How to get the most from your visit
Sniff, explore & discover
Here at Liberty Orchard we have created a safe space to allow your dog to not just have a secure and safe off lead walk, but to actually enhance their health and wellbeing during your visit. Sniffing and searching is such a rewarding activity for your dogs to undertake. In fact, recent research suggests regular sniffing opportunities can aid in reducing stress, anxiety and reactive behaviour.
Long grass areas
There are many long grassed areas with channels and pathways cut through at Liberty Orchard. Especially perfect for hunting breeds! But all dogs have the capabilities to enjoy hunting and the long grass gives the most natural of environments in which to practise. Dogs find foraging and sniffing so intrinsically rewarding and calming – it’s also great mental stimulation for them.
Short grass areas
Perfect for ‘zoomies’ for sighthounds especially, although all breeds can get a burst of zooms when the time is right. Dogs get the space and obstacle free area around the edge of the field to race to their hearts content. A great way to expend energy, letting off all that steam. The short grass area is also perfect for training! Its where we regularly host classes and workshops and gives you the ideal space to put training into practise.
The sand pit
Perfect for terriers and ground hunting dogs who love to dig, bury and explore below ground level. However, you don’t have to own a terrier for your dog to love to dig as many dogs will testify to!
It’s great fun (for both guardians and their dogs) burying treats or toys and encouraging the dogs to investigate and find those treasures. Great for working a dog’s muscles and again their noses!
Great for humans who want to rest, sit and watch the world go by. But also amazing for dogs to climb on, through, under and over. There are also Cavities in the logs to create hidey-holes for treats, engaging the senses of smell and touch.
The natural log piles encourage dogs to interact with their surroundings and provide physical and mental challenges. Scatter some of your dog's favourite treats among the logs and watch them use their noses and bodies to find their food.
Dogs who are encouraged to use their bodies to climb on/in objects become braver and more confident to explore. Dogs who feel confident are happier, more optimistic and better balanced to make better choices and able to relax and rest easier.
Giving opportunity for dogs to use their noses increases the levels of happy hormones (endorphins), allowing them the opportunity to decompress and relax.
Textures & sub-surfaces
Rescue dogs from abroad are often not familiar with our environment. It's all brand new and they can be cautious about where they put their feet because it doesn’t feel safe! Similarly for puppies who are learning about the world, it's super important for them to experience new and novel textures that naturally occur throughout their lives.
This type of exploring helps with building confidence and habitualising your dogs. The more they are exposed positively to different things in the world around them, the less likely they will be to react negatively.
A favourite exploring place for humans and dogs alike. This area introduces dogs to the world of jumping, climbing, balancing over, crawling under, and going around different obstacles. Dog parkour helps with confidence, overcoming anxiety and fears. It is a great low impact but challenging activity that can be varied according to age and fitness levels.
Our sensory garden is designed to offer something to every dog, to encourage them to become more confident in their surroundings and to reduce stress. Our sensory garden is all about enrichment and stimulating all of a dog’s senses.
Here are some of the scented plants which have a beneficial effect that you’ll see in our Sensory Garden this summer:
Catnip: not just for cats! This has relaxation properties and stimulates playfulness in dogs:
• Camomile: dogs suffering from anxiety or skin/stomach upsets will be attracted to this plant’s scent
• Clary sage: good for highly strung animals and those with hormonal imbalance
• Lavender: helps to reduce anxiety and other nervous conditions
• Marigolds: dogs experiencing grief or emotional distress will often sniff out this plant
• Marshmallow: known to help animals with delicate stomachs
• Meadowsweet: often selected by dogs with digestive problems, arthritis and rheumatic conditions
• Mimulus: used as a remedy for animals that are nervous, timid and shy
• Mint: good for cooling properties and will often be selected by dogs who suffer from skin irritations
• Thyme: chosen by animals with bacterial infections, skin irritations and diarrhoea
• Valerian: often selected by anxious dogs for its calming effect
• Vervain: valuable for treating and nourishing nervous system disorders such as depression
• Violets: Nervous dogs or those who have recently changed home may enjoy sniffing this plant
• Yarrow: offered to animals with inflammation, urinary problems and internal and external wounds.
• Wheatgrass: This powerful leafy green adds valuable fiber to help support healthy digestion.
• Fennel: anti-inflammatory properties