Activities For Bernese Rotties

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Introduction

The Bernese Rottie is a large designer breed mix of the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Rottweiler. These are highly energetic dogs that weigh between 100 and 130 pounds and need about 45 minutes to an hour of strenuous physical activity every day. Although they are big, they are lovable and intelligent dogs that strive to make their humans happy no matter what they are doing. Not only were they bred to be guard dogs, but they were also used as farm dogs or carting dogs, often helping out with the chores. Your dog may not like being a guard dog or carting dog though, and would rather play ball or just run and jump all day. Whichever choice you make, just be sure your pooch loves it, so you can both enjoy the fun. 

Agility Course

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Leash
Collar
Treats
Activity description
An agility course is sort of like a playground to your dog. In fact, many dog parks now include some or all of the obstacles from the agility course for dogs to play on. A typical agility course will include tunnels, jumps, an A-frame, a see-saw, crossover, dog walk, weave poles, a chute, the pause table, and a hoop or tire to jump through. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Yes, your pooch probably thinks so too. The only difference is that if you were to enter your dog in an actual agility course competition, they would have to follow some of the rules. Your dog has to learn to follow your commands and complete the obstacles in order without any mistakes as fast as possible.
Step
1
Commanding your pooch
The first step is to teach your dog some simple commands such as heel, sit, stay, come, and down. You should teach your fur baby both voice and hand commands, so you can use both. You will go through a lot of treats during this time because you need to reward your pup every time they do something right.
Step
2
Go to the park
If you do not happen to have an agility course in your yard, you can find a park that has some of the obstacles. If you cannot find one in your neighborhood, try making your own by setting up a board for a seesaw, brooms to jump over, poles to practice weaving through, and even a tire to jump through. Use your imagination and you can probably come up with the whole setup for a few dollars. Once again, give your pup a treat every time they make a good attempt at the obstacle.
Step
3
Watch and learn
Your dog may be good at agility in the backyard, but you need to see how your buddy is going to react when there are others around. Go to an agility competition and let your dog absorb the atmosphere and see how they feel. If your dog is nervous or scared, you may have to come to a few meets before you are able to sign up for the real thing.
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Flyball

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Any Day
Cheap
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Ball launcher
Hurdles
Activity description
The sport of flyball is simply a race to see which dog can jump hurdles and fetch a ball from the ball launching machine the fastest without any mistakes. Each dog will have to start at the start line and run as fast as possible, jumping over several hurdles, pushing on the launch pad to release the ball, and then return to the start with the ball, jumping over the hurdles again. They have to jump the hurdles in order and not drop the ball to win the race. Most of the time, it is played as a team of four dogs like a relay, so your pooch will need to learn how to be a team player.
Step
1
Learning the ball launch machine
Once again, you have to teach your dog the basic voice commands and hand signals to get through the course with ease. Once that is done, you need to get your dog used to the ball launcher. All dogs like to play ball but teaching them that they can get the ball out of the machine by pressing on the launching pad takes some time and treats.
Step
2
Jumping the hurdles
Teaching your pooch to jump over the hurdles can be a bit tricky as well. However, with some time, patience, and a pocket full of treats, you can do it in no time. Start by tossing the ball and having your pooch bring it back. Give a treat every time. Then toss the ball over the hurdle and tell your dog to go get it. Once your pooch goes to get the ball and bring it back, give your fur buddy a treat.
Step
3
Work the course
Once your dog is good at the hurdles, set up three or four of them in front of the ball launching machine and have your dog do them one at a time. Make sure you treat and encourage your fur buddy every time to reinforce the behavior. Pretty soon, your pooch will be running through the whole course in seconds!
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Carting

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Cart
Activity description
Carting is an old habit that dogs used to do in the early 1800s to help their humans transport things such as meat, tools, food, and even bricks. Carting was commonly done in towns where there was no transportation, so they had to rely on horses and dogs to help carry the load. This is great for a large dog like a Bernese Rottie because they are very strong and can pull great amounts. The general rule is to only let your dog pull up to three times their own weight. This sport is also called dryland mushing where dogs are used to pull their owner in a cart during the warmer seasons to keep them in shape for sledding. 
Step
1
Get Fido a checkup
Whether you want your dog to pull your groceries or you, they should always have a physical examination by a veterinary professional first. This is to make sure they are healthy enough and determine if your pooch’s back can handle the sport. Once your veterinarian gives you the go ahead, you can start training.
Step
2
Introducing your dog to the cart
Let your dog get used to the harness, poles, and cart one at a time. The harness should be left on them for several days until they get used to it. Then attach the poles and let your pooch pull them around the yard. Attach the empty cart and let them pull that around for a few days, giving your dog a treat every time.
Step
3
Pile on the weight
Place weights or bricks in the cart a little at a time to get your fur buddy used to pulling weight. Make sure you know exactly how much weight you are putting in the cart. When totaling the weight, be sure to count the weight of the cart and do not go over the recommended weight.
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More Fun Ideas...

Tricks

Have you been wanting to teach your dog to do some of those cool tricks like standing on hind legs, saying their prayers, balancing a treat on their nose, and playing dead? All dogs can learn tricks; there is nothing really hard about it. As long as you've got plenty of patience, time, and treats, you can teach your dog to do anything. 

Surfing

If you like to surf and have the ability to do so, you may want to include your pooch in the fun. As long as your dog likes the water and knows how to swim, there is no reason why you cannot teach them how to surf with you. Just be sure to use a doggy life jacket no matter whether they can swim like a pro or not. Bring your board home and let your dog get used to it first and then take them both to the beach with a pocket of treats. You will both be riding the waves in no time.

Conclusion

Your fur buddy will love spending time with you whether you are sitting around at home, playing in the surf, or competing in the ring surrounded by a crowd. Finding an activity that's fun for both of you and helps you both get some exercise as well should be pretty easy once you spend some time getting to know each other.