Activities For A Plush Danois

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Introduction

Plush Danois are a crossbreed between Great Danes and Anatolian Shepherds. Both breeds are giants in their own right -- together, they make a large dog averaging 150 pounds! Great Danes have been around since 3000 B.C. They were bred to hunt boar and are one of the tallest dog breeds. Great Danes are terrific watchdogs due to their intimidating size, but for the most part, they are all bark and no bite. They are often referred to at “gentle giants” due to their friendly behavior, but the sheer size of these mini-horses can be dangerous for small children.

The Anatolian Shepherd breed is also ancient, tracing back to 1800 B.C. They were tasked with guarding and herding cattle, which makes them instinctively very protective. Despite their desire to protect their families, they aren’t great around children because of their overly protective streak.

Plush Danois need homes without small children, but with owners who can be firm and patient. The Plush Danois requires obedience training to learn their place in the family dynamics, as they can be quite stubborn and territorial. Exercising them an hour or more every day is necessary to keep your pup happy and healthy.

Agility Training

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Any Day
Cheap
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Weave poles
Jumps
Treats
Activity description

Basic obedience classes will go a long way in making agility training easier for both you and your pup. Depending on your dog’s friendliness, you can enroll in agility classes with other dogs or train your pup yourself in your yard. If you choose a class, it will likely be held indoors in any weather. It won’t be cheap, but your dog will love it. Setting up a course at home is cheaper, but it also requires more work from you. Be patient with your Plush Danois and remember they are clumsy. Even if your pup is slow on the uptake in learning the course, it’s an unbreakable bonding experience for both of you.

Step
1
Build an agility course
You can easily set up hurdles or weave poles in your backyard. Given your pup’s giant size, finding a tunnel they can fit through would be difficult. If you’re handy, you can make one yourself. You should have at least three to four agility obstacles for your dog to complete.
Step
2
Use treats to complete the course
Your dog comes from a long line of stubborn dogs, so how do you get Fido to go through the course? Treats! Food is a reward that almost always works on dogs. You want to be careful not to overfeed your dog or else they could become picky eaters. Plus, too many treats risks obesity.
Step
3
Change up the agility course
Dogs can get bored just like people can. Once your dog knows how to complete each obstacle, you should alternate between obstacles to keep your pup engaged and mentally challenged. (However, when you're first training, be sure to train only one obstacle at a time.) You can add new steps if you have the room, or adjust the jumps or weave poles to make them more difficult. This is meant to be a fun activity, but if your pup enjoys it, you could consider entering agility competitions.
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Swimming

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Life vest
Ball
Activity description

Given their large size, it’s hard to imagine a Plush Danois being graceful in the water, but your dog might still enjoy taking a dip and learning to swim. Unless you have your own pool or access to a river, you might have to splurge for swimming lessons at a local dog-friendly facility. The sheer size of your dog can cause problems in their legs, and swimming can help ease painful joints, as well as providing a ton of exercise.

Not all dogs love the water, so if yours does, you will be blessed with endless exercise activity ideas. You can start boating or sailing with your pup and take them on camping trips. Here's how to get started.

Step
1
Find a dog-friendly swim spot
Before you can swim, you need a large body of water to swim in! Depending on where you live, there might be a dog-friendly beach nearby or a water training facility for dogs. If you need to, you can buy a kiddie pool and use that as a splashing spot for your dog.
Step
2
Get a life vest for your pup
Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, life vests are essential for dogs, especially a bigger dog who makes huge splashes and could frighten themselves. It’s also important to slowly introduce your dog to the water instead of just tossing them in and hoping for the best. Dogs can suffer from traumatic stress just like humans can. The last thing you want to do is make your dog scared of the water!
Step
3
Play water games
If your pup takes to water like a fish, you can add another level of fun by throwing a ball or other toy into the water for Fido to retrieve. Most pet stores carry water toys that float on the water’s surface, making them safer to use. Dock diving is a great summer activity for any dog.
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Hiking

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Any Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Harness
Leash
Backpack
Activity description

Your dog was bred to be outdoors, tracking animals or herding livestock. Hiking keeps your dog physically fit while giving them the mental stimulation they desperately need to stay well-behaved. Aside from the gear you’ll need, hiking is free and it’s a great way to practice your dog’s obedience training and leash manners. The Plush Danois wouldn’t do well in dog parks because of their possible aggressiveness and herding instincts. Hiking is a good compromise that gets your dog outdoors but without other dogs close by. However, avoiding all human and dog interactions isn’t good for your pup either. Socialize them with pups and people early in life for everyone’s safety.

Step
1
Find a hiking spot
Hiking spots are usually easy to find. Most state parks allow leashed dogs on the hiking trails. Your dog’s ancestry as hunting dogs makes it a bad idea to let your pup wander off-leash. If they see or smell a small animal, it could trigger their prey drive and make them take off after it.
Step
2
Pack a doggy backpack
Many dogs love to be given “jobs,” especially pups descended from working dogs. Your dog can wear a backpack filled with supplies for your hike. Water and collapsible bowls are a must for such a big breed. If your pup is new to the backpack, let them wear it around the house to get accustomed to the way it feels.
Step
3
Use a "don't pet me" vest if necessary
If your dog loves hikes but doesn’t love people, you can have them wear a “don’t pet” vest or other apparel that warns people not to approach. Your dog’s immense size should be enough to keep most people away, but you can use the vest as a back-up deterrent. On the other paw, if your dog is a people lover, you can get a “pet me” vest.
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More Fun Ideas...

Scavenger Hunt

Plush Danois are natural trackers. They would enjoy a scavenger hunt game where they need to use their instincts to find the item. You can have another family member keep your dog occupied while you hide treats around the house.

Fetch

Fetch is a great activity for a Plush Danois because it doesn’t rile them up as much as a game like tug-of-war would. You can throw the ball or use a ball thrower for more distance. Despite their long legs, your pup will get tired faster than a smaller dog, so any activity should be done in short bursts instead of one long play session.

Conclusion

Your Plush Danois will need strict obedience training and socialization from an early age. They are wary around strangers and can be aggressive in their effort to protect their family. Exercising your pooch for 60 to 90 minutes per day is recommended. Once they’ve mastered basic obedience, you can work on agility training. Given their large size, it would be a hoot to watch your Plush Danois jump hurdles or go through a tunnel, but they will enjoy the activity, as long as you don’t expect them to move very gracefully.

Swimming lessons and hikes are great outdoor activities to do with your Plush Danois. A scavenger hunt will let them tune into their natural instincts as hunters without harming any live animals.