Activities For Blue Picardy Spaniels

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Introduction

The Blue Picardy Spaniel (also known as the Bleu Picard) is a charming Spaniel type dog that was first bred in France way back in the 20th century. The Blue Picardy Spaniel gets their name from their black and grey colored coat, which often blends together under certain lighting conditions, making this dog look like they have blue patches of fur sprinkled throughout their coat. This dog was originally bred to be a gun dog that was meant to excel at pointing and retrieving tasks. If you're thinking about adopting a Blue Picardy Spaniel, here are few activities that will positively impact this dog's growth and development as a pet and companion.

Gundog Trials

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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Training Collar
Field Bag
Field Training Dummy
Activity description
Gundog trials test the tracking and retrieving abilities of hunting dogs without the need for inflicting harm on any live animals in the process. Typically held in grassy areas with a lot of open space, gundog trials tap into the innate instincts of breeds like Labrador Retrievers or Blue Picardy Spaniels by using things like field training dummies that have been made to resemble ducks and other sorts of game animals. You'll need a few pieces of high-grade equipment like a training collar and a field bag, which can cost more than $400 to acquire. You can attempt this activity during any sort of weather, as a truly great gundog will need to be able to retrieve items through rain, sleet, or snow.
Step
1
Obey
It's a good idea to have your Blue Picardy Spaniel undergo some obedience training in order to build a foundation for what's to come. Dogs who have undergone obedience training will be much more responsive and reliable during this activity. Simply put, you'll be able to get a lot more done if you don't have spend half of your time attempting to rein in your dog.
Step
2
Comfortable with the collar
The training collar is probably a device that is just as benign to yourself as it will be to your dog. It's meant to allow you to reinforce or discourage certain actions via vibrating for various lengths and intensities. You'll be able to control how little or how much the collar vibrates with a remote control, but you'll want to spend plenty of time learning how the device works so that you'll know when to send certain signals.
Step
3
Command your dog's respect
Your Blue Picardy Spaniel will need to be able to understand the slew of commands that are associated with gundog trials. There are commands for heeling your dog by your side, encouraging them to split off away from you, getting them to return to your side from long distances and so on. It may seem difficult to teach your dog to respond to commands at first, but keep at it and continue to practice one command at a time before moving on to another.
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Relay Swimming Race

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Buoyant Toys
Treats
Activity description
Blue Picardy Spaniels are great swimmers by nature; if you've got a pool and are caring for a Blue Picardy Spaniel, it won't be long before you see your Bleu dive head first into the water before they begin swimming around like a fish. As these athletic dogs are such graceful swimmers, they won't have any trouble at all participating in a relay race with yourself, your friends and family, or any other dogs. The only item you really need is a buoyant dog toy that your Bleu can bite onto with ease, which you should be able to get for less than $10 at your local dog store. It's best to try this activity when the weather is sunny, as you'll be spending a lot of time in the water with your dog and could use some sunshine to dry off sooner.
Step
1
Lay down the law
Despite the fairly the intense title, you'll just need to show your dog how to play the game for this step. Before getting in the pool, show your Blue Picardy Spaniel what item they'll be attempting to get and then help them understand the idea of passing the item to you when you ask for it. It will take some time to get this step down, but it's absolutely integral to playing this game - just keep practicing and your dog will get the idea in time.
Step
2
Baton pass
To properly have a relay race with your dog, you'll need to do things a bit differently than a normal relay race; firstly, you'll want to place the "baton" in the water before you and your dog go in it (you can just chuck it in there if you don't feel like swimming to the middle of the pool and setting the baton.) Next, you'll need to get your Bleu to stay on the opposite side of the pool so that you two can effectively take turns swimming to the middle of the pool, getting the baton from the other, swimming to the edge, and returning to the middle again.
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Dog Shaping

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Food Bowls
Cardboard Boxes
Plastic Storage Trunks
Dog Treats
Training Clicker
Activity description
When we first learned about this activity, we thought it would be something akin to landscaping (or "manscaping" to be more accurate). But after doing more research, we learned that the "shaping" aspect of this activity refers to shaping a dog's mind to be more versatile and flexible as opposed to anything physical. For this activity, you'll want to use containers of all kinds to create impromptu puzzles for your Blue Picardy Spaniel that will require them to quite literally think outside the box in order to solve them. These containers can be bowls, cardboard boxes, anything that you typically use to contain or store items. You'll want to get a few of them in various sizes, for just a moderate cost output. This is an indoor activity, so the weather shouldn't affect this game in the slightest.
Step
1
The shape of doggos
The idea here is to introduce your dog to an object that they don't typically encounter (such as a cardboard box), wait for them to interact with it, and reward them with clicks from the training clicker and treats every time they try something new. Did your dog look at the unusual object? If yes, click and give them a treat. Did they take a step inside and use the box like miniature house? If yes, click and give them a snack. For every new interaction, reward your pup.
Step
2
How to play
This game is very simple to set up theoretically, as you simply need to place the unusual object in a separate area or room before bringing your dog over to it. If you've got a particularly clingy Blue Picardy Spaniel on your hands, it may be tough to get them to wait in another room on their own for a bit. We suggest letting them play with a favorite toy of theirs while you get to work setting up the game in that scenario. Again, each time that your dog removes a toy from the box, takes a sniff at the bowl or climbs into the box use the clicker as a signal that they are doing things right.
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More Fun Ideas...

Flirt Poles

Flirt poles are like fishing rods for dogs - both are rod-like devices that have lures attached to the end of a sturdy line or rope. One of the big differences, however, is that you actually will want to manipulate the rod in such a way that your dog won't be able to easily catch the lure. Blue Picardy Spaniels are very springy and wiry, so your work will definitely be cut out for you.

Dog Puzzles

This activity emphasizes mind over matter; letting your dog play with dog puzzles is a great way to help them refine their critical thinking skills while also teaching them how to think outside the box. Dog puzzles can be purchased for about $20 per puzzle, so this activity also has an added benefit of being very cost efficient.

Conclusion

Blue Picardy Spaniels are a fairly venerated breed in their native home of France due to their efficacy as hunting dogs and companion animals. They have lots of energy and endurance, which is why the bulk of the activities on this list are very physical in nature. However, Blue Picardy Spaniels are also incredibly smart dogs who can adapt and reason their way through various problems and scenarios. It's because of the Blue Picardy's high intelligence that we also mixed in a few brain training activities in this guide as well. Beyond the activities we've discussed here, look to introduce your companion to the kinds of activities that will test their mind as well as their body.