Activities For Chowpits

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Introduction

The Chowpit is a hybrid breed that mixes the reserved and independent traits of the fluffy Chow Chow with the more assertive and protective characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier -- making for the "pawfect" combination. The beloved Chow Chow is known for their large to medium size and extremely fluffy appearance, making for an adorable companion. This pooch is often described as independent with a hint of stubbornness, requiring a moderate amount of daily exercise. Though they look gently passive in appearance, Chow Chows can become overprotective and assertive, if not trained by a knowledgeable handler. 

The American Pit Bull Terrier is similar to the Chow Chow in that they're quite friendly and docile when it comes to their family. They can be protective and aggressive towards unknown dogs, but they get along well with humans. The mix of breeds makes for a loyal and alert pooch who can exhibit traits from either parent. The Chowpit is an active breed that needs approximately an hour of daily exercise that works their body and mind. Exercise doesn't need to be strenuous, but trying out a variety of activities is one way to keep your Chowpit intrigued.  

Obedience Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Tasty Treats
Activity description

Obedience training is an essential component to rearing a pup, and because the Chowpit can be dominant, stubborn or assertive at times, it's important to begin training at a young age. Establishing yourself as a confident pack leader is vital to gaining your pup's respect. 

Chowpits are docile and will respond to obedience training when done correctly. If you're new to the field of obedience, learning the basics is essential before beginning. Make sure you have plenty of healthy treats for this activity, because using positive reinforcement such as praise or treats has been proven to increase the likelihood of behaviors occurring again in the future. Training should also be done for at least 30 minutes a session, and repeated daily if you're in the early stages of the process. 

Step
1
Becoming a confident leader
How you present yourself to your Chowpit is extremely important as it impacts the way they view you as a leader. If you’re insecure and unsure when training your pup, this will discredit your ability to lead the pack, which could cause their stubbornness to come out. Always be confident and show this confidence through the assertive commands you give. Stand up straight in front of your pooch when you give an order, and couple your commands with a visual sign.
Step
2
Your response matters
Throughout your training sessions, it's also essential to bear in mind that your response to your Chow Pit is key to their success. Never get angry or punish your pooch for being unable to learn a command quickly or correctly. Instead, when they make an error, you need to start again while keeping your cool and remaining calm. Showing anger will only discourage your Chowpit from wanting to continue.
Step
3
Take baby steps
If your Chowpit is new to obedience training, remember to start with simple commands. Beginning with basic commands like "sit", "lay down", and "stay" gives you a foundation to build on. Also, keep in mind that overloading your Chowpit with multiple commands (five or more) in one session also isn’t recommended. Focus on learning one at a time until your pup is successful. You can then move onto teaching the next, but you must revisit all learned commands daily, especially in the early stages of training so they stay fresh in your pup's memory!
Step
4
Always reward success
Always use positive reinforcement after your Chowpit is successful in following a command correctly by giving them some form of a reward. To ensure future repetition, reward your pooch immediately after they are successful. Using both a treat and praise are effective methods of encouragement.
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Tug-of-War

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Any Day
Free
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Tug Toy
Activity description

Tug-of-War is an activity that can get your Chowpit moving, while also giving you an "oppawtunity" to implement some of the obedience training they've received! Though it seems like an easy enough concept to carry out with your pup, there are some things to consider before trying it out. 

For starters, the activity requires some form of play object to tug, preferably a rope of some kind. Note that a dog can become aggressive during this game by making vocal sounds or growling while they try to win over the object. Keeping control of your pooch and teaching them what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior while playing is vital in preventing unwanted behaviors from developing outside of the game. 

Step
1
Purchasing a pull object
The first thing you’ll need to do is purchase a pull toy if you don’t already have one. As your Chowpit is a strong breed, you’ll want to find a sturdy toy. Twisted ropes have extra durability and tend to last. Try out your local pet store or look online. Also consider a toy without sharp or plastic attachments, as this could lead to mouth cuts when tugging.
Step
2
Introducing the object
As Pitbull Terriers are known for their love to “wrestle” for objects, introducing this activity should be quite a natural process. Show your pooch the object and give the command you’ve decided upon when you want to initiative the game, such as “tug”! Your pup should grab on, but if not, encourage them to take hold of the toy with their mouth.
Step
3
Getting started
Once they have it, give a gentle pull to indicate the purpose of the activity. Your Chowpit will likely respond by pulling back, but if not, encourage them to play. Eventually, you can pull with more force as they catch on and really start to tug. Get a good grip, because your pup has a ton of strength!
Step
4
Maintaining boundaries
Aggressive behavior is commonly displayed during tug-of-war -- as you and your pooch play, discourage any aggressive behaviors immediately. If your dog shows any physical signs of aggression (e.g., raised hair on the back or bared teeth) stop the game quickly and correct the behavior before starting again. Aggression learned in a game can easily be carried over into real-world situations, which is why you'll want to keep it positive at all times!
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Hide-and-Seek

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Any Day
Free
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

Another entertaining activity to try out with your Chowpit is a game of hide-and-seek. Hide-and-seek is also a "woofderful" way to test your pup's obedience as they have to wait while you hide. The exciting part is when your Chowpit wanders the house following your scent, trying to track you down!  

The activity itself is quick to complete, but multiple rounds are recommended to get your Chowpit continuously moving and thinking. Most pups will go for at least 15 minutes before showing signs of boredom. The activity is also cheap or even free if you already have treats or you choose to use verbal praise instead. Have fun sitting back and relaxing in your chosen spot while your pup does most of the work in this activity! 

Step
1
Starting off
For this activity, you will need to have already taught your Chowpit how to sit and stay. Begin by telling your pooch to sit and wait before you head off to find your spot. If they're not used to you leaving the room when staying, you may need to restate the command before heading out.
Step
2
Finding a spot
Depending on how many times you’ve played this game, your hiding spot will vary. If it’s your first time, pick a somewhat easy location, so the find and reward are introduced early in the learning process. This will increase your pup’s engagement and give them an incentive to keep playing. They can lose interest if you’re hidden in an unfindable spot, causing them to give up.
Step
3
Initiating the seek
To get your pooch to start seeking, call out your chosen command, such as "find." Then, sit back and wait while your pooch utilizes their superior olfactory abilities to sniff you out! If your pup is a beginner and struggling with the find, try whistling or giving some form of verbal clue to point them in the right direction!
Step
4
Reward and repeat
Rewards provide an incentive to continue any activity, and they also indicate to your pooch that they’ve succeeded. You don’t always need to use treats when playing, as the game is fun in itself, but using verbal praise will likely lead to increased excitement in your Chowpit! After a successful find, bring your pup back to their waiting area and start the process over!
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More Fun Ideas...

Fetch

Play a traditional game of fetch by grabbing your Chowpit and a favorite ball or toy and heading outside. If you have a large backyard, take advantage of it, or visit a local park. Tire your pooch out by tossing the toy and having them retrieve it again and again!

Weighted Walks

Help your Chowpit exert even more energy during a regular walk by adding a weighted vest. Check out the various types of vests available at your local pet stores or online. They're made to fit dogs based on size and weight.

Conclusion

For those who have Chowpits or are interested in acquiring one as a pet, it’s a good idea to explore the different ways to stimulate your pooch. Chowpits can be independent and show signs of stubbornness, which is why obedience training is recommended starting from a young age.

Once your Chowpit has established their place within your family's pack, you’ll be free to explore a variety of other activities together. Such activities include playing fetch off-leash at the park and enjoying a daily game of hide-and-seek. Tug-of-war is one way to teach your Chowpit appropriate social norms regarding aggression, and it’s a quick and easy activity that requires lots of energy exertion. Weighted walks are also ideal for Chowpits as they add a challenge to your typical walk. Add a little excitement to your day and try these activities to get your pup moving and thinking!