Activities For English Cotralians

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Introduction

With their round, open faces, flopping ears and eyes that vary from a striking blue to a deep and warm brown, it’s hard not to fall in love with an English Cotralian! These puppers aren’t just a pretty face, either -- a cross between the hunting Cocker Spaniel and the Australian Shepherd, English Cotralians are very intelligent indeed. Not only that, but they’re fiercely loyal, and one of the most loving family companions a pet parent could ask for.

There’s a flip side to that affectionate streak, though -- these doggos need a lot of love. They also have pretty high energy levels. Don’t worry, though, as long as  you keep their bodies active, minds busy, and let them know you care, English Cotralians can be just as sweet as they look! Read on to find some activities designed to keep your pooch as healthy and happy as can be.

At-home Spa Day

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
45 min
Items needed
Dog shampoo
Towel
Comb
Dematter
Pin brush
Activity description

One of the most gorgeous features of English Cotralians is their long, luscious coat -- which, like a lot of long human hair, requires a bit of maintenance! Regular bathing and grooming is absolutely essential. Like many intelligent dogs, these pups can carry quite a bit of tension, and a massage can be just the ticket to chill them out!

Sure, you could take your pooch to the grooming parlor, but doing your pampering at home doesn’t just save you money, it has the added benefit of providing pet-pet parent bonding time with your buddy. And since spending time with a happy dog is proven to have a relaxing effect on humans, you might even feel your own stress melting away!

Step
1
Massage
Before beginning to massage your doggo, first pet them gently all over. This step is particularly important if you’re massaging your dog for the first time -- it’ll get them used to you touching them, and give you a good idea of any areas that they’d like you to leave alone. Start by massaging your buddy’s neck and shoulders, and then move on to their back, chest and legs. You can use a circular motion or just pet them with more pressure than usual -- every pup will have their preference!
Step
2
Draw a warm bath
Most English Cotralians don’t have a problem with the water, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get them in the bath! It’s best to wash their coat with a specially formulated dog shampoo -- it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to allergic reactions. Baby shampoo might also do in a pinch.
Step
3
Towel off and groom
That long coat might take a bit of drying, so be sure to use an absorbent towel. One with loose, polycotton blend loops is best. It’s a good idea to groom your doggo while their fur is still damp -- it’ll make it easier to remove any tangles. You’ll need to use a pin brush, a comb, and maybe a dematter.
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Herding Classes

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Activity description

Like many hybrid breeds, it’s a bit of a gamble when it comes to what traits your English Cotralian has inherited from each parent. If they’ve taken after the Australian Shepherd, it’s likely that they have a strong herding instinct. Some of these pooches have even been known to try and herd the ball instead of bringing it back when they’re first learning how to play fetch!

Harnessing that innate drive to teach your pup how to herd is a pawesome way to keep their brain engaged while making sure that they get their exercise. However, it must be said that your average urban or suburban park contains a distinct lack of animals suitable for herding, so unless you have a farm of your own or live next to some very agreeable farmers, getting professional help is a good idea.

Step
1
Do your research
In the US, there’s no actual qualification that a person is required to hold before they can call themselves a dog trainer -- almost anyone can set up shop, whether they know their stuff or not! It’s important to make sure that your trainer is accredited. Look for qualifications from organizations like the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior or the American Animal Hospital Association. If you’re not familiar with the organization your trainer is accredited by, do some online research.
Step
2
Be prepared to practice at home
An hour or so a week isn’t really enough to cement a behavior, so it’s always important to take an active role in your doggo’s education, whatever the class. But how are you supposed to support them in their herding training when you can’t keep sheep in your apartment? Well, you can help teach them when not to herd. Watch out for any herding behaviors, like running towards a large group of people, and make sure they have a firm grasp of the "come" command. Use a treat if you have to!
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Hiking

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Booties
Waste bags
Water
Activity description

Feeling tired and a little burnt out? Shedding the shackles of civilization and heading off into the wilderness with your buddy by your side might be just what the doctor (or vet) ordered! After all your love and attention, there’s nothing your English Cotralian likes more than a nice, long walk. Since their long coat can cause them to overheat, short bursts of vigorous activity aren’t as good an idea as lots of slower exercise -- English Cotralians are definitely quantity over quality kind of dogs! Not only that, but exposing them to new sights, sounds and smells provides extra stimulation for their minds.

Step
1
Investigate your options
Unfortunately, not all trails are Fido-friendly. Whether it’s due to wildlife concerns or steep slopes, you’ll want to make sure that you two can hike together before you set off. Taking your pupper to a national park might seem like a wagtastic idea, but many of them close their trails to pooches entirely. You'll also need to consider whether the park allows free-roaming furballs, or if your pooch will need to stay on their leash.
Step
2
Be prepared
Think about your buddy’s needs before you hike! If you’re going on a hot day, be sure to bring plenty of water with you and to walk slowly if necessary. You don’t want them getting too hot (for this reason, it’s also best to choose a shaded trail if possible). You might also want to consider booties for their paws if the terrain is particularly rocky. Finally, remember to bring waste bags to keep the area clean!
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More Fun Ideas...

Include Them in Your Hobbies

These puppers just want to be by your side as much as possible! Whether it’s gardening, bird-watching or just knitting in front of the TV, it’s always better when your best friend can take part!

Camping

Why not extend your hiking trip by heading on an overnight outdoor adventure with your four-pawed pal? If you’re planning your next family vacation, camping is often a fur- and budget-friendly option.

Conclusion

It’s not too difficult to keep an English Cotralian content! Like any doggo out there, they want to know that they’re loved. A bored English Cotralian can be a holy horror, but with enough mental stimulation, they’re adorably docile, and if you add in enough exercise, they’ll be one happy pup indeed!