Activities For A Germanees

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Introduction

German Shepherds are a large breed typically characterized by ears that stand erect and a mask-like pattern on their face. If you’ve met a German Shepherd, you know they’re extremely intelligent and have a keen sense of smell. Studies indicate this breed is one of the most intelligent, which is why they’re used in canine units for police services in various countries around the world. This breed requires regular stimulation, both mental and physical, to prevent boredom and weight gain. Great Pyrenees are a giant breed with a gentle appearance and kind nature. Characterized by their loyalty and guarding abilities, this dog makes for a loving member of any family.

Combined, the Germanees is stunning in appearance and gentle in temperament. The breed is playful and fun, with a ton of energy. That being said, regular exercise is a must, but not just physical exercise. With an intelligence level much like both parent breeds, the Germanees needs to be challenged mentally through obedience training and targeted play strategies. Check out all the ways you can entertain your Germanees with activities geared to exercise both their body and mind! 

Agility Training

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0 Votes
Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Agility Course
Leash
Healthy Treats
Activity description

Agility training is a must if you own a Germanees! Germanees dogs are alert and responsive, making them the “pawfect” candidate for this activity. The only thing required is a course. If you build your own, costs will be significantly lower than if you choose to join an agility training facility. Rates at facilities vary depending on course length and the duration of classes in addition to other factors. 

Courses can be indoors or out, making weather a factor only sometimes. Whether you create your own course yourself or join a club, it’s easy to get started. Agility training has several benefits for your pooch. Most importantly, it strengthens the relationship between owners and dogs as it requires leadership and trust to complete challenging obstacles. It also improves your pup's coordination, stimulates them mentally, and, of course, challenges them physically.  

Step
1
Choose your course
One choice you must make when it comes to training your pooch how to conquer an agility course is whether you want to do it at home or in a professional facility. At-home agility courses are easy to design, build, and use, but professional facilities are convenient. If cost is a factor, try agility at home first. Jumps and tunnels can be built using household items such as stools, chairs, and children's play tunnel pieces.
Step
2
Selecting obstacles
The most common obstacles you'll find at an agility park are jumps, which range in height depending on a dog’s height, tunnels, a-frames, weave poles and tracks. Jumps, tunnels, and weave poles all require an agile dog looking for a challenge, which is exactly what a Germanees needs! Check out videos online for ideas and inspiration when designing your course.
Step
3
Obstacle training
To start your training, keep your pup on-leash. First, introduce them to the obstacle. If it’s something they can be walked through, simply walk them through it step-by-step. For example, if they are going over an a-frame, start with a short frame and walk along their side as they walk up and down the obstacle. Same with jumping. It’s likely if you approach the jump obstacle together, they will know what to do. Either way, give a command as they complete the obstacle so they can learn to associate them together. Prompt them if needed. Eventually, your Germanees will be completing obstacles without a leash and alone!
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Obedience Training

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Healthy Treats
Activity description

Obedience training is another strategy you can utilize to challenge your Germanees mentally. Like agility training, obedience training requires mental stamina and, depending on what your pup is doing, possibly physical exertion.

You can train your Germanees at home, making this a convenient activity to complete. You could also consult a professional canine trainer, but it's not necessary. Treats are the number one material you're going to need for this activity, coupled with patience and positive reinforcement. As Germanees are a highly intelligent breed, training should run smoothly and yield "pawsitive" results. When beginning your sessions, it could take a while to learn each trick. After mastering a handful of tricks, though, you can have your pup practice and perform them daily so they can retain and repeat the behaviors effortlessly in the future. Have fun and remember, a calm and confident leader is a respected leader.

Step
1
Picking tricks
Your first responsibility as the trainer is selecting which tricks you would like your Germanees to learn. Standard tricks include sit, lay down, roll over, speak and heel. After conquering the standard (and simpler tricks), you and your Germanees can attempt "stay" coupled with a trick on the nose. Other advanced tricks include dancing and jumping.
Step
2
Training with patience
When you're teaching your Germanees, remember to be patient, calm, firm, and confident. You need to give short and simple commands. As soon as your pooch performs a trick successfully, you must reward them (see next step). To teach a command, stand in front of your pooch. Say the command calmly. Couple the command with some form of action (such as lifting your hand). Usually, your body language alone can register a response. If they don't do the right action, repeat these steps and try again.
Step
3
Rewarding the behavior
Stock up the treats when you’re ready to start your training because coupling actions with positive reinforcement is one way to encourage the behavior. Whether you cheer your pooch on or reward them with a tasty treat, positive reinforcement will show your pup what they’re doing is good and therefore encourage the behavior. Be mindful when you present a reward – it's important commands are correctly followed. Rewarding incorrect behaviors can lead to confusion and further errors.
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Scent Training

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Any Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Favorite Treat
Toy
Activity description

Scent training is a stimulating activity ideal for Germanees, as their parent breed, the German Shepherd, is known for having a superior sense of smell. Take advantage of this biological benefit by teaching your Germanees how to track and find hidden objects.

Scent training can be done both indoors and out, giving you flexibility when completing the activity. The only costs are for treats for rewards. Treats are also an ideal item to hide at first, as your pup is sure to search for them after taking a whiff and catching the scent. The initial training process can vary in length. Most Germanees catch on very quickly as they have an innate ability to detect with their noses; however, be patient if it takes time! Have fun, and as they learn the process, you can graduate to using more difficult objects to trace! 

Step
1
Introducing the scent
Of course, the first step in this activity is introducing your pooch to the scent they are going to track. Before starting, it would be convenient if your Germanees has already completed obedience training and has learned to master the sit command. Simply introduce the object to your pooch. To pump them up, be playful and act excited when introducing the object. Be sure to let your pup really take a good sniff of the object (preferably a treat to start), before having them sit.
Step
2
Hiding the object
Find a place to hide the item. Although it’s important to be creative when hiding, keep in mind your dog’s progression in mastering the activity. If they’re a beginner, pick a spot close by. As your Germanees progresses throughout the training, hide the object under other items (but still accessible), or above ground level – provided your pup has a safe way to gain access to the item.
Step
3
Rewarding the find
Rewarding a successful find is essential in promoting the behavior to occur in the future. A reward can come in the form of a physical treat (a favorite snack is always “appawciated”) as well as verbal praise. Verbal praise and petting go a long way in the obedience training world, so be ready to praise your pooch as soon as they discover the hidden object. Encouraging them while searching is an effective way to keep them motivated and engaged in the activity.
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More Fun Ideas...

Swimming Drills

Swimming can be a relaxing or high endurance activity, depending on what you do in the water. Using water drills and exercises is a fun way to cool off while exerting energy. Try fetch and return activities or just swimming laps or setting distances for a good workout!

Daily Runs

Daily runs are an easy way to meet your Germanees' exercise requirements. Runs are more effective than walks as your pooch will exert more energy within a shorter period of time. They're also ideal for owners looking to keep in shape themselves.

Conclusion

The Germanees is the offspring of two intelligent large breeds, making them gentle giants with a protective nature. Without proper socialization, they can become wary of strangers. Because of their size, Germanees need lots of strenuous exercise daily. Their brains require regular stimulation as well, which is why finding activities that target both body and mind are essential. 

The "pawfect" activities for a Germanees include obedience training, agility course training, and scent training. All three activities require your Germanees to utilize their intelligence and endurance. You can also try daily runs and swimming exercises to meet your pup's needs. Regardless with what you go with, have fun and enjoy the exercise alongside your companion.