Activities For Afghan Shepherds

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Introduction

The Afghan Shepherd is a dog that's known by many other names: Kuchi Dog, Sage Kuchi, and Sage Jangi - all of these are suitable aliases for the Afghan Shepherd. Not be confused with the Afghan Hound, the Afghan Shepherd is a very strong and noble dog that was bred to serve as a stalwart guardian of herds, cattle, and people. As a result, Afghan Shepherds tend to react positively to any kind of activities that will test and challenge them physically. Afghan Shepherds aren't all brawn and no brains, however, as they enjoy activities that will take them out of their comfort zones and challenge them mentally as well.

Mountain Hiking

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog Leash
Waste Bags
Snacks
Water
First Aid Kit
Towel and Blanket
Activity description
Considering that Afghan Shepherds were bred for the express purpose of working in the mountains, the idea of them being an excellent mountain hiking companion doesn't really come as a shock to us. These dogs are hardy and intelligent enough to know how to deal with the rough and rugged terrain inherent with the mountains. You'll need to spend some cash (about $100 or so) gathering the appropriate supplies before you're ready to trek through mountainous terrain. You'll also need to plan your trip ahead of time, as this isn't really the sort of thing a person ought to do spontaneously.
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1
Prep time
The further ahead you plan your trip, the better off you and your dog will be. If you're planning on hiking through a particular area, you should try to divine what it's like during certain times of the year. Bring adequate gear for all weather scenarios such as a change of clothing, towels for drying off your dog if need be, and a blanket for warmth should you be delayed on the hike.
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Mountain hiking etiquette
In a nutshell, don't do anything that will place your dog's life or your own life in jeopardy. Mountain hiking can be a perfectly safe and fun activity if done properly - hydrate often, keep your Afghan Shepherd close to you, don't allow them to chase wildlife or consume plants (some may be toxic) and in general, respect the environment that you are enjoying.
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Canicross

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Dog Harness
Hands-Free Leash
Water
waste bags
Activity description
The Afghan Shepherd is also known as the Kuchi Dog. This alternate name for the Afghan Shepherd was inspired by the group of Nomads who bred them into existence in the first place - the Kuchi (also called Kochi) Nomads. As a result of being reared by wanderers, Kuchi Dogs have genetically adapted to travelling across long distances over time. Canicross is a sport in which dogs and their human companions jog or run the distance of a cross-country mile together, meaning that the Afghan Shepherd's genetic gifts will come in handy for this trial. You will need to buy a harness and a hands-free leash for your dog. Try to do this activity with your dog on a sunny day with fair weather and clear skies.
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1
Thinking ahead
A cross-country mile is typically defined as being 3.1 miles or 5 kilometers long. You don't actually have to run across the border between your neighboring countries with your dog to complete a cross-country mile if you don't want to, but you will need to plan out your route ahead of time and procure any extra supplies you might think you and your dog will need for the road. We recommended that you try this activity out on a sunny day. If you are planning on running on a snowy day you ought to get some winter gear for yourself and your dog.
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2
Jogging vs running
You can either jog the length of a cross-country mile or try to run it - either method is a better means of exercising than simply walking. That being said, we strongly recommend sticking with jogging if you or your dog are inexperienced with high-intensity cardio activities; if you haven't seriously run since high school or college, you'll need to gradually build up your stamina and speed before you can run the length of three football fields. Jogging is less intense than running, but you and your dog will still feel the burn after completing a canicross mile. Trust us, we're speaking from experience here.
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3
Jogging and running tips
Whether jogging or running a canicross mile, it's paramount to pace your breaths to avoid hyperventilating and running out of steam mid-mile. Try to develop a rhythm to your breathing - inhale the first time your leading foot hits the ground and then exhale the second time that same foot touches down. Try a similar method for running but try exhaling on your fourth step as opposed to the second. In both scenarios, be mindful of your dog's leash while moving your arms - moving them too wildly could cause the leash to chafe your pet in a very uncomfortable way.
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Dog Soccer

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Soccer ball
Activity description
All dogs have a chase instinct (something in their DNA that compels them to chase after smaller objects and animals), even a dog that's typically as reserved and composed as the Afghan Shepherd. To help your dog indulge their chase instinct in a safe and controllable environment, consider playing dog soccer with them. All you and your pet will really need is a soccer ball (which can be purchased for less than $20) and a big enough field to safely play the game in. You and your Afghan Shepherd can play this game during any kind of weather, so long as you dress appropriately. Soccer on a cool, crisp day is a refreshing workout!
Step
1
Keeping it dog-friendly
You won't be playing against another human player for this activity, so you shouldn't kick the ball as hard as you normally would. Dog soccer is meant to be played one-on-one as opposed to being treated as a team game, so you won't have to worry about passing the ball or getting it stolen from you by anyone else other than your Afghan Shepherd. Lastly, you'll have to be the goalie for this game - keep that in mind when you're tempted to kick the ball yards away.
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2
For glory or for fun
If you want to try and play against your dog for points, you'll either need to go to a field with goal posts already set up or you'll need to create makeshift goal posts by hand. You might be tempted to try and use markers to serve as goal posts but dogs tend to respond better when their goals are clearly defined by physical objects. If that sounds like too much trouble, you and your pet can always play for fun. Disregard the goal posts entirely and just have a ball...literally.
Step
3
Ball Tricks
If you've found that your Afghan Shepherd has a flair for the dramatic and has the spirit of a show-dog, over time you may be able to teach them how to do a few tricks with the soccer ball. The easiest trick, relatively speaking, is teaching a dog how to balance the ball on the tip of their nose. There are no secrets to getting this trick down here, just keep placing the ball on the tip of your dog's snout and seeing how long they can balance it.
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More Fun Ideas...

Doggy Dancing

Kuchi Dogs are fairly easy pets to train overall - that's one of the main attributes that helps them excel as guardian animals and herding dogs. The relative easiness of training an Afghan Shepherd will also allow you to develop a dance routine with your pet; you can teach them to perform certain tricks and actions during specific parts of songs with enough time and practice.

Schutzhund

German for "protection dog" Schutzhund is an activity that was originally created to help German Shepherds refine their abilities as guardian animals. Nowadays, dogs of all kinds are encouraged to participate in this activity so that they can learn how to better protect their family members and friends from potential threats.

Herding Training

Afghan Shepherds were bred with the intention of protecting the livestock of nomadic people from threats like mountain lions, wolves, and bandits. Even if you have no desire to start herding livestock animals around, getting your Afghan Shepherd some herding training can help them become more disciplined pets in the long run.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Afghan Shepherds are great pets to think about adopting if you're in need of a guardian animal or if you'd just like a canine companion with a very reserved and respectful demeanor. These respectful dogs seem to operate via the Golden Rule, meaning that they tend to "do unto others" as is done unto them. All that really means is that you just need to treat an Afghan Shepherd with respect for a long enough period of time and they'll eventually show you the same kindness. Afghan Shepherds can learn to live with kids, geriatrics, and other breeds and species of animals if properly socialized.