Activities For Bostalians

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Introduction

The Bostalian is a hybrid dog which is the result of crossing the Boston Terrier with the Italian Greyhound. As you can imagine, this medium-sized dog is a ball of energy and loves to run. They have a very bouncy gait and can turn on a dime. Having this type of energy means that this dog needs to be kept busy to keep them out of trouble. They love to be with their people, and they adore meeting strangers as well. But their cute looks can hide a stubborn temperament so they need strict training to show them who is the leader (meaning you are the boss not them). Training through games and activities are a great way to teach your dog. Not only is it fun for them which means they will concentrate and learn more, but it meets your goals of having an obedient pooch at your heels. Activities will also use up some of their energy, so it is a winning strategy! Of course, you could play chase or throw the ball till your arm nearly drops off, but there are more options available as we will show you. Try giving your dog some variety in life, spice their days up a bit and your dog will be one contented canine.

Water Slide

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Hot Day
Moderate
Normal
60 min
Items needed
swimming pool or kiddie pool
Water hose
Slide
Activity description
What is better on a hot day than a bit of water fun? It's a perfect way to cool your pup down and have fun at the same time. It does need a little bit of thought to get it set up. If you have a pool at home, then look around for a children's water slide to hook up to the pool. If not, then a normal slide or even a long sheet of plastic on a slope into the kiddie pool will do. You can combine it with training, by first teaching your dog to go up the steps to the top of the slide, then to "stay", before you yell out "go" and off they slide - ending in a mighty splash in either the pool or the kiddie pool. Use the water hose to spray the slide so your dog slides well. Then your dog can get out and race back to the beginning to sit and wait until you give them clearance. If family members want to join in, they have to wait their turn! Give them a hose spraying if they give you any trouble - that will cool them down!
Step
1
Get set to go
Before you can enjoy, you need to set it up. If you don't have a pool, use a paddling pool and a slide. You don't have a slide? See if you can find a long narrow plastic sheet and use it on a slope so it goes into the paddling pool. A touch of mild soap on the plastic combined with water will make it extra slippery.
Step
2
Teach basic skills
If you have a slide, you will have to teach your Bostalian to walk up the steps to the top of the slide. They may need you to go ahead of them to give them the courage to start with. On the first slide, give them a well-earned round of praise and a special treat. Teach them to go and sit at the bottom of the steps and wait for your command to go.
Step
3
Let the games begin
One your dog has learned the basics, let the game begin in earnest. Before long your dog will be whizzing down the slide, splashing in the water, and getting out and racing back to the beginning. Its a perfect activity for an active dog. Just remember to give them a well-earned break, whether they want it or not!
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Work Day

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
4 - 8 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Food dispensing toy
Other toys
Activity description
Most of us have a job that we go to each week. Instead of leaving your Bostalian home alone, maybe you could talk to the boss and get clearance to take your dog to work with you. Of course, it depends on what field you work in, but for an office based job, this idea could be perfect. Your dog will need to have some manners though, they must stay if told to stay, and not become a nuisance. But for a human loving dog, this is the perfect boredom cure. Your adorable pup will make the other worker's day more fun too. Plus, your Bostalian will gain many new friends and collect a ton of pats. Remember to slot in some outside relief walks for your pup so there are no toilet mishaps in the office. Go outside for morning and afternoon tea, and take your dog for a walk around the area at lunchtime before giving them a yummy treat. Take along their favorite blanket so that they can take a nap. It is going to be a long exciting day for your dog.
Step
1
Ask for permission
It pays to ask permission first before turning up with your dog. Make sure your Bostalian is fully trained to sit and stay when told to, and knows not to bark or wander without your permission. Take some toys for those quieter times so they have something to do while you are busy.
Step
2
A test visit
Management may give you the green light to trial it out before committing to a full day. Before heading into work, give your dog a good walk, then get them tucked in the car before heading out. How excited they will be. Your workplace is a new environment to explore, but take into account not all people like dogs, so don't push your dog onto them.
Step
3
Its a long day!
Introduce your dog to colleagues and visitors to your office. They will give your dog plenty of attention, but supervise so your dog doesn't get out of hand. Too much distraction and your pup may not be invited back! At break times, take your dog out for a walk and a toilet break. If this day is successful, your pup may be able to come with you more often.
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Agility Class

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash or harness
Treats
Activity description
Booking your dog in for a beginners class at agility may be the making of your dog. It is a chance to socialize with other dogs and people. This activity also teaches them to listen for your commands and to learn to work as a team. Your job is to help your dog navigate the obstacles on the course in the correct order. At first, it may take some time to get your dog used to the various obstacles, but your Bostalian is fast and intelligent and will learn quickly. A few practices with running through tunnels or jumping over obstacles at home before the class may be advisable first, so they are not a complete novice. It is a challenging activity as you guide them with your voice only, no food treats or touching is allowed. Your dog has to focus on you and your voice and body signals to get things right.
Step
1
Meet and greet
Your dog may be overwhelmed with the other dogs and people, not to mention all of the strange shapes and obstacles. Give them time to take it all in by arriving early. If the instructor allows, let them get to meet a few of the 'team'.
Step
2
Learning the ropes
For the next hour or two, you and your Bostalian will learn how to run the course, with your dog focusing just on you. It will be a tough mental and physical workout, one which they will love. Keep your commands and tone calm and controlled. There will be mistakes, it happens. But just take them back to the jump they missed and continue from there.
Step
3
A star is born
As your dog becomes accustomed to the agility course, they will get faster and better at it. If it is something your dog enjoys then perhaps you could consider doing it each week. It will be great for both you and your dog and is a great bonding sport. Who knows, your dog may become an agility star!
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More Fun Ideas...

Toy Rotation

Some dogs have a wealth of toys, but they still get bored. When your dog is bored with a toy, put it away and bring out another toy that you had taken out of circulation a while ago. It will be like a new toy, your dog will get just as excited. Keep the majority of your dog's toys in a bin in the closet. Rotate each toy to give your dog variety and a change of play. When you take them out of play, give them a wash and remove any that are broken. This activity will save you money as well as provide stimulating variety for your dog. But if they have a really special toy that they love, leave that out for them. Play fair - your dog will love you for it.

Tag Along

Your dog will love a change of pace from their everyday life. Next time you take the car to the car wash, take your dog along. They will be stimulated with so many new sights and sounds, and they will enjoy new situations. Take them when you go for a drive to the cleaners, or to collect the children from school. They will get to meet a lot of new friends and receive multiple pats for this outing. Even if you have to go and drop off the mail or pick up a parcel, take your dog. Your canine companion will soon know that the jingle of the car keys means a trip and they will be bouncing at the door to get out to the car. Stop on the way home for a run in the secure dog park and let them run with the hounds and have fun. By the time they get home, they will need a nap.

Jogging With a Difference

If you can think of nothing else to do, here is a quick fix. Pop the leash on your dog, then go outside and start jogging. But not just jogging, mix it up a bit. Jog for a block, then sprint like mad for a block, then walk a block, and then repeat. Keep varying the pace, it will keep your dog focused on you. When you get to the park, you can jog and weave in and out of the trees. You can even hop, bounce, or whatever you like. Give your dog a treat for the sprint stages or maybe for weaving in and out of the trees. Your Bostalian will love never knowing what you are going to do next. There are benefits for both dog and human here, you both will have a lot of fun and get super fit at the same time.

Conclusion

Learning through fun is a great way to go to train your Bostalian Dog.  These people-oriented dogs thrive on human interaction. They will not be happy to be excluded and will let you know it. Just think of your dog, stuck at home all day, maybe even in an apartment with nothing but four walls to stare at. Your Bostalian will start getting creative and finding things to do if you don't give them some variety. Try some of the games described here, and try making up some of your own. Even a trip to the beach, the dog park or just to a relative's place is an outing your dog will love. Make them work for their food with food dispensing toys - don't make it too easy for them! Chase them with the water hose, hide toys in the sandpit for them to dig up, make an obstacle course in the backyard to tire your pup out. Get creative before they do as you may not like: designer shoes can get a puppy makeover if you are not careful. Teach them commands to stop, drop and stay. Train them to walk beside you so they know who is boss. There are so many things you can do with the Bostalian; best you get started now!