Activities For Afghan Retrievers

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Introduction

The two dog breeds crossed together to make an Afghan Retriever are just about as different as day and night; one breed, the Afghan Hound, is notorious for a having a long coat that's made up or silky, stringy, strands of hair. The other breed, the Golden Retriever, has a very unassuming, low key appearance on the whole. As a result, the Afghan Retrievers that will result from mixing these drastically different dogs will vary from one another as each Afghan Retriever will have coats that favor one parent more than the other - and personalities that are just as dynamic and different as well.

Flirt Pole

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Flirt Pole
Dog Treats
Activity description
If you've read enough of our guides, you've no doubt came across a number of unconventional tools and toys that dog owners can get to really spice up their relationship with their pets. Flirts poles definitely fall into that category, though it likely isn't for the reason you may have in mind. You see there's nothing inherently "flirty" about flirt poles - in the buying someone a drink and winking at them sense of the word "flirt." Rather these tools are used to coax your dog into jumping and bounding after a lure that's attached to a fishing rod like device. The idea is that you'll be holding the flirt pole and wiggling it around so that your dog can chase after it.
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How do flirt poles work?
Very simply in all honesty; like we mentioned before, flirt poles are very rudimentary pieces of equipment. Most flirt poles simply look like selfie sticks with lures tied to them while others allow you to adjust the length of the rope like a fishing rod. But there's no further nuance to flirt poles besides what we've just mentioned; you use them by holding the pole in front of your dog and getting them to chase after it.
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The chase is on!
When playing with your dog, the idea is to get your dog to work up a sweat by chasing after the flirt pole, not necessarily yourself. You can actually get your dog to put in quite a bit of effort while you sit or stand in a stationary position, wiggling the flirt pole just out of your dog's reach. Keep moving the flirt pole around in a controlled manner for a decent amount of time, ultimately letting your dog seize the lure when you feel they've done enough.
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Scent Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
45 - 60 min
Items needed
Leash
Scented Items
Scented Foods
Activity description
Afghan Retrievers hail from two dog breeds who both are renowned for their abilities to find people, places, and things that are well hidden out of plain view. But having the genes to be a great tracker aren't enough on their own; an Afghan Retriever also has to hone their natural smelling abilities if they're ever to have a hope at reaching the same levels that either of their parents can attain. Afghan Retrievers tend to respond very well to a number of scent training activities, so you probably won't need to do much to convince your dog to train their nose.
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How scent training works
The aim of scent training as a whole is to help a dog learn how to find things by smell. This is done by introducing a scented object to a dog, having them stay put as you hide it out of view, and then encouraging your dog to find the scented item by following its scent alone. Dogs have very strong olfactory receptors, so they can eventually learn how to follow scents over the course of many miles with enough training.
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Theory and practice
Of course, getting a dog to perfectly follow the steps we talked about before is much easier said than done; dogs can become discouraged if they feel that they're not getting any closer to the scent or can outright abort the mission out of boredom. To that end, we've found that it's best to have a dog try to find objects that are hidden only a few feet away before trying to have them track down the items that are hidden miles and miles away.
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Dog Show Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
weave poles
Hurdles
Stop Box
Leash
Dog Treats
Activity description
For many pet parents out there, dog shows can seem like an intimidating prospect; you and your dog performing in front of hundreds or thousands of other people as the two of you try to impress a panel of venerated judges. But there are two things to the scenario we just mentioned - one, not all dog shows are held in front of massive audiences and, two, winning a dog show isn't everything. No matter how you slice it, dogs shows are about pet parents and their pets going out there and doing their best. Where they place is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, so long as both parties train and put their hearts into this activity. Practicing can take place in all kinds of weather and the expense will depend on how far you want to delve into the competitive side of things.
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Dog show happenings
Dog shows, also known as conformation shows, consist of a number of activities that each showcase various skills that dogs can learn to perform; most dog shows have entire segments dedicated to testing a dog's agility, their ability to follow commands, and their ability to surprise everyone else with some sort of unique talent - thought this last segment is starting to become less prevalent in many dog shows.
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How can we train?
We feel that the best way to train a dog for a show is by isolating each part of a typical dog show and then working on them one by one; we mentioned earlier that there's an entire segment dedicated to testing dogs' agility abilities, so you could spend a week training your dog in that area and then another week going through obedience training them.
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Home or away
As far as agility training goes, you can build a course at home to teach tasks like hurdles and weave poles, or you can go with a trainer who will have the entire set up available. Obedience training is also best with a trainer if the task is new to you because you will both learn the basics and move on from there.
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More Fun Ideas...

Scented Hide and Seek

You've probably played hide and seek with your dog quite a bit already, but have you tried playing while staying out of your Afghan Retriever's field of vision? The idea behind scented hide and seek is to coax your dog into trying to find you by relying only on their sense of smell. You'll want to spray yourself with a smell that your dog loves while also doing your best to stay out of sight.

Active Frisbee

This activity puts a new spin on old school activity; the next time you take your dog out for a game of Frisbee, bring your workout clothes with you because you're going to be doing push ups, sit ups, and more while your Afghan Retriever chases after the Frisbee. Active frisbee is a great way for both you and your dog to burn fat in a fun an unconventional manner.

Conclusion

We're hoping that we've been able to show you how fun Afghan Retrievers can be as pets. If you think of an activity that you'd like to try with your dog that we haven't covered in this guide, we say do your due diligence and then go for it! Afghan Retrievers are very flexible dogs who are willing to learn how to do all sorts of things if it'll help them get closer to their families. Don't forget as well that Afghan Retrievers are natural born herding dogs, so keep looking into other activities that play into your dog's innate herding senses.