Activities For Boxapoints

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Introduction

The Boxapoint hybrid is the result of breeding a Boxer with a German Short-Haired Pointer.  This intelligent, loving and active dog is a perfect family companion, getting on famously with children and other pets, though we suggest caution with small children or toddlers due to this dog's energetic nature. Because your Boxapoint is both physically active and intelligent, they need both mental as well as physical challenges to be happy, healthy, and a joy to possess.  The purpose of this guide is the provide some suggestions about a variety of activities to accomplish this goal.

Nose Work

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 20 min
Items needed
6 cardboard boxes with lids
Tasty treats
Drinking water
6' leash
Activity description
Your Boxapoint is a canine with an outstanding nose!  The influence of the German Shorthaired Pointer parent contributes exceptional hunting expertise, while the Boxer parent is known for their guarding, herding and bravery in military and police work, all of these traits resulting in a dog who’s nose and tenacity is second to none.  Any activity which involves the nose is easily taught and thoroughly enjoyed by all who participate.  Nose work tasks fit right into this dog's DNA, and accordingly, the technique comes naturally with those tasty tidbits highly desired by your pup!  This adventure can take place inside or out, as long as you have sufficient room to arrange the empty boxes far enough apart to challenge their nasal skill.  The containers must have lids so that “hiding” the treats is more effective, and they can be any size or shape, with six being the minimum recommended for exceptional entertainment.  While playing this easy and inexpensive game, be sure to control the number of yummy snacks consumed by your pup, ensuring they don’t overeat. Rebait the boxes as needed, allow periods for rest and rehydration, repeating the round 2 to 3 times before ending the game.
Step
1
Boxes and treats
Your first step is to isolate your pup from the chosen play area while you prepare for the game. Locate at least six empty cardboard boxes, any shape or size will do, but they each must have a lid. Survey your home for open space providing adequate room to arrange the containers far enough apart that the search for the contents challenges your canine companion. Place a tasty treat inside some (but not all) of the boxes, closing the lid on all of them. The hardest part of the setup accomplished, it is now time to call your pup into play.
Step
2
Cue Your canine
Armed with a tasty tidbit, call your Boxapoint to your side. Allow them to sniff, lick and nibble the treat, to ensure interest in gaining more of the snacks. Encourage your dog to investigate the “course” you have arranged for them, telling them to find the treat. When they are successful, allow immediate consumption of the reward. Be sure to shower your pet with lavish praise for a good job. Once they’ve retrieved a treat, prompt them to continue the search, though they’ll likely be two steps ahead of you at this point. As they check out additional boxes, rebait them to keep the game going several rounds before allowing a rest period.
Step
3
Rest, rehydrate, repeat
Allow rest periods every 2 to 3 rounds of the game. Since searching is hard, thirsty work, this step will provide time to rehydrate and relax briefly, preventing overheating and dehydration. The periods of play between rests should be no more than about ten minutes, with the entire game spanning a maximum of 20 minutes, to prevent overfeeding your pet. Your Boxapoint will love this activity so much that you’ll find yourself playing it often - it’s a good idea to stock up on tasty tidbits!
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Dock Diving

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Dog Toy
life jacket
Activity description
Dock diving is a fun activity if your dog enjoys the water.  While some breeds are not comfortable in the water, Boxapoints generally do well with swimming. This activity, done at home or within an organized competition, has costs which probably fall into the moderate range unless you already own property on which a pond or lake exists, or unless you have a pool at your disposal.  The dock, pond or pool must be of safe depth, allowing for space to jump into the water, expecting that arcing distances will increase with practice. If your Boxapoint is not accustomed to water games, you may have to convince them by teaching them to swim first. Once they are comfortable swimming in the water, you can move on to instructing the diving part of the exercise, with the most natural mode being the “chase” method. The chase method involves placing your pet on the dock where you want them, then tossing the toy into the water.  They will naturally follow the toy into the water, leaping after it in an arc formation instead of just jumping in. For competitions, that arcing form becomes vital.
Step
1
Start with swimming
If your Boxapoint is not accustomed to water activities, teaching them to swim is your first step. Find a beach, pond, pool or another body of water in which it is possible to swim safely, take some toys, and get prepared to get wet. Because the water may appear different to your precious pooch, you’ll need to show them that this is fun. A word of caution, however, never force your pet into the water as this action is likely to cause them to fear the water. Pushing or throwing your Boxapoint into the water is the wrong way to get them in it, a better approach is the get in and encourage your pet to join you. It may take several trips to the water source, but patient and gentle encouragement will win the day, accomplishing the goal of teaching your dog to swim. Many pet parents will have their dog wear a life jacket for added comfort.
Step
2
Teach the technique
Once your dog is comfortable in the water, the next step is instructing them to dive or jump. The most natural method for this instruction is called the “chase” method. This mode involves taking your dog to the spot on the dock when you want them to start, closer to water is best at the beginning, then you toss the toy into the water. The dog will naturally follow the toy, jumping or diving into the water. By employing this method to train your canine companion, you encourage them to develop an arcing dive as opposed to a jump, a form desired for dock diving competitions.
Step
3
Extend the experience
As your pet responds positively, keep moving the starting point farther from the water, expanding the distance they have to move to get to the toy, which increases the length of the arcing dive, also desirable in competition. As your pet enters a comfort zone in this activity, you might wish to consider involvement in an organized sport, which is judged by the height and distance of the dive or jump. For this chosen route, be prepared to acquaint your frisky friend with the “new’ water as it may be murky, muddy or a different color than that which they’re accustomed. You may have to show them that this water is fun, too.
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Flyball

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Hurdles
Spring-loaded ball flyball box
Tennis balls
Water
treats
Activity description
Your Boxapoint is an active canine, requiring at least an hour every day of brisk exercise to be happy, healthy and a joy to own.  If your hybrid is still a pup, then the activity time must be adjusted downward because too much brisk exercise too often interferes with their developing bodies.  But, for your adult dog, that hour spent in high energy play will pay off at the end of the day, when your pet is curled up contentedly by the fire instead of digging holes in the backyard.  Flyball is a game played on a homemade course or a commercial one.  Because of the space required, this enterprise is best played outdoors and in relatively good weather.  If you chose to construct a course at home, you need to buy a spring-loaded flyball box from your local sports or pet store. The remaining items include tennis balls and hurdles.  The commercial venue, definitely less work on your part, will have a cost for use involved.
Step
1
Scope space
If you choose to utilize commercial courses, you will likely find them listed in the phone book or online. Call to ascertain as much information as possible, such as immunizations required, the age of handler, the age of the participating dog, cost of using the facility, extra equipment needed, and hours of operation. If you desire to construct a course at home, you’ll have to locate the flyball box, tennis balls and hurdles for jumping. The dimensions of the course layout, available online can be adjusted to fit your space. Once you have built your course, your next step is to introduce your pawed playmate to it and teach them how to play the game.
Step
2
Handle the hurdles
If your Boxapoint is not accustomed to jumping hurdles, they will need some training. Using the tasty treats they love, encourage them to approach the object to be negotiated, rewarding them for positive responses. Keep supporting them, offering bites of the ort to get them to step or jump over the object, keeping the hurdles as low as possible at first. Reward your best bud often as they respond as requested, raising the height of the barriers as they learn to get over them.
Step
3
Flyball box
The hurdles conquered, next, you’ll need to acclimate them to the movement and sound of the spring-loaded ball release, to eliminate the fear associated with these new sights and sounds. Take your pet up to the mechanism and allow them to investigate it. Demonstrate how jumping on the front of the box releases the ball and reward your pup for positive responses. Encourage them to use those “boxer” paws to push the front of the box, catching the ball as it is released. Once your playful pal is no longer afraid of the mechanism, and they are negotiating the hurdles comfortably, you can have them put all of the elements together, including racing back over the hurdles with the ball in their mouth. If they enjoy this activity, join a club to take part in organized competition.
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More Fun Ideas...

Brisk Dog Walks

Your Boxapoint is one who needs at least an hour every day of vigorous activity to use up their abundance of energy, and brisk walks are a great way to burn it.  If your best bud is still a pup, this walk should only be once daily and for a maximum of about 30 minutes since they’re still growing, but adult dogs should be exercised twice daily for at least 45 minutes each time for best result.  For their safety, be sure to leash your frisky friend. 

Fetch with Your Dog

Fetch is a game that almost every dog will be eager to learn and play - repeatedly!.  Your Boxapoint is a chaser and a hunter at heart and by DNA, so play often and play hard.  It doesn’t get any easier than tossing one of your dog’s favored toys and encouraging them to chase and retrieve it.  Now, teaching them to give it back you may be an entirely different training session!

Conclusion

All in all, a Boxapoint is a wonderfully lovable, comical and loyal family pet.  With appropriate early socialization, this hybrid will fit into your family lifestyle quite nicely and will do so for many years to come.  These activities are merely suggestions to help you generate some that unique to your dog, household routine and personal preference.  Any time spent in exercising and playing games with your pawed playmate is well used in bonding with them as well as keeping them happy, healthy and close to all who love them.  While this hybrid’s exercise needs are higher than some breeds, be assured that it is no higher than their ability to love you, wiggling and waggling deeply into your heart.