Activities For Elk-Kees

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Introduction

The Elk-Kee is a hybrid breed that combines the fluffy, curly-tailed cuteness of the Keeshond and Norwegian Elkhound. Because of the fact that both parents tend to need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy, it is safe to assume that their mixed offspring will need the same as well. Due to the Elk-Kee's thick coat, they are well equipped for colder day activities and may need to be monitored on warmer days to make sure that they do not overheat. Keeping these details in mind, it is time to dive into the activities that you can try with your Elk-Kee!

Heel On Leash

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Any Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Clicker
Treats
Activity description
Having your dog know the proper way to walk on leash is so important; especially for the Elk-Kee who needs to be on leash to prevent wandering. There is a big difference between walking calmly on leash and heeling. To heel is to be close to the walker's left hand leg, not moving too far ahead. The ability to have your dog walk loosely on the leash is great for normal walks, but in stressful situations or when you need your dog close (like crossing the road) heel is extremely useful. Here are the steps to teaching this trick to your Elk-Kee.
Step
1
Start easy
You want to start teaching heel in a quiet and familiar area with low distraction, like your living room. Get a leash and hook it to your Elk-Kee's collar. Hold treats in your left hand and the clicker in your right. You'll want to start by having your dog sit; treat and click when they do. Once your dog is sitting, you can coax them forward with the treats in your left hand, telling them to "heel" as you do. Only go a couple steps before clicking and treating. Make sure that your dog is moving slowly and not running ahead of you when you begin to walk.
Step
2
Practice makes perfect
Keep repeating this process, having your dog sit each time you stop, until your Elk-Kee can heel with you all around the house. Once this has been perfected, you can move to a new location or even outdoors. Being outside will give your clever pup a challenge as they practice the task with distractions.
Step
3
Remain calm
The key to teaching any trick is patience. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a break and come back to it later. You want the experience to be a positive one for your dog, and this is an important trick that will keep them safe and happy on your outings. Dogs can pick up on body language through leashes, just like horses can, so be sure to take big breaths and feel confident as you work with them; be the Alpha and let your Elk-Kee know that they are in good hands and great things will happen if they listen to you.
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Float a River

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Hot Day
Free
Normal
2 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Tube/Paddleboard
Towels
Doggy flotation device
Activity description
The Elk-Kee is a breed that loves to swim and because of their thick fur, getting in the water is an excellent activity on a hot day. In order to spend as much time on the water as possible without wearing your dog out too much, you can use tubes or paddle boards. At first, you may need to get your Elk-Kee used to their items, but once they have spent some time on them and recognize the smell there should be no issues and the fun can commence. This is a free activity that is best done in hot, sunny weather.
Step
1
Head to the water
You'll need to find a river that is deep enough to allow your tubes or paddle boards to float without dragging on the ground. If it is a dry season, this may not be possible, or you may need to drive to a different location that received more rainfall. Keep in mind when selecting the location that safety is key.
Step
2
Blow up the tubes
Once you have reached your destination, it's time to fill the tubes up with air. You can also do this if you have an inflatable paddle board; which is great for traveling due to its compact features. Keep your eye on your Elk-Kee as you work; you don't want them wandering off or heading to the water without supervision.
Step
3
Dog safety
If your Elk-Kee is a puppy or new to swimming, you may want to use a floatation aid the first few times on the water. Since this breed likes to swim, your dog should catch on quickly, but better to be safe than sorry. Additionally, make sure that your Elk-Kee knows proper behavior for whatever device you're on. Remaining calm and sitting quietly when needed are important should you have to maneuver through something difficult.
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Shake Fur Command

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Treats
Clicker
Water
Activity description
Dogs naturally shake their fur to remove things like debris or water, sometimes even just because it feels good. Because this is a natural action that dogs do, you can use that natural movement to help you teach your Elk-Kee the "Shake Fur" or "Shake" command. This is a great trick to teach as it helps dogs to repel water and anything lying on their fur that you want to clear off (such as dirt or leaves). As the Elk-Kee has thick fur that tends to shed and hold onto things easily, the trick "Shake" will come in handy quite often!
Step
1
Watch for natural action
As mentioned above, your Elk-Kee will most likely shake their fur after a bath, rolling around outside, or maybe even waking up. When you want to teach the command "Shake" be sure to watch for this action when done naturally, so that you can begin to praise the command.
Step
2
Click and praise
When you see your Elk-Kee shake their fur, say "Good Shake" and click (or praise and treat). After a few times of this happening without cueing them, your Elk-Kee will begin to do the cue more often in order to get a treat. This is when you can start entering the cue "Shake" to prompt them into the action.
Step
3
Use the trick often
After every bath or when your Elk-Kee rolls outside, tell them to "Shake" or praise them with "Good shake" when they do the action on their own. This repetition will help to engrave the action in your dog's mind as a good thing. After just a few times, your Elk-Kee should have this trick mastered as they are very intelligent and quick to learn.
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More Fun Ideas...

Jump Rope

Because the Elk-Kee is high energy and pretty easy to train, a great activity to try is jump roping. It will take a lot of practice to nail the trick down, but the basics are getting your dog used to the rope, teaching them to jump over the rope while it is still, then teaching them slowly to jump over the rope as you twirl it. There is no better game than jump rope if you want to tire your dog both mentally and physically.

Go for a Run

This hybrid breed needs at least an hour walk a day, or if you want to speed things up, a good run. Such an activity is perfect practice for the leash heel that you worked on with your pup above. Running encourages them to stay as close to you as possible while also remaining calm on the leash so no one gets hurt. Just be sure to pay attention to your dog's gait so you can know when they get tired and need a break.

Conclusion

As the Elk-Kee is a medium sized, relatively high energy dog, it isn't hard to see why they would have such a need for strenuous activity. Thankfully, as we've learned, this breed loves the water and even does great in cold environments; so that provides an excellent balance no matter what the weather may be. Just keep in mind that when choosing an activity, you want to pick one that will be fun for your pup and keep them interested. So if they are older, perhaps steer clear of the run and shoot for a lazy day of floating the river. Whatever you decide to do, you can be guaranteed that as long as it's with your furry friend, it will be a great time!