Activities For Cirneco Dell'Etnas

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Introduction

The Cirneco Dell'Etna, often referred to simply as the Cirneco, is an older breed of dog which originated over two thousand five hundred years ago on the Italian island of Sicily. They are believed to have the same ancestry as the Ibizan Hound and the Pharoah Hound, but they are typically smaller and they have a better sense of smell than the average sighthound. They developed as hunting hounds and farmers in the region put them to good use, tracking and pursuing rabbits, hare, and game birds, an activity which they are able to do for hours on end without much in the way of food or water, even in the rugged, hot climate of Sicily. They are extremely active and intelligent animals that require a great deal of exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis.

Disc Dog

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Flying Disc
Activity description

The canine sport of Disc Dog is a team sport that encourages and honors the bond between human and canine, with a human partner to throw the discs and a canine partner to catch them. The Cirneco Dell’Etna is known for being difficult to keep in a yard due to their amazing jumping ability. They are intelligent dogs who tend to get bored fairly quickly with most forms of training, however, the fast-paced and constantly changing nature of the canine disc dog sport is perfectly designed for their enthusiastic and electric dispositions. Teams can choose to simply enjoy the benefits of this challenging sport on their own, or they can choose to enter competitions which occur on local, nationwide, and even worldwide platforms. 

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1
Preparation
This is a high-impact sport that requires a great deal of athleticism and agility, which the Cirneco breed is well-suited for, but it is not the best choice for all Cirneco dogs. A veterinarian should perform an examination to ensure that your dog is healthy enough for this activity and dogs who are under the age of eighteen months should not participate in any high flying or jumping maneuvers as the impact could cause permanent damage to their still-forming bones and joints.
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2
Discs
While many people refer to the sport of Disc Dog as Frisbee Dog, the traditional Frisbee is not the most appropriate disc as the plastic is not designed for a dog’s mouth and may break, causing sharp edges to form, which lead to cuts and lacerations in the dog’s mouth. Softer fabric discs are safer and can be purchased in most pet stores, but they are not aerodynamically sound, and they are not sanctioned for competitive play. Discs appropriate for competition can be found at dog sports stores or online and come in two varieties, a light plastic disc that is fairly inexpensive and easy to throw, but lasts at most a week or two, or a bite resistant disc that is slightly harder to throw, but may last several weeks before it is too damaged to use.
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3
Training
Basic obedience commands, particularly a rock-solid recall and drop command, are essential before your dog will be able to begin participating in disc dog activities. Some dogs require an incentive to chase the disc, but the high prey drive of the Cirneco Dell’Etna is likely to propel the dog into action without much additional prompting. There are three different varieties of disc dog competition; a short distance toss, meaning under fifty meters, typically referred to as a Toss and Fetch, a long distance toss known as the QUADRUPED, and a freestyle competition with an artistic disc catching performance that lasts between thirty seconds and two minutes.
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Search for Supper

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Any Day
Free
Easy
5 - 30 min
Items needed
Food
Food Bowl
Treat Toys
Activity description

While this dog breed is typically considered a very healthy breed of dog, they are somewhat prone to obesity, partially due to their tendency to counter surf. One way to stop them from counter surfing and reduce the tendency of the Cirneco Dell’Etna to overeat is to make their everyday supper a more interesting and entertaining experience. Teaching your dog to search for their supper not only provides a way to entertain your dog and slow down their eating, but it also provides them with additional physical and mental activity on a regular basis and helps them to satisfy their natural canine desire to forage for their food. 

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1
Set your rules
It is important to establish boundaries to ensure that your dog isn’t encouraged to get themselves into trouble. Never hide their supper in areas that are off limits such as counters and tables or you may reinforce their desire to check out your counters instead of temper it. It is also unwise to use old backpacks, grocery bags, or purses as hiding spots as this may teach your dog that it is okay to check out backpacks and bags, leading to embarrassing encounters and putting your dog at a higher risk for choking or ingesting toxins.
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2
The challenge
The Cirneco Dell’Etna is an intelligent dog that has a natural tendency to forage for their food. Initially, the challenge should be simple, just to give your dog the basic idea. Show your dog their full bowl of food then hide it somewhere nearby, praising them enthusiastically when they locate it and begin to eat. As your dog gains a clearer understanding of what’s expected, you can increase the challenge somewhat by hiding the kibble in progressively more difficult spots.
Step
3
Split it up
Once your dog has mastered looking for their bowl in different spots in the house, you can once again increase the difficulty by splitting the food up into several bowls or even putting kibble in puzzle toys designed to make your dog work for the contents. Encouraging your dog to search in several places increases the amount of physical activity, lengthens the amount of time it takes to eat and allows your dog a little more time to digest their food, making them less likely to overeat in one sitting.
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Lure Coursing

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Easy
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Lure course track
Slip Lead
Coursing Blanket
Activity description

The Cirneco Dell’Etna, like other sighthounds, was used as a hunting animal, pursuing and taking down smaller game, typically rabbits, hares, and game birds. Lure coursing is a fairly new dog sport that is designed specifically for sighthound-type dogs with a high prey drive. The dogs compete by chasing a lure, generally a white plastic flag or bag, which is pulled along at a high rate of speed by a series of mechanical pullies. The action of the lure is meant to mimic that of natural prey by utilizing a zig-zagging pattern, and the dog is judged on their speed and their ability to adjust to the quick direction changes that are common of most fleeing game animals. Because this sport is not easy to replicate at home, in most cases you will need to find a lure coursing facility to practice at which can incur moderate fees for participants. 

Step
1
Check your dog
Activities like lure coursing can be quite strenuous, and it is critical for your dog’s health to ensure that they are physically healthy enough to participate. If your dog has not recently had a check-up, it should be scheduled before participating in lure coursing. This will allow your current veterinarian to assess the heart and joint health of your specific animal.
Step
2
Find a club
While most pet parents find it difficult to replicate the activity of lure coursing in their backyard, the sport has gained a great deal of popularity in the last few decades and lure coursing clubs and groups can be found in almost any locale. There are several smaller local clubs to be found, as well as the four officially sanctioned lure coursing clubs; the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, the FCI, and the American Sighthound Field Association. Visiting a coursing event as a spectator before actually competing will help you and your dog to be more comfortable and confident when it is time to compete.
Step
3
Learn and compete
Rules and regulations vary somewhat at different individual clubs and competitions, and it is important that you examine them ahead of time as some groups have stricter rules than others. Many groups require that muzzles be worn by each athlete except when they are actively competing or that they remain secured in a crate, while others are more lax about the issue. If you are racing for the first time in it useful to note that some courses will allow those who are new to the sport to run the course on their own at first and will instruct you on the proper usage of equipment such as the slip lead and the coursing blankets.
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More Fun Ideas...

Flyball

This breed's superior jumping ability is the bane of many pet parents who are trying to keep their canine companion in the yard, but it can be put to good use on the flyball track, where dogs race relay-style over hurdles to retrieve a ball from the flyball box.

Agility Training

These dogs are very bright animals that are typically somewhat easier to train than the average sighthound, although it may take a bit more work than it would with most herding breeds as they tend to get bored more quickly than other dogs and are best able to learn using very short training sessions that do not rely on too much repetition.

Conclusion

This rare dog breed is a very athletic and active animal that requires an active lifestyle to keep them happy and healthy. They were developed as hunting hounds and are both fast and agile with a high level of endurance, even when working in harsh conditions, making them a very versatile canine who is able to successfully participate in a number of different types of activities.