Activities For A Griffon Nivernais

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Introduction

The Griffon Nivernais is not your average mixed or designer breed. Instead, they are a purpose-bred dog that dates back over seven centuries, used by noblemen for hunting boar and wolves, as well as by farmers and peasants for protecting livestock. They have a long, shaggy coat, brilliant hunting capabilities, and are excellent scent hounds, too. Griffon Nivernais are also tolerant of other dogs, but you must work on acceptance of all pets and children. You should also always give your Griffon Nivernais plenty of things to do as they develop destructive and disturbing habits that can be hard to break. Fortunately, these activities below can help, allowing you to establish ground rules and be the boss of the pack. 

Bark Training

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Any Day
Free
Hard
10 min
Items needed
Treats
Toys
Coins
Tin can
Activity description

What you will quickly discover, especially if you don’t live in a rural area, is that the Griffon Nivernais can bark a lot – especially if you leave them in your yard for any length of time. While constant activity can stop the barking behavior, you can also carry out bark training for ten minutes at a time to curb it too. Bark training is something you can do in any weather and, while it’s hard, it’s free. You will need to gather treats, toys, a tin can and some coins to start. It’s not the most thrilling activity for your pooch either, but they will enjoy the engagement all the same. 

Step
1
Remove the distraction
If you find that boredom is not the cause of your Griffon Nivernais barking, but something else, then think about whether you can remove the distraction. Is their kennel too close to your driveway so they can see people walking nearby? Is the birdhouse in your tree bringing too many birds they want to chase? If you can remove the distraction, you can avoid step two and three.
Step
2
Be the distraction
If your Griffon Nivernais barks incessantly at different noises and the neighbors don’t have the highest opinion of you right now, then there’s still hope. You can become a distraction. Every time your dog goes to bark at something, shake your tin can with coins in it to grab their attention. They will lose their focus and stop barking.
Step
3
Food
A dog can’t bark if their mouth is full, so that’s where treats play a part. If they are about to make a noise at someone arriving or something else, then give them a treat or a toy. They will then come to expect something every time they go to bark, instead of going ahead and making noises.
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Hunting

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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Leash
Activity description

If you own a Griffon Nivernais, then it’s likely you are going to take them hunting. This breed is adept at hunting and will adapt to it like a duck to water. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to teach them first. You can enlist the services of an experienced trainer which many people recommend, and you can accompany those sessions with these tips below. Training your dog to hunt is expensive, but in one-hour sessions over several weeks, they will quickly learn the right way to go about it. What’s more, if you have a leash and treats, you can teach them many new things in all weather. 

Step
1
Basic commands
The first step takes the longest, but it’s also the most important. You need to teach your Griffon Nivernais all the basic commands that will prove helpful in a hunting situation. Sit, stay, come, and wait, as well as recall, are essential. The Griffon Nivernais likes to take the lead, so you need to be the dominant leader in the relationship and show them who’s boss.
Step
2
Exercise
Your Griffon Nivernais needs a lot of physical activity which is something to which you need to dedicate time every day. However, if you are trying to teach your dog how to hunt, you have to make sure they have burnt off quite a bit of energy first. Otherwise, when you are trying to teach them new things, they will be unwilling to engage!
Step
3
Games
After teaching essential commands and putting them into practice for between six months and a year, you can move onto fun games that get your dog involved in the hunting scene. Try out hiding treats among natural environments such as piles of leaves, or hiding food downwind so they can practice scent work. Small games such as these will eventually lead to your Griffon Nivernais becoming a well-rounded hunting dog.
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Fetch

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Toy
Treat
Activity description

If you want your Griffon Nivernais to be a successful hunting dog, or even if you want them to burn off energy so they behave at home, fetch could be an excellent activity for them. Set aside 30 minutes, find a fun toy, then have some treats in your pocket in case you need them as well. Fetch is a brilliant sunny-day activity with a regular difficulty level. Your Griffon Nivernais will love chasing toys then bringing them back to you, working on that much-needed retrieve quality they will need for hunting. The best part is, after half an hour, their energy level will be far more manageable. 

Step
1
Choose a toy
To play fetch successfully, you need to use the right toy. Choose one that’s effortless to throw and travels quite far. You can buy a specialty throwing toy with aerodynamic features, or opt for something your dog owns, loves, and would be happy to chase. If they don’t like it, they won’t go and get it for you!
Step
2
Throw it
Throw your dog’s toy and encourage them to fetch it. If your dog is new to the game, use a trigger word “fetch” then run with them to get the toy. Run away from them and encourage them to chase after you with the toy. Give them a treat in exchange for the toy.
Step
3
Troubleshooting
If your Griffon Nivernais brings out their stubborn trait and would prefer to play with their toy than bring it back, you might have to try a different method. Get a second toy and throw it behind you once your dog picks up their first toy. The goal is to get them used to running back to you (or past you), so you can collect that first toy.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hiking

Griffon Nivernais dogs love the outdoors, so if you enjoy hiking, don’t be afraid to test your Griffon Nivernais to the limits. Set aside a few hours and experience some challenging terrain. Choose a dog-friendly hiking track and help your dog to burn off energy alongside you.  

Dog Park

Griffon Nivernais traditionally roam in packs, so they will normally adjust to other dogs quite well. However, if you want to work on their social skills, schedule in regular trips to the park. Here, they can play with other dogs, share their toys, and burn off a lot of energy too. What’s more, a trip to the park will only take an hour out of your day. 

Conclusion

A Griffon Nivernais is not a dog you would buy or adopt if you had never owned a dog before. However, they are more than suitable for experienced owners who want a hunting companion. Set up firm boundaries, move to the country, and invite a Griffon Nivernais into your home furever. This breed is man’s best friend and will provide you with nothing but love and loyalty for their entire life.