The Croatian Sheepsky is a hardworking companion with high energy levels and a need to please. It's no wonder these pups are compelled to work, as their parent breeds, the Croatian Sheepdog and Siberian Husky, were both bred to work. Originally used by nomadic tribes in Russia hundred of years ago as a sledding dog before making their way into North America in the early 1900s, the Siberian Husky has a long history of workmanship. Known today for their cleverness, independence, and stubborn nature, this breed requires extensive exercise to burn off their excessive energy.
Likewise, the Croatian Sheepdog is an intelligent and agile breed, bound to keep any handler on their "paws." Their history also dates back hundreds of years, having been used as a herding dog for generations. The combination of the Siberian Husky and Croatian Sheepdog is the Croatian Sheepsky, making for a highly intelligent dog that ranges in size from small to medium, with a weight averaging anywhere between 35 and 50 pounds. This smaller bundle of joy is still highly energized and therefore requires quite a bit of daily physical activity. This can range from activities that challenge both the mind and body, as a bored Croatian Sheepsky can begin to exhibit unwanted behaviors such as destructive behaviors or howling.
Flyball is a "woof-derful" way to give your pooch a physical workout while testing their wit at the same time! The sport requires your Croatian Sheepsky to work with a team of three other dogs to conquer a jumping obstacle one at a time. Each team member must race down the flyball track, making the appropriate jumps, and at the end, they retrieve a ball from the flybox and race back down the course toward the start/finish line.
The team that finishes first is deemed the winner. Traditionally, if competing, two flyball teams will race side by side so the winner is determined immediately. Though you don't have to compete to play flyball, it is an intriguing opportunity to spend even more time with your pooch. If you're not interested in competing, try the sport for fun at a local training facility or for free in your own backyard.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch your dog play a game of soccer? Well, you have an "oppawtunity" to see something just like it if you decide to try out Treibball with your Croatian Sheepsky. If you're new to the sport, it was actually originally designed to meet the needs of herding dogs who had no livestock to herd! Since then, Treibball has continued to grow in "pawpularity" across North America.
Treibball requires your pooch to use both their wit and agility to complete. You do need to purchase exercise balls, or Pilates balls approximately the same height as your Croatian Sheepsky's shoulders. Ball sizes range from 13 to 21.5 inches. Generally, medium-sized dogs like the Sheepsky use a ball with a circumference of 17.5 inches.
Once you have your equipment and learn the rules, you can decide if you wish to play the sport for entertainment only or also for competition! The true sport requires your pooch to obey verbal commands and follow hand signals to move eight exercise balls into a goal. The sport is modifiable to meet your space and equipment availability, though you will need at least one ball to play!
Urban sledding is one way to increase your Croatian Sheepsky's physical workout while making your own a little easier. This activity actually requires your pooch to do all of the work, aside from you giving commands while sitting back and enjoying your ride. It will appeal the Siberian Husky side of your mixed breed, as Huskies love to pull objects and lead the way of their pack.
The only things you will need to partake in this activity are an urban sled, which is any non-motorized object with wheels, a harness, and a leash. Some examples of urban sleds include bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and longboards, to name a few. As you're using a wheeled object, avoid this type of mushing in the winter and during thunderstorms!
Whether you live close to a baseball field, football field or farmer’s field, there's all sorts of open spaces you can take advantage of when it comes to letting your Croatian Sheepsky run! Look for an open space nearby and let your pup off-leash so they can run and roam. Be sure you have established obedience over your pup before roaming off-leash, as their Siberian Husky parent is known for their tendency to wonder.
Without a doubt, Croatian Sheepskys are intelligent, agile and eager to please any owner. With an abundance of energy awaiting release, this breed requires moderate to extensive exercise daily. Vary your activities to keep your pooch engaged and entertained.
Try out one of the various competitive dog sports including treibball, flyball or agility course training. All three provide ample opportunity for exercise as well as obedience. Playing a sport consistently throughout the week is one activity to add to your exercise routines.
You could also try exploring your neighborhood from a new perspective by having your Sheepsky pull you along as you mush through your community together. Try exploring large open fields where your pup can run at their own will. Of course, obedience classes will be necessary first to ensure a safe off-leash experience. Grab your Croatian Sheepsky and enhance your time spent together by trying out new and exciting activities you'll both enjoy!