Activities For Cocker Shelties

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Introduction

A cross between the Cocker Spaniel and the Shetland Sheepdog, the Cocker Sheltie is as adorable as it is friendly. These affectionate canines boast gorgeous looks and a gentle nature, which make them a wonderful companion for a wide range of owners.

However, as any Cocker Sheltie owner will be able to tell you, these dogs are not only very intelligent but also quite active. As a result, you'll need to be willing to put in the time and effort needed to give your pooch all the physical and mental stimulation they need to stay happy and healthy.

The good news is that there are stacks of activities your Cocker Sheltie will absolutely adore. Here are a few of the best.

Agility

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Treats
Poles
Jumps
Tunnels
Activity description

Your Cocker Sheltie is an athletic, energetic and intelligent dog, all of which could help them excel at a variety of canine sports. Agility is one sport your dog will likely love, and it's an activity that should give you a good workout as well.

The basic premise of agility is teaching your dog to tackle a pet-friendly obstacle course. They'll need to jump hurdles, crawl through tunnels, weave in and out of poles, and negotiate a range of other obstacles. It's a whole lot of fun for pooches as well as being grrr-eat exercise for canine bodies and minds.

Here's how to get your dog to channel their inner ninja warrior!

Step
1
Find a club
Shelties are notoriously good at agility and should love the opportunity to try their paw at this fast-paced sport. Find a doggy sports club near you that runs agility trials and head on down to give it a try. You'll need to take things slowly at first and lead your dog through the course one step at a time. Fellow owners and experienced competitors at the club will be a great source of advice on how to get your pooch up to speed.
Step
2
Practice at home
If your dog takes to agility like the proverbial duck to water, you might want to consider setting up your own agility course at home. You can invest in specialist agility equipment if you want, but it's also quite easy to create a course using items you find at home -- furniture, cushions, trees and more. This will give your dog the paw-fect chance to indulge in this fun activity and allow you to develop your skills as a team.
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Play with Interactive Dog Toys

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
10 - 30 min
Items needed
Puzzle toy
Treats
Activity description

We'd all love to take our dogs with us everywhere we go and keep them entertained 24/7. Of course, that isn't always possible, which is why it's good to have a few boredom-busting activities up your sleeve for those times when your dog is home alone.

This is especially the case with intelligent and active breeds like the Cocker Sheltie. If left to their own devices for too long, your canine companion could become bored and potentially destructive.

This is where interactive puzzle toys come in. They offer an intriguing challenge for your dog and also the reward of a tasty treat simply for using their brain power.

Step
1
Buy a toy
Head to your local pet store or do some online shopping to find a couple of interactive toys you think your pet will love. Remember, your Cocker Sheltie is probably a reasonably intelligent pooch, so you want a challenging toy that will keep them occupied for as long as possible.
Step
2
Fill it with treats
Most interactive doggy toys have a fairly simple premise: there are treats inside that your dog can smell, but they'll need to maneuver the toy in a specific way (or simply rely on their patience) to be able to access all the treats. Fill your chosen toy with your furry friend's favorite treat and you're ready to go.
Step
3
Deploy the toy
Just as you're about to leave the house, give your dog the puzzle toy and let them have at it. Their powerful nose will pick up the scent of tasty treats straight away, and they should then start sniffing and pawing at the toy to start working out how to get to the food. Please note that this isn't likely to keep your pooch occupied for the whole time you're out, but it's a simple way to stop boredom setting in and help break up their alone time.
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Stair Climb

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Rainy Day
Free
Easy
15 min
Items needed
Ball
Stairs
Activity description

If you're ever stuck inside on a rainy day and looking for ways to entertain your energetic Cocker Sheltie, this is the activity for you. As anyone who has ever spent time on the stair machine at the gym will tell you, climbing stairs is a wonderful way to get your heart rate pumping, and that's what this easy activity taps into.

This is essentially an indoor game of fetch but with one key twist: your dog has to climb the stairs to retrieve the ball. You'll obviously need a two-story house if you want to play this game, but other than that, it's a simple solution to rainy-day boredom.

Step
1
Throw it
Grab your dog's favorite tennis ball (or just any old ball or toy that you can safely throw in the house) and get together at the bottom of the stairs. The mere sight of the ball will often be enough to get your dog excited and let them know what's coming. Throw the ball upstairs and watch your dog race off after it.
Step
2
Fetch it
Your dog will climb the stairs, track down the ball, and retrieve it before racing back downstairs to return it to your feet. Reward them with praise and a pat before turning your attention to what they really want: you to throw the ball again. Just make sure the ball isn't too slobbery before you launch it up the stairs.
Step
3
Repeat
Keep going until your dog starts to show signs of slowing down or needing a rest. By the end of the game, you'll hopefully have a tired and much more relaxed Cocker Sheltie on your hands.
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More Fun Ideas...

Trick Training

Let your pooch show everyone just how clever they really are by teaching them some cool tricks. Just make sure you reward your dog every step of the way and make your training sessions as fun as possible.

Flyball

A fun and frenetic relay for dogs, flyball will tap into your Cocker Sheltie's impressive athletic ability and love of tennis balls.

Herding

Know anyone who owns some sheep? Got a dog sports club near you that offers competitive herding? Why not give your Cocker Sheltie the chance to use the herding instincts they inherited from their Shetland Sheepdog parent?

Conclusion

Whether raising their pulse rate, putting their intelligent minds to work, or just enjoying some snuggle time with you, there's plenty of simple activities you can share with your Cocker Sheltie. These dogs love to please their owners and will give just about anything a go, so don't be afraid to spoil your furry friend and try something new today!