Activities For Boweimars

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Introduction

A Boweimar dog is not a purebred dog but a hybrid dog, a cross between the Boxer and the Weimaraner breeds. Whether you have acquired this dog from a breeder who intentionally crossed the two breeds, from an accidental mating, or even from a shelter, what you have acquired is a great deal of energy and affection. The downside to all this energy and affection is that they require a great deal of daily activity and don't enjoy being alone, occasionally leading to separation anxiety or restless behaviors. When provided with enough activity and attention, however, they make playful and trainable family companions that tend to get along well with children and also love to snuggle.

Flyball

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Flyball Hurdles
Tennis Balls
Flyball Box
Activity description

Both Boxer dogs and Weimaraners tend to have a high drive and will often wear their owners out playing fetch. Introducing them to the fast-paced canine sport of flyball takes this common activity to a higher level. Teams of four dogs race relay-style down a straight track that is punctuated by four hurdles set ten feet apart to activate a flyball box, which releases a tennis ball that the dog fetches, bringing it back to their owners at the starting line. Boweimars typically inherit a strong desire to play hard from the Boxer side of their history as well as the long legs and retrieval instinct of their Weimaraner ancestors, making them well-suited to this competitive canine sport. 

Step
1
Health check
This is not an activity that should be engaged in when the dog’s skeletal system is still maturing as the jumping can be overly strenuous to the still-forming growth plates in the joints. Maturation of the skeletal system usually occurs by eighteen months for both the Boxer and Weimaraner breeds. A veterinary professional should examine your dog prior to adding any strenuous exercise to their routine in order to ensure that both their joints and their cardiovascular system are up to the strain.
Step
2
Training
While most Boweimers will fetch a tennis ball without much prompting, some dogs must be taught how to fetch, first teaching them to chase and catch the ball, then adding in the retrieval process. They also will need to master the concept of jumping over hurdles, which is often best accomplished by starting with just one hurdle, then adding more in one at a time until they are confidently jumping over all four hurdles. Once they have mastered these steps, it is just a matter of teaching them to activate the flyball box by pouncing on it, then combining these actions in the proper order.
Step
3
Register to compete
While there are many classes, practices, and informal competitions, there are only two official flyball organizations in North America at this time; the United Flyball Association (U-Fli) and the North American Flyball Association (NAFA). Both of these organizations require that competitors that are entering the competitions that they host be registered before they participate. Flyball competitions hosted by these organizations are judged using digital or electronic means, and the registration allows them to have your canine companion’s scores tracked throughout their flyball career. Lifetime registration at time of writing is $10 per dog with UFli and $25 with NAFA, and there are typically additional fees for entering the actual competitions.
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Dock Jumping

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Dock
Target or Bumper
Activity description

Dock jumping, also referred to as dock diving, was introduced in 1997 at the Incredible Dog Challenge. Dogs that participate in this competitive sport run to the end of a thirty-five to forty-foot dock and jump off into a long pool or body of water in pursuit of a specified target, aiming for either the longest or the highest jump, or for the quickest retrieve. The target can either be a stationary target which is suspended over the pool or one that is thrown into the pool, depending on the type of competition you are entering your dog into. The long legs and powerful musculature makes this hybrid dog an excellent candidate for competitive dock jumping. 

Step
1
Getting comfortable
While the majority of Boweimars are likely to be comfortable in the water, some may take a little time to adjust to the idea of swimming in general and require a few swimming sessions to get comfortable navigating in the water. Once they are comfortable and confident in the water, you will want to get them comfortable jumping into the water as well, typically by throwing a toy into the water for them to jump in and swim after, eventually replacing it with a target bumper similar to the ones you would see in competition. This is sometimes easier when the trainer starts by throwing the toy into the body of water they can clearly see on the same level before introducing them to the idea of jumping off of an elevated dock into the water.
Step
2
Types of competition
There are three different types of events that your pooch can participate in: big air, extreme vertical, and speed retrieve. Big air competitions are judged based on how long of a jump your dog is able to make, either by utilizing the place and throw or chase techniques. In the extreme vertical type of competition, the target, also known as a bumper, is extended eight feet from the dock and is hung at least four feet and six inches above the water; the height of the target is increased in increments during the competition, and the dog who retrieves the target or knocks it in the pool from the highest point wins the competition. Speed retrieve has a target bumper hung thirty-eight inches from the dock, and the dog timed on how long it takes them to reach it, with the speediest dog as the winner.
Step
3
Place and send or chase
While the target bumper for the extreme vertical and the speed retrieve are stationary at the start of the run, those competing in big air competitions generally throw the target in for their dog to chase after. The two techniques that are used are place and send, in which the handler walks the dog to the jump-off point, throws the bumper into the water, then walks the dog back to the far end of the dock to then run and jump after it, or the chase method in which the dog is placed in a stay at the far end of the dock, and the handler releases the dog from the stay and throws the bumper in from the jump off area.
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Canicross

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Harness
Hip or Waist belt
Canicross Bungee Lead
Activity description

Boweimars have a great deal of energy and power when they run, and employing the sport of canicross, in which your dog is harnessed to you as you run, can not only help to burn off much of their excess energy but also helps both you and your canine companion exercise more efficiently and improves the communication between you and your dog. This sport, first developed as a way to prepare young dogs for the job of pulling a sled and to maintain the fitness of mature sledding dogs during the snowless summer months, has recently expanded its reach and is becoming very popular for non-sledding dogs as well. 

Step
1
Equipment
In order to participate in canicross, your dog will need a sturdy harness that fits tightly enough that it doesn’t move and slide much, causing chaffing, but not so tightly that it interferes with the expansion of your dog’s chest as they run. This harness is attached to a specialized belt that the human runner wears either around their waist or at the hips by way of a specialized bungee lead that is able to easily spring back into shape even after being stretched. As a safety precaution, this equipment should be inspected before and after every run to ensure that it is free from damage and defect.
Step
2
Training
In order to properly communicate with your dog during the canicross experience, your dog will need to know several verbal commands. This sport can become confusing and dangerous for both you and your pet if you are unable to instruct your dog as to when to do things like turn right or left, go faster, slow down, and even stop. It is also important to teach your canine companion some version of leave it, to prevent them from investigating interesting items along the trail, such as a dead animal, dropped food, or even other dogs on the trail. Ensuring that your dog has mastered these commands before you hit the trail will make your outing safer and much more enjoyable for both you and your pooch.
Step
3
Get moving
Once your dog has mastered these commands and the equipment has been thoroughly inspected, you can begin running with your dog. This activity is most effective on forestry trails, woodland park roads, or mild to moderate hiking trails. While canicross teams can run on sidewalks and paved roads, too much time on these hard surfaces can eventually lead to damage of the ankles, knees, and feet - for both you and your dog. Running on a good mix of softer ground and slightly harder ground is the most effective way to condition your dog’s paw pads.
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More Fun Ideas...

Swimming

Both the Boxer and Weimaraner breeds are somewhat prone to developing hip dysplasia, giving their offspring the same possibility of acquiring this disorder. Swimming sessions can help your dog to build up the muscles that surround the joints without adding as much stress to the joints as other traditional exercises often do.

Doggie Daycare

These dogs are not dogs that are happy being left alone all day and they tend to get along well with other dogs. A well-run doggie daycare will help to ensure that your dog gets plenty of attention, exercise, and socialization throughout the day. Because these dogs have inherited a high prey drive from both of their parent breeds, it may be wise to choose a daycare that keeps large and small dogs separated unless your dog is proven with smaller dogs.

Hunting

While the Weimaraner is commonly considered to be a hunting dog, the Boxer is typically seen more as either as a security animal or family companion. The Boxer, too, has a hunting background as one of their ancestral breeds, the Bullenbeisser, was a skilled hunting breed that worked well in packs.

Conclusion

Large athletic dogs like the Boweimar need vigorous activity on a daily basis in order to remain both physically and emotionally healthy. These dogs should not be left home alone for long periods of time as they may develop separation anxiety, which can lead to destructive behaviors and problem barking. Fortunately, they are talented dogs with a strong drive who are both willing and able to learn new tasks and tricks quickly and retain the information, making it easier to find an activity that will entertain them and help them to remain physically healthy as well.