The Aussie Pom is a hybrid dog (Australian Shepherd and Pomeranian) who has the sweetest temperament and is one of the smartest dogs you will ever know. They are devoted companions and like to be part of the family. They will readily join in games, traipse alongside you on a walk, or sit and chill as long as you are with them. They do have a lot of energy and like to have room to move in, so a yard is important for this dog. Plan on taking this dog on regular walks, not just a stroll, but a workout walk! A tired dog won't get into as much mischief as one that is full of beans. Games or activities can range from a simple walk around your neighborhood to day trips to the beach, an obstacle course, puzzles or games adapted from everyday life. Playing games with your beloved pet is a way of giving them quality time, to indulge in training your dog so that they can be the best they can be. The most important thing is that it be fun!
Treibball is a fairly new dog sport that is ideal for herding dogs who don't have a flock of sheep to practice on. This game is ideal for the Australian Shepherd, part of your Aussie Pom heritage. The challenge is to work with your dog as a team, and teach them to 'herd' the balls along a course and corral them in a 'pen' marked out by rope or cord. They have to nudge each ball along, moving them all as one towards the pen. Once they have mastered moving the herd, then you can add an obstacle or two such as a box, that they have to move the flock around. This game develops mental focus, concentration, and teamwork as you guide them to go left or right, or whatever. It's a ton of fun, and strangely satisfying for both dog and owner. Treibball is German for Driving Ball, which is an apt description.
Doggie in the middle is a simple and easy game to play, which your Aussie Pom will love. It involves three people sitting on the floor and rolling a ball to each other. It does sound boring, but when you add your dog in the middle, well that takes the game up several notches. Your dog will love to chase the ball, and to be the center of attention - well, what self respecting dog doesn't want that? The idea is to prevent your dog from stealing the ball. The faster you move the ball, the faster your dog will go. But when they win the ball, they are to return it to you for a treat and everyone claps and praises your proud pooch. This game is ideal for wet days when the weather traps you indoors.
This game is similar to 'pick up your toys' which is used to train your dog to help you tidy the house. But this game builds on your dog's ability to pick up a toy and put it in a box. This game asks your dog to pick up one toy from a pile, and race several yards down the grassy yard to a marker cone, plop the toy in a box, then weave their way back to you around three or four other cones strategically placed on the way back. This game is challenging as your dog has to think about what you want and to work out how to do it correctly. At first, you may have to run with them to show them what to do. Reward them with praise when they get it right, or take them back and show them what they had to do if they get it wrong. It builds confidence and is a whole lot of fun.
If you love to hike, don't leave your Aussie Pom at home, they would love to come too! For an overnight hike, rig your dog up with a mini backpack to carry their water and blanket. Check the route is dog friendly, then head out at first light. Following your planned route, walk at a leisurely pace, keeping your dog on a leash to ensure that they don't get distracted. As they are a small dog, you may need a few more stops to refresh and rest. Then when you get to the camp site, set up your tent (with room for your dog) and have dinner over the camp fire. Your dog will be asleep before you know it, only their snores and muffled woofs giving away their secret.
For those hot summer days when your Aussie Pom dog is both hot and bored (a troublesome combination) give them a frozen treat block. It is as simple as using a plastic ice-cream container to freeze some tasty broth. Add a layer of broth with some chunks of carrot, cooked peas, or apple, then freeze. Then add more broth with small chunks of cooked meat, and some small dog biscuits, and freeze. Add slices of cooked potato and other vegetables your dog likes in the final layer. When it is all frozen, tip it out onto a grassy area, and let your dog at it. The block is both healthy and cooling for your dog, and will take them ages to get through, licking and biting as it defrosts.