Activities For Dutch Shepherds

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Introduction

Considering that they're often ranked as being the most popular dogs all around the world, it's very likely that there isn't a single soul who isn't very familiar with German Shepherds as a breed. But we wonder if you've ever heard of the Dutch Shepherd before? These dogs look extremely similar to their German Shepherd cousins, possessing pointed ears and thick coats of fur as well. We think it's really a shame that Dutch Shepherds don't get as much publicity as German Sheps, as Dutch Shepherds are just clever and adaptable as any other breed. Our hope is that you'll come to feel the same way after you read about some of the activities you can try out with a Dutch Shepherd.

Frisbee Racing

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Frisbee
Activity description
The frisbee and dog activities essentially go hand in hand with one another; whenever dog owners start thinking of activities that they can try out with their dogs, frisbee likely pops up all the way at the top of that list. Because of this, we figured we'd tell you about this modern variation on frisbee so that you can consider trying it out with your Dutch Shepherd. The idea behind frisbee racing is simply that you race your dog to the frisbee after you throw it. It doesn't really matter who makes it to the frisbee first, so long as the both of you are having fun and bonding.
Step
1
Get a good stretch In
This first step is basically mandatory for any other activities where you and your dog will be moving around a lot. Well, they're mandatory if you don't want to cramp up mid-game that is. Before you or your dog start playing too hard, stretch your limbs thoroughly to get the blood flowing. To stretch your dog's limbs, just gently take hold and slowly pull them away from center mass.
Step
2
Short and simple
Early in your frisbee racing career, your body will still be in the process of adjusting to this unconventional game. To that end, we think it'd be best to toss the frisbee short distances; rather than having to run at full tilt, you can just jog over to the frisbee with your dog or can sprint over to it quickly if you're feeling particularly spry.
Step
3
Go long
Tossing the frisbee long distances has the opposite effect on you and your Dutch Shepherd; both of you will have to use a lot more energy to cover more ground. The goods news is that the both of you will also work up quite the sweat - that burning feeling in your leg muscles isn't pain, it's weakness leaving the body!
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Agility Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Dog Leash
Weave Poles
Tunnel
Hula Hoop
Hurdles
Activity description
Just like German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds can learn to move as swiftly as the wind and as eloquently as a dancer. A bit too much? Well, it might sound like we're being a bit over dramatic, but Dutch Shepherds can genuinely learn how to move with style, grace, and poise via agility training. This activity really ought to be thought of a necessity for Dutch Shepherds, since they were born and bred to help humans out in a number of activities that all require them be to very light on their feet; if you'd like your dog to become a rescue worker or a therapy animal, agility training is a must.
Step
1
Find your dog's limits
Every dog is going to naturally take to certain aspects of this activity differently from one another - some dogs will take to hurdle jumping better than others, while certain hounds will be naturally great at dodging and weaving between poles. The goal here is to figure out in which areas your dog is naturally strong and then work from there.
Step
2
Break those limits
Now that you know which areas your dog is already strong in, and which areas they need to improve, you can curate the agility training exercises to hone your dog's weaknesses into strengths; if your Dutch Shepherd struggles with keeping balance, focus on balance based activities until it's no longer an issue. Weave poles work well for balance; set up a course and teach your dog the mastery of it. Other obstacles can include climbing through a tunnel and jumping a hula hoop, with the height being adjusted as required.
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Protection Sports

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Rings
Targets
Dog Leash
Activity description
The last activity on our list could actually be considered an umbrella term, as there are a myriad of different things that would fall under the "protection sports" category. Any sport that would fit the definition of being a protection sport would mostly center around teaching your Dutch Shepherd how to effectively protect people from certain dangers and scenarios. If you have any plans of helping your Dutch Shepherd become a guard hound, then protection sport activities are the kinds of things you should look to introduce your dog to ASAP. And even if you don't want your dog to become a professional guardian, protection sports tend to make great ways to teach your dog restraint.
Step
1
Schutzhund
This word is German for "protection dog" and relates to a series of activities that the Germans of antiquity would use to help dogs refine a number of their innate abilities. The activities consist of working with A-frames, teaching your dog a few takedown maneuvers, and teaching them how to heel without a leash.
Step
2
French Ring
This last part of this activity may not sound all that intense, but French Ring activities will require your dog to really dig in deep and give it their all; an immense amount of focus and agility will be needed for your dog to successfully pull this one off, so don't get discouraged if it takes a lot of time to see any real progress. Just keep a "can do" attitude and try again. To learn more about this versatile sport, search the internet for an organization near you. Activities will include broad jumps, working with decoys and serious protection training. Only to be attempted by those who know how to train your dog properly!
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More Fun Ideas...

Obedience Training

Our thoughts on this activity are very similar to our thoughts concerning scent training. However, while we feel that training your dog's ability to smell really good is a somewhat niche activity, we placed obedience training in the additional activities section because most Dutch Shepherds are much more well behaved than other dogs breeds naturally. That being said, obedience training isn't too hard to do manually; you'll need a leash, some dog treats, and your dog's undivided attention to do it but it's possible.

Scent Training

We considered including this one as a core activity that your dog ought to learn, but we included it in the additional activities section because it develops a somewhat niche skill; if you'd like your dog to one day have the ability to sniff someone out from miles away, then scent training would definitely be a necessity. For anyone else though, it's definitely more of a novelty skill. If you want to try it out, you'll to get a hold of some scented items (lavender or cedar smells will do the job) and then hide them so that your dog can find them.

Conclusion

Dutch Shepherds have the potential to be an "all in one package" kind of pet; they can learn skills that will help them do extremely well as service or rescue dogs, can be honed into awesome guard dogs, and can learn to work as police dogs if given the proper training. Dutch Shepherds can make for extraordinary companion animals due to their charming personalities, loyal nature, and adaptability. Dutch Shepherds can make great pets both for those who will be caring for a dog for the first time as well as seasoned dog owners.