Activities For Bernese Cattle Dogs

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Introduction

The Bernese Cattle Dog is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and an Australian Cattle Dog. With the mix of these two amazing breeds, a fantastic herding dog is created! Both of the breeds are talented herding dogs, and both are very friendly in nature. They are wonderful working dogs, as they are quite intelligent and work hard. They are both ideal family pets, as well. If you have a Bernese Cattle Dog, or are considering acquiring one, and do not wish to use them in the pasture with livestock, there are certain activities you can do to keep them active and content. 

Flyball

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Harness
Leash
Activity description

Flyball is a fantastic sport for any dog that loves to run and retrieve. It is an ideal sport for Bernese Cattle Dogs. Flyball is a relay race of dogs where they take turns running, jumping over hurdles, and pouncing on a spring-loaded box that makes the ball come out. Once the dog has the ball, the requirement is to run back and give it to the next dog on the relay team. In order to play flyball, the dog needs to be trained as to what to do. Each dog has a handler, and each race does have a coach or two to help the dog along the course. 

Step
1
Find a flyball organization
You can look online for a flyball organization or club in your area (or close to your area) or you can ask other herding dog group members for advice. Once you look online, you can call the organization and ask questions as to how you can get your Bernese Cattle Dog into a group to train and practice.
Step
2
Visit the club
Once you find a group, you can visit and see what it is all about. Take your dog and talk to an employee about how to train your dog and practice. The people there will give you tips and tricks and tell you any information you need, such as registration and fees. They will also tell you about training, how to get involved and how to start prepping at home.
Step
3
Have fun!
Once your dog is familiar with the relay game, practice will make perfect. If your dog is really talented at the sport, perhaps you will be able to join a team and compete for fun. It is a process, of course, but with time and dedication, your dog will show you the contentment you need to see!
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Soccer

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Balls
Goal
Activity description

Dog soccer helps any herding dog fulfill the instincts of herding, using balls. The balls can be any size, and there can be more than one. The good thing about dog soccer is that it can be played in your own backyard with your Bernese Cattle Dog. Your dog will need to be taught how to scoot the balls along to a goal, but it can be done. Bernese Cattle Dogs are very intelligent and are quick learners. Eventually, you will be able to play along with your herder! Give it a try, start out slow, and perhaps your dog will show you what it takes to get all of the balls into a goal!

Step
1
Purchase balls
You may wish to purchase large, yoga-type balls, or medium-sized playground balls. An actual soccer ball does not have to be purchased to teach your dog how to use his nose to push it. In training, the lighter the ball, the better. You can buy several different balls to see which your pup prefers.
Step
2
Teach the game
To train your Bernese Cattle Dog how to push a ball, there are several steps that need to be accomplished. Put the ball in front of your dog and gently kick it. See if your companion will go after it. You can also put the ball in front of your herder and move the nose down towards it. Gently push the ball with the nose. Your dog will see that the ball moves when this is done. This may need to be done several times to get any reaction. Of course, cheering and treats will always make it easier!
Step
3
Keep practicing
This game is a fun one but takes a lot of practice before your dog will get the hang of it. If your herder wants to "herd" the balls, it will eventually be done. Don't worry about any goal right now, just focus on the technique of pushing the balls, and before you know it your soccer player will be a real pro! After they have the manipulation of the ball down pat, you can start directing your Bernese Cattle Dog toward the goal.
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Agility Work

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Harness
Leash
Activity description

The agility course can be a great way to keep your Bernese Cattle Dog in shape. It will also give your companion a mental workout. An agility course is an actual course that your dog will go through with obstacles in place. Obstacles may include a teeter, jumping, a ramp, tunnels, and more. In order for your dog to be successful with agility, training and lots of practice will be required. Centers with agility courses will help with this, as you can take your dog to a trainer and practice alongside if you wish. Agility is very fun for many dogs, including your herding pup!

Step
1
Research courses
Go online and search for agility courses in your area. You may be surprised at how many you find! Agility is becoming more popular nowadays. Once you find a few places, you may want to ask around about each location and see what information and feedback you can gather.
Step
2
Take a visit
You and your dog can visit the agility course. Once there, you can talk to the instructors about classes and training. There is usually a schedule of the classes offered and the fees. Once talking to the instructors and giving them information about your dog, they will suggest a class for you and give you tips on how to prepare your dog for the lesson.
Step
3
Attend class
Once you begin attending classes, your Bernese Cattle Dog will learn how to traverse the obstacles and improve in speed. You will also learn how to run alongside your pup on the course. When finished with each class, you may find that your dog is calm, content, and tired, as agility works the mind and body!
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More Fun Ideas...

Open Field Running

If your Bernese Cattle Dog has good recall, perhaps you are familiar with an open field in which they can run free for a while. Many dogs love to simply run and frolic, and it gives them a workout, too!

Fetch

A simple game of fetch with your Bernese Cattle Dog in a large field or backyard will do the trick on days they don't have agility training. The reason it is such a classic game is that it really works for expending energy and dogs love it!

Conclusion

If you own a Bernese Cattle Dog and have your dog solely as a family pet, it is important to offer the stimuli needed for your family member to be content. Games that allow them to use their herding senses and their keen minds are ideal. Dog park visits that allow them to run and socialize are also excellent ways to exercise your pet.