Activities For Dandie Dinmont Terriers

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Introduction

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier may look like a dandy with the puff of hair on top of their head, but they are a total terrier and love to get down and dirty. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a small dog with a big heart and with plenty of exercise, they make excellent family companions. Expect these little dogs to get into a lot of trouble if you do not provide them with lots of toys and activities. There are numerous activities you can do with your Dandie Dinmont Terrier that will help them expel their excessive energy and create a close bond between the two of you. 

Barn Hunt

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Hay bales
Plastic pet-safe tubes
Live mice or rats
Treats
Activity description

Most people are probably not familiar with the barn hunt and it is a newer dog sport that was originally developed for ratters. The sport has grown to include all breeds, but it seems that the terrier breeds still excel over their non-terrier competitors. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier was bred to hunt badger and otter; therefore, they will excel at barn hunts. The objectives of a barn hunt for the Dandie Dinmont Terrier are to quickly locate a live rat and signal to their handler that they find the rat. The rat is placed in a pet-safe tube to protect it from harm during these barn hunts. Your dog must be able to determine the difference between a tube containing the live rat and tubes that are used as decoys. Some decoy tubes will be filled with used rat litter to try to trick the dog while they are hunting. Barn hunts can be moderately expensive to participate in, each club sets their own fees. Expect most clubs to host barn hunts in any kind of weather and they will strictly follow the rules set by AKC if it is an AKC sanctioned event, therefore, you must know all the rules of the sport. 

Step
1
Learn the rules
There are specific rules for participating in barn hunts that must be closely followed. When you are considering training your dog for barn hunts, be sure to download the official barn hunting rulebook. This rulebook should be studied so you do not make any major mistakes when you start competing. Some dog clubs will be more than willing to help you learn the ropes, however, during competitions; they will penalize you for not knowing the rules. This is a family-friendly activity where you can have your children there without them hearing foul language. In the barn hunt rulebook, harsh or foul language is prohibited and dog clubs closely adhere to this rule.
Step
2
Introduce live rats
Yes, live mice or rats are used in barn hunts. Most dogs will be curious about the mouse or rat and may become overly exuberant. Rodents, especially rats, will become defensive if they feel threatened. Place the mouse or rat in a well-ventilated cage so your dog can become familiar with the smell of the mouse or rat. If you are a bit uneasy with handling a live mouse or rat, you can find a mentor who would be willing to help you introduce the live mouse or rat.
Step
3
Hide the rat
After your dog has become comfortable with seeing the mouse or rat, you will need to place it in the clear, pet-safe tube and start hiding the tube. Find easy hiding places for the tube so your dog can get used to finding the right tube. After they seem to be easily finding the tube, add some decoy tubes and hide the tube a little better. Again, if you are not comfortable handling a live rodent, have someone else hide the tubes. Some dog clubs will offer barn hunt training so you do not ever have to handle a live mouse or rat. This will cost more money for training sessions, but might be worth it to avoid handling a mouse or rat.
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Agility

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Treats
Agility course
Activity description

Agility is a fast paced dog sport where your dog will race through an obstacle course. Your dog is competing against the clock and other dogs of similar size. Most small dogs such as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier will excel at agility and their intrepid temperament will make training them for agility pretty easy. Use lots of praise and treats when training for agility, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is usually very willing to please their owner and work for treats. Agility can be an expensive sport; however, you can cut costs by joining a dog club that offers agility training rather than purchase the obstacles. Entry fees for agility competitions can also be pricey, however, some dog clubs do offer a reduced fee if you enter more than one competition. 

Step
1
Learn obedience
A successful agility dog must first learn obedience. Your Dandie Dinmont Terrier will have to listen to you as they race through the course and they have to respond quickly to your commands. Having a solid obedience dog doing agility will make it easier on you and your dog. Before starting agility work, sign your dog up for a basic obedience class and practice the basic obedience commands.
Step
2
Introduce obstacles
Once your dog has a firm understanding of obedience commands, it will be time to start introducing the various obstacles found on an agility course. Be sure to take things slow and use plenty of praise and treats to keep your dog focused while going through the obstacles. If you notice your dog struggling on a particular obstacle, ask someone with a seasoned agility dog to help. They will have their dog go through the obstacle course slowly with your dog so your dog learns what is expected. Most dogs will feel more comfortable tackling an obstacle when they see another dog doing the same thing.
Step
3
Time to compete
You will probably not be winning any rosettes or trophies your first few times competing. Your dog has to gain experience and you will have to get comfortable helping your dog through the course. You will see an improvement in your scores each time you compete. Once you are comfortable competing at agility trials, you can start working on your dog’s speed through the obstacles and you will become more and more competitive. Agility is meant to be a fun sport where dog and handler have to work together to make it through the course.
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Trick Training

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

All dogs have the ability to learn new things and this includes performing tricks for their owners. While most people think of elaborate tricks being performed at circuses or specialty dog events when someone says their dog can do tricks, however, even the simplest acts such as shaking hands is a trick that had to be learned. You can teach your dog tricks to impress your family friends by being consistent in your training and providing them with plenty of praise and treats. It is relatively cheap to train your dog to do a trick; all you need are treats to encourage them along the way. 

Step
1
Start slow
Do not expect your dog to be able to perform elaborate tricks when they are just learning the basics. Be patient and make sure your dog knows when they are doing something right. Start with an easy trick, such as shaking hands. Have your dog sit and then give them a basic command such as “shake”. Pick up their front foot and give them a treat while giving the command. Eventually, your dog will know when they hear the word shake, they are to give you their foot.
Step
2
Be consistent
You have to be consistent in your trick training and always use the same command words. Do not confuse your dog by giving them different command words for the same trick. When training your dog, keep your voice upbeat and never scold your dog when they do not do a trick correctly. Simply start over and have them re-do the trick until they get it right. Provide treats and praise when they do things right.
Step
3
Add tricks
Once your dog has learned some basic tricks, you can then build on those tricks. After your dog has learned to shake hands, you can then build on that and your dog can learn to give you a high-five. Your dog can also learn to pick up their own toys and put them in their toy box. After your dog has become solid on the various tricks they can perform, you can dazzle your family and friends by having your dog perform for them. Freestyle dog dancing is just advanced trick dogs performing various tricks that look like dance moves.
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More Fun Ideas...

Ball Pit Fun

Dogs love playing with balls, so what better way to entertain them than by making a ball pit for them. You can fill your hallway with balls of various sizes and turn your dog loose so they can dive in and chase balls until they tire out. Make sure the balls you use for your ball pit are not too small, you want the smallest ball to be no smaller than your Dandie Dinmont’s head to ensure they cannot swallow them.

Play in the Mud

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier may be the gentleman’s terrier as they have been dubbed, but they are still a terrier and will enjoy a good roll in a mud puddle. Next time it rains, let your dog out into the yard and help them find a mud puddle to play and get dirty. Be prepared to give them a bath after they have had their fun, but while they are rolling in the mud, snap some photos for your social media accounts.

Conclusion

There will always be a party going on at your house when you own a Dandie Dinmont Terrier. They are a high energy dog that needs a lot of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. You can participate in organized dog sports, or you can head out to the backyard for some doggy fun time. No matter what activities you choose for your terrier, they will enjoy spending time with you and playing games.