Activities For Bull Terriers

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Introduction

If you were born in the late 80's or early to mid 90's and you saw Pixar studio's critically acclaimed film Toy Story, then you may remember a mangy mongrel name Scud from the movie. We bring him up because he was a Bull Terrier - a breed of dog that we here at Wag! feel gets a really bad rap despite having the potential to be just as lovable and charming as any other breed. While it's true that Bull Terriers have a lot of energy and become quite a handful for the unprepared dog owner, they can learn to become great companions with training and structure.

Caniteering

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Compass
Water and Food
First Aid Kit
Activity description
Caniteering is an activity that may sound like it's really zany and out there, but is actually very intuitive once you and your Bull Terrier get the hang of it. Caniteering is the dog version of an outdoor human sport called orienteering. Both activities prompt their players to search for a number of hidden items in an outdoor environment before other players can or before they simply run out of time. So basically, this activity is a scavenger hunting session taken to the next level. Caniteering will provide dogs, both young and old, with a great exercise and an opportunity to put their canine instincts to the test.
Step
1
Location is key
We previously described caniteering as being an outdoor activity but we didn't specifically mention any places that would really accommodate it. In our experience, places like parks and woodland areas make for great caniteering playgrounds because there are usually lots of pieces of foliage that you can hide times behind. Check out the area before bringing your dog along so that you can ensure that the site is dog-safe. When you arrive on site, be prepared to navigate and traverse terrain for an excellent workout.
Step
2
Race and navigate
If you are part of an organized caniteering group, you'll race other dog and human teams to find specific markers and record them on a control sheet. If you are setting up a course for you and your dog alone, you'll want to head over there beforehand and stash away items you want your dog to look for. Think outside of the box during this step - we want for you to quite literally leave no stone unturned if possible. Avoid placing the items in areas that might be too difficult for your dog to reach, but don't make it too easy for them either. Enjoy the team search as your dog uses their senses and enthusiasm to complete the activity.
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Dock Diving

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Any Day
Free
Normal
45 - 60 min
Items needed
Dog Life Jacket
Dog's Favorite Ball
Activity description
Your Bull Terrier will make quite a splash with our next activity (sorry, couldn't help the pun!). Dock diving is a water-based activity in which you'll prompt your dog to jump into a body of water from various heights and distances. The goal is to try and help your dog gradually jump further or from greater heights over time by practicing as much as possible. Dock diving is played at a professional and competitive level, so you can find a trainer to help you teach your dog how to engage in this activity if you'd like. Dock diving may not be as intuitive as caniteering, but it will still provide your pet with a challenge and sense of accomplishment in the long run.
Step
1
Become seaworthy
If you or your dog aren't already avid swimmers, take the time to become so. Since dock diving consists of encouraging your dog to jump into some fairly deep bodies of water, we feel that we can't understate how important being able to swim is for this activity. So before you and your Bull Terrier try dock diving, we'd say make sure both of your swimming skills are up to snuff.
Step
2
How to play
Earlier we mentioned that you'll be encouraging your dog to jump into the water from various heights and distances. You'll be able to do this by tossing your dog's favorite ball into the water, encouraging them to chase after it, and then motivating them to swim back to you once they get a hold of the ball. There may be a few times earlier on where your dog doesn't immediately swim back to you. Keep encouraging them and they'll get the hang of it in time.
Step
3
Distance, then height
In our experience, we've found that it's much easier to help your dog increase the distance they can jump into the water first before concerning yourself with the height. Every time your dog successfully chases after the ball and brings it back to you, toss the ball a bit further the next time. After that, encourage your dog to jump into the water from a slightly elevated surface.
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Lure Coursing

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Coursing Lure
Coursing Wire
Activity description
The final activity on our list will really push your Bull Terrier to their physical limits, requiring them to dig in deep and to fully commit to the game. Lure coursing is a humane alternative to an old sport which prompts dogs to chase after a small animal such as a hare or a rabbit. With lure coursing, the hare is replaced by a piece of cloth that's occasionally scented like food and attached to a wire. That wire is then pulled about in an erratic and unpredictable fashion so that your dog will have to duck, dip, and dive after the lure in order to catch it.
Step
1
Warming up
Lure coursing will cause your dog to turn on a dime and sprint at high speeds, so it's important to help them limber up before the two of you get into this activity. If you've never helped your dog stretch their limbs before, it's much easier than you might think; all you'll really need to do is gently take your dog's front legs and carefully stretch them forward while doing the same in the opposite direction for their hind legs.
Step
2
Giving chase
Lure coursing is another one of those activities that's very intuitive; it doesn't take much to set it up and there aren't really a lot of instructions you'll need to give to your dog. Once they set their eyes on the lure, instinct will take over and they'll try their hardest to catch the lure no matter what. To that end, we just suggest keeping an eye on your dog and helping them rehydrate when you notice that they're getting tired.
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More Fun Ideas...

Trick Training

A number of the actives we've talked about have been very physical in nature. While many of the tricks your Bull Terrier will learn through this trick training activity will require them to move around, this activity is mostly concerned with teaching your dog how to understand and follow commands. In that way, it's much more cerebral than a number of the other actives on this list, but it's just as, if not more, important than anything else in this guide.

Soccer

Soccer is considered to be the most popular sport around the world. Dogs are also considered to be the most popular pets around the world. As such, there's a high likelihood that a vast number of soccer fans are also dog owners. If you're one of those dog owning soccer fans, then we highly suggest you try playing soccer with your dog. They'll enjoy giving chase to the ball and trying to get it from you during a game of keep away.

Flyball

Flyball is the perfect kind of activity that will help your Bull Terrier increase their agility, endurance, and confidence. Flyball is a sport that was created a few decades ago by dog owners who were looking for a new way to help their pets become stronger and healthier. The activity in question involves encouraging your dog to race over hurdles course so that they can retrieve a ball and bring it back to another canine team member. Trust us, it's a lot more complex, intense, and fun than it sounds.

Conclusion

Bull Terriers were essentially born for the rough and tumble life, so they can serve as great sources of motivation for one to live a more active lifestyle. A number of the activities we've listed above are definitely not as conventional as the sort of activities we've listed for other dogs but your Bull Terrier will appreciate the extra effort. They'll also become much more agile, versatile, and obedient pets as a result of all of that hard work.  We'd also like to encourage you not fall into a routine with your Bull Terrier as well; get creative and adventurous from time to time. Neither you nor your Bull Terrier will regret it!