Activities For Cattle Shepherds

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Introduction

A hybrid breed created by crossing the Australian Cattle Dog with the German Shepherd, the Cattle Shepherd is an athletic, intelligent, and loyal breed. These dogs make loving companions for the right owner, and their working dog ancestry means they're ready and willing to take on whatever life throws at them.

However, they do have special ownership requirements that must be met if they're to remain happy and healthy. Cattle Shepherds are energetic dogs that need plenty of regular exercise, and their sharp minds mean that obedience training and mental stimulation are crucial.

The good news is that Cattle Shepherds excel at and enjoy a huge range of activities. Here are a few of the best.

Wilderness Hike

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Treats
Water
Waste Bags
Activity description

German Shepherds and Australian Cattle Dogs were both developed as working dogs, so they're capable of handling a wide range of physically demanding tasks. They also need plenty of regular daily exercise, and while they'll love a trip to an off-leash park and a long walk, sometimes it's important to mix things up a bit.

Taking your dog on a challenging hike is a wonderful way to burn some of your pup's energy. Not only will they get a grrr-eat workout, but they'll also love being out and about exploring with you and encountering new smells and scenery.

If you want to take your dog hiking, here's what you'll need to do.

Step
1
Choose your trail
The aim is to take your dog away from the terrain they see every day and out into nature, so look for parks, forests, and nature reserves near you that offer hiking trails. Check that dogs are allowed on those trails, and then read trail descriptions to find information like trail length, terrain type, and difficulty. Make sure you pack plenty of water, that you take a map (or have consistent cell phone coverage), and that you're aware of any hazards in the area.
Step
2
Get out there
Make your way to the trailhead and start striding with your furry friend. Let your dog set the pace so you know what speed they're comfortable with, and make sure you stick to the trail (unless off-trail excursions are permitted and safe). Your dog will love the opportunity to stretch their legs, sniff new smells, and explore the great outdoors with you right beside them.
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Herding

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Any Day
Free
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

Thanks to their ancestry, Cattle Shepherds have strong herding instincts that they're often tempted to put into action whenever given an opportunity. If this sounds like your dog and you want to tap into those natural instincts, there are several doggy activities and sports that are worth a try.

The most obvious one is herding. If you live on a farm or have access to one through friends or family, the opportunity to round up cows or other livestock will be one your Cattle Shepherd will relish. However, if you don't have access to a farm, herding is also available as a competitive canine sport.

Step
1
Find a club
Do some online searching or check out the American Kennel Club website to see if you can find any herding clubs near you. If you find one that seems suitable, you can go along to a meeting to check it out or maybe sign your pooch up for some herding classes.
Step
2
Give it a go
The sport of herding is designed to nurture and test a dog's ability to move and control livestock. It takes place in a fenced enclosure and gives dogs the chance to herd sheep, cattle, and even ducks. It offers paw-some exercise and mental stimulation for your canine pal, and an experienced herding dog in action is a sight to behold. So why not give herding a try and see if your dog likes it?
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Gardening

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Toys
Treats
Activity description

Despite the fact that Cattle Shepherds require a high level of exercise, life with these gorgeous dogs isn't always about going a million miles a minute. Every dog needs some downtime every once in a while, and your pooch might like to relax by helping you in the garden.

This is a simple way for you to spend some time with your dog and get some important chores done as well. Gardening can be a relaxing experience for you and your pet, and the moments spent together should help you form a stronger bond. Here's how to get out in the garden with your pooch.

Step
1
Head outside
Head out into the garden with your Cattle Shepherd. You might like to treat them to a quick 10 minutes of play time (for example a game of fetch) to help settle them down and burn off some excess energy. You can then head to the area of the garden you plan to work on and get started.
Step
2
Get your paws dirty
The aim of this activity is to get your furry friend to lie down beside you and enjoy your company. You'll need to give them plenty of pats to reward them for their good behavior, or you might like to break up every 10 minutes of gardening with five minutes of play time to keep them happy. Alternatively, you might even want to set aside a section of the garden and encourage your dog to dig in — as long as they stay away from your roses, of course!
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More Fun Ideas...

Nosework

This increasingly popular sport is designed to put your dog's incredible sniffing power to the test. It offers a wonderful mental challenge and lets your dog harness their natural instincts.

Dock Diving

Another excellent sport for herding dogs, dock diving encourages your pet to leap off a dock and into the water to chase a toy you throw. The aim is to jump the highest or the furthest, and it's paw-some fun for dogs that love water.

Conclusion

If you're willing to devote the time and effort necessary to make sure all your Cattle Shepherd's needs are met, you'll be rewarded with a loyal and loving companion. These dogs love nothing more than being able to please their owner, and if you can find plenty of ways to give their body and mind a workout each day, you and your pet should enjoy many long years of companionship.