Activities For Aussie Poms

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Introduction

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

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Several heavy duty large balls
Thick rope
Brightly coloured yarn
Treats
Activity description

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. 

Step
1
Assemble herd and course
You will need to get nine large, heavy duty balls together - these are the sheep. Inflatable exercise balls are ideal. Form them into a triangular pattern with the lead ball at the front of the triangle. Design the course using brightly colored yarn or rope to show the pathway. At the end of the course, make a square out of the rope or yarn, which will be the pen that the herd will be driven into.
Step
2
Let the Treibball begin
Give your dog instructions and help them at first to move the balls along. Once they move one, call them to another so that they get the idea to move all as a whole. They have to nudge them with their muzzle to move them. Direct them to the left, then right, then to move that stubborn front one towards the pen. There is always one sheep, we mean ball, that is stubborn.
Step
3
Through the gate
A real team effort will be needed to move all the balls along the course, without going off track. If one ball escapes, get your dog to herd it back. Delicately maneuver them through the gate of the pen, - don't let that feisty old matriarch sheep, oops we mean ball, cause a stampede. Then once they are in, celebrate! Give that heading dog of yours a great hug, huge praise and a well earned treat. Good work to you both.
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Doggie in the Middle

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Ball
Two or three people
Soft toy
Treats
Activity 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.

Step
1
In the beginning
If you have children who are bored, enlist them to help you play this game. Make sure they know the rules of the game before starting. Sit several feet apart facing each other. The greater the space, the more running your dog will have to do. Get everyone in place, then call on the dog to join.
Step
2
Bring in the ball thief
Bring your dog into the game by rolling the ball to another person and telling your dog to 'get it'. Let them have a couple of easy wins, then speed it up and make them work harder. Having three people means you can switch directions more, but two players can still make it fun. Your dog will make it their mission to steal the ball. Just make sure they give it back after a few victory chews. The treat will encourage them.
Step
3
Adding variety
You can change it from rolling a ball to throwing a soft toy to each other. Your dog then has to jump and leap to intercept it. If you are inside, be careful where you throw the toy to avoid damaging items in the home. Keep the throws low and controlled. The idea is to keep your dog focused and active, wearing off some energy while teaching them how to chase, catch, drop and leave the ball or toy. All great training and good fun.
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Pack the Toy Box

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
60 min
Items needed
A selection of toys
Marker cones
Treats
Activity description

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.

Step
1
Setting up the course
If it's a sunny day, go outside with the game. Set up a pile of toys at one end, and then walk a few yards and place a marker cone and a box. On the way back, place three or four other cones a few feet apart for your dog to weave around on the way back. Put them to the side, so your pal doesn't get confused on the run up.
Step
2
Trial run
Get your dog to sit, they ask them to get a toy, and then run with them up to the far cone. When you reach the cones, get your dog to drop the toy in the box, and then run back weaving in and out of the other cones on the side. Reward amply and then get them to repeat the exercise with another toy. Your dog may need several goes at the course before they get it right. That's fine, give them praise and reward for their effort.
Step
3
Reverse the order
Once your clever dog gets all the toys in the box, reverse the order and get them to run to the furthest cone, pick up a toy from the box, then return weaving through the cones on the way back while carrying the toy. If your dog gets this they deserve a big treat! This game can be learned in stages until your dog remembers all the steps and can do it quickly. Remember to give them a break, don't run the legs off them! And keep it fun please.
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More Fun Ideas...

Walking in the Rain

Are you and your dog bored with the rainy weather? Well, grab your raincoat, pop on the Aussie Pom's leash, and head out for a refreshing walk. With umbrella in hand, mosey along the path to the park and let your dog have exploration time there.  Chances are the park will be deserted, and you will have it all to yourselves. Okay, you both may get a bit damp, but the rain won't hurt you if you are only out for a short time. On your way back, stop at a café and order a treat for yourself (hot chocolate would be our choice) and produce that dog treat for your pooch that you smuggled in your purse. Then a brisk walk home to get nice and dry, before snuggling up together on the couch to watch 101 Dalmatians on the TV!

A Frozen Meal

 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. 

Camping With Doggy

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.

Conclusion

Once you begin to look for activities to do with your dog, you will be surprised at the ideas that you can think up. Keep an open mind, and you will be able to adapt most games to suit your furry friend. A romp in the park can turn into an obstacle course as you teach your dog how to use the merry go round, or even to walk up a small step ladder to go down a slide. A walk along a lake can result in your giving your dog a command to 'go jump in the lake'. Most dogs love leaping into the water to retrieve a ball, stick or whatever you throw. Training your dog to pick up its toys at night time, or getting them used to wear a back pack to help carry their water and toys will all help to make them feel like they have a job, that they are useful. Dogs love to serve and are at their happiest when they have things to do. A happy dog is a tuckered out dog who has no time to get into mischief; they are too busy recharging those batteries for the next round of fun they know is coming!