Activities For A Belgian Laekenois

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Introduction

Belgian Laekenois dogs were developed in Belgium as livestock herding dogs, along with three other breeds that are separated mostly by the color, texture, and length of their coats, the Belgian Shepherd, the Belgian Tervuren, and the Belgian Malinois. The Laekenois is the rarest of the four breeds and was originally used not only to tend and guard livestock but also to guard the linen drying in the fields. These dogs are highly intelligent and energetic, and they require a great deal of both physical and mental exercise each day to stay happy, healthy, and out of trouble. 

Treibball

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Treibballs
Activity description

The sport of Treibball was originally developed in Germany to allow herding dogs without a herd to practice their craft and find an outlet for their intense herding instincts. In this activity, your canine companion is not herding livestock, but large inflated balls instead. The goal of the game is for your dog to herd these balls to a specified goal area based on instructions conveyed to your dog using a combination of voice and hand commands. This activity is one that can easily be practiced in your own backyard, but there are also many treibball competitions to be found worldwide. 

Step
1
Learn the rules
The basic idea of the game is simple to understand, convincing your canine companion to drive as many of the treibballs to the goal as possible within a quarter of an hour. There are several rules that you will need to know to play correctly. A copy of the full up-to-date rules as sanctioned by the American Treibball Association can be found on their official website.
Step
2
Train the pooch
While tossing inflated balls on the lawn and seeing what your dog does can be entertaining, it is not really a game of treibball. In order to play, they have to first learn to ignore the treibballs until you tell them otherwise, then they begin learning the commands that help them in guiding the objects to the correct target. The commands are usually a combination of verbal commands and hand signals, and it is important that the dog is taught to roll the ball without biting or breaking the ball that they are working with.
Step
3
Up the ante
There are several twists and challenges that can be added to the game for your Belgian Laekenois breed dog once you have mastered the basics, including shortening the time down from fifteen minutes to ten, adding obstacles to the playing field, or requiring that the triebballs be herded in a specific order.
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Toy Pick Up

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Any Day
Free
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
clicker
Toys
Toybox
Activity description

The Belgian Laekenois is an active and intelligent dog breed that likes to collect things. This means that if you share your home with one of these dogs, you are likely to be stepping over all sorts of chew toys, canine stuffies, bones, and other toys. One way to help ease this irritating habit is to teach your dog how to properly put away their toys into a toy box or a bin. While that may sound like a difficult thing to train your dog to do, in reality, it only takes a few simple steps to teach an intelligent and driven dog to put away their own toys.

Step
1
Clicker training
A clicker is a small handheld training tool that makes a single, sharp click when it is pressed to let your dog know that they did something right. If your dog has not yet been introduced to the clicker, now is the time to do that. In order to let your dog know that the clicker is a good thing, ensure that they get a high-value treat whenever it clicks.
Step
2
Play fetch
The training for this activity often starts with a game of fetch in the house, using one of the toys that you want to be put away. Toss the toy a few feet away and ask your dog to go get it. When they return with the toy, click the clicker and repeat. Once your pooch is consistently returning the toy, it is time to introduce the box or bin that you want your dog to drop their toys in.
Step
3
The box
To introduce the box or bin, you will stand on the opposite side of it so that your dog has to reach over the bin with their head to give you the toy. When your dog has it held all the way over the box, click the clicker. In most cases, this will prompt your dog to drop the toy into the box at which point you give your new command and click the clicker again. Do this several times until the idea is cemented in your dog’s mind, then you can start moving away from the box and giving the command so that the dog can pick up without you having to watch their every move.
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Agility Training

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Any Day
Cheap
Hard
30 - 90 min
Items needed
Agility obstacles
Activity description

Agility training is a dog sport that has been around for quite a while. Several obstacles, such as weave poles, jumps, and tunnels, are utilized to build an obstacle course for your dog to move through. The course must be run accurately by the dog and is usually within a set time frame. Agility training exercises both the mind and the body of your canine companion, and has the added benefit of improving your overall communication and bond with your canine friend. The Belgian Laekenois is a very intelligent and active dog who has the capability to excel in activities like this, possibly even participating in the competitive dog sport of agility trials.

Step
1
Introducing the obstacles
There are several obstacles that you will want to introduce your dog to in order to run an agility course. Some of the objects include an A-Frame, tires, hurdles, weave poles, and a stop box. It is generally best to introduce each obstacle individually, then begin stringing them together as your dog begins to master each one.
Step
2
Putting it together
Agility competitions are set up as strings of anywhere between fifteen and twenty-two obstacles that are placed around the field. The obstacles come in several different categories, and when setting up an agility field it is important to remember to include more than one category of obstacles. Items like the crossover and the dog walk are considered to be contact obstacles, and tunnel and jump obstacles can include the collapsed tunnel, the hoop tunnel, the triple jump and the high jump.
Step
3
Spectate and then compete
Agility training is a fun sport all on its own, but it can be even more entertaining and fulfilling when you start entering competitions. As the Belgian Laekenois is not always particularly friendly with other canines, it may be a good idea to visit a competition as a spectator before attending as a participant to see if your particular dog is ready for the sounds and activity levels present. Dog sports training centers and local agility groups are frequently able to point you in the direction of the most appropriate competition for you and your dog
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More Fun Ideas...

Herding

While Treibball is certainly a fun game, some dogs just won't be satisfied unless they have some actual livestock to chase. Fortunately, there are now ranches and farms set up just so that they can learn to herd with real livestock.

Flyball

This game, a combination of fetch and a relay race, is a great way for an energetic and driven canine such as the Belgian Laekenois to burn off some energy.

Conclusion

The Belgian Laekenois is an athletic, intelligent, and active dog, and it is important for both their physical and mental health that they get plenty of activity and mental stimulation. The activities listed here are particularly well suited to this breed and will help to entertain and tire out your canine companion, keeping them happy, healthy, and out of trouble.