog there is a steam running through with lots of bridges along it. I love watching the dogs playing and running along it. There are two ponds as well
and I would advice you keep your dogs out of this as the water is a bit smelly and it is very deep.
It’s a big site so lots of different routes you can take and there are also some WW2 Pillboxes to look out for along the way. There is a train line that runs along side however this is very secure so you don’t need to worry about that. At the opposite side of the club there are field with sheep. I tend to avoid this area as the fences are particularly secure.
Parking – I park here https://goo.gl/maps/9C7Kpe2WoERFaVYG8 and then walk through under the train line. You can also walk to here from Brookmans Park if you wanted a longer walk
Welham Green (off station Road)
I love this walk, lovely and safe for doggies, always very quiet and a great stream for them to play in. There are a few different routes you can go, I tend to follow the stream in and out of wooded areas and around some farm land. At the top of the second field there is a road with a few gaps in the fence so best to keep you dog on a lead around there. If you cross this road it will take you into another field leading to Brookmans park.
Parking – I parking in the Saint Thomas More Church car park https://goo.gl/maps/nd3s3g6PQgdhhQWr6 and then you can just cross over the road and you are there!
This is a very popular walk for a lot of dog walkers so can get busy, however there are so many different routes that range from woodlands, large open fields
, and foot paths. So go and explore, I did get a bit lost once, good job the dogs knew the
way! There is an area that has cattle grazing, however it is fenced off and well sign posted to keep your dog on lead in that area. If you are a keen runner then there is Parkrun here every Saturday (not at the moment due to lockdown) Dogs are welcome to run with you.
Parking Depending on where you live and what time of day there are a few places you can park (please check restrictions)
· Off Oklands Lane - https://goo.gl/maps/o69nTfFQG389uTM26
· St Albans Rd (after 4pm Mon-Friday) https://goo.gl/maps/SX1ek2TXvpWDSbCj8
This a great woodland walk, lots of different paths to explore. There are parts that have tracks for bikes so I try to stay clear of this area. There is a country road that goes through the middle of the woods so be careful to watch out for the road. It can be very muddy in the winter but the summer is lovely as its quite shady for the dogs.
Parking There is a handy car park here https://goo.gl/maps/adRoMZZSZdZP8c1a9
I still come across areas of Pangshanger that I’ve never seen before. It’s huge, and you could spend hours here! There are some areas that are perfect for lovely dog
walks and some areas that are protected nature reserves where dogs are required to be kept on lead. One of these areas is around the lakes and river. However there is a dedicated spot along the river that dogs are able to go in for a dip. There are also cattle in some of the fields near the lakes so be cautious of these areas. Outside of lockdown this is also parkrun site on Saturday morning and they allow dogs and walkers so that’s always nice to join in. As you know by now I prefer a quieter walk, so I like to come in through the entrance on Pangshanger lane and then walk towards the right and across the a big open green space and then through the woods and back. However there are loads of routes you can try. All equally beautiful.
There is a dedicated car park which can get very busy, especially at the weekend. https://goo.gl/maps/eudHfrLmLdiHvi9S9
I prefer to park on the road on Pangshanger Lane https://goo.gl/maps/94QHyaWYRX9RxF826