Activities For English Shepherds

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Introduction

A versatile working-class dog breed, the English Shepherd is a breed developed in the United States primarily for herding and livestock purposes. The breed belongs to the Collie family and is believed to have been around since the 17th century. Extremely intelligent, loyal and athletic, English Shepherds are well-loved because of the many roles that they can take on. They can, however, be a bit stubborn and independent. This means that their owners should be able to confidently enforce and establish rules without being harsh. All in all, the English Shepherd can be a great exercise buddy, guard dog at home, and an everyday companion.

Hide and Seek

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Treats
Toys
Activity description

English Shepherds were originally bred centuries ago for one purpose: herding. Although they are currently more popular as house pets and companions, their fundamental herding instinct still exists to this day. In addition, herding dogs are generally in need of ample physical and mental exercise on a daily basis. So, unless you work or live on a farm, you have to find ways to keep your English Shepherd satisfied. A good game to teach your English Shepherd is hide and seek. In this activity, your dog gets to put their alertness to the test. It also enhances their detection skills and helps stimulate their minds. 

Step
1
Ask your dog to stay still
To begin the game of hide and seek, the first thing you have to do is to ask your dog to stay put in one place. This is important, especially if your pooch likes to follow you around in the house. If you have a friend or companion in your house, you can ask them to hold your dog while you hide if your pup is having a hard time staying put.
Step
2
Choose a hiding spot
The next step would be to pick out a spot in your house where you can hide. For instance, you can go inside the bathroom and slip behind its door without moving. Then, get your dog’s attention by calling out their name or making some fun sound that they recognize such as a smooch or a whistle. If your dog initially finds it hard to locate you, you can drop hints by making noises. Once they find you, just repeat the process and choose a different and more difficult hiding spot.
Step
3
Change the fun
The next time you play hide and seek, change the challenge by hiding a favorite toy. You can scent the toy first with a scent your pup loves; for example, put a dab of peanut butter on the toy and hide it in one of the spots that you previously hid.
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Frisbee

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Frisbee disc
Treats
Activity description

Part of the natural behavior of herding dogs, such as the English Shepherd, is finding animals or things that are moving and assembling them into a particular spot. A game of Frisbee is a good way to play into this behavior. While not exactly a farm animal, the Frisbee disc makes for a moving object that can get your English Shepherd’s attention. By training them to retrieve and bring the disc back to you, they are somehow mimicking the “herding” action to you. Teaching your dog how to play Frisbee is also a skill that you can put to good use since it can become a constant source of physical and mental stimulation, playable anywhere for free. 

Step
1
Introduce the disc
If you want to teach your dog how to play some Frisbee, you need to start by introducing the disc. Most dogs instantly become curious when presented with a new toy. In case your pooch shows no interest in the disc, you can entice them by waving it around. If that does not work, you can the disc as a food bowl and place some peanut butter or treats in it. This will get your dog to associate the Frisbee disc with something positive.
Step
2
Start playing some Frisbee
Once your dog becomes genuinely interested and familiar with the Frisbee disc, the only thing left to do is to go out and play. Start in your own backyard to provide your dog with a safe environment to play in. While your dog sits, throw the disc gently towards their direction. If your dog catches the disc, call their name and ask your dog to give the disc back to you. If they do this successfully, give them positive reinforcement or treats as a reward. As your pooch gets more and more used to the game, you can start throwing disc further and higher to make things more challenging and stimulating.
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Canine Marathon

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Water
Waste Bags
Activity description

English Shepherds are known for being lively and athletic. In fact, a good amount of exercise is required in order to keep this breed in top form. If you want to put your dog’s fitness to the test, a fun activity that you and your pooch can participate in is a canine marathon. These special marathons are particularly made for running enthusiasts and their four-legged friends. By joining a canine marathon, you and your dog have the chance to meet new friends from all over the country. Plus, it is a good way to bond with each other and to meet both of your physical exercise needs. 

Step
1
Register for a race
If you want to join a canine marathon, do your research and look out for some upcoming races. When you find one that you would like to join, the next step would be to register for you and your pooch. Fill out the application as needed and pay the necessary fees to officially be part of the race.
Step
2
Train with your dog
Weeks before the day of the race, make sure to incorporate some running into your daily regimen. This goes for both you and your English Shepherd; you wouldn’t want to be unprepared during the marathon itself. By training, you and your running buddy also get to stay in shape as the race day approaches.
Step
3
Enjoy the race day
On the day of the race, make your way to the venue and get a few warm up exercises in. While most races have water stations provided, it is best to have your own supply, especially if your dog starts to show signs of fatigue during the race. Go enjoy the marathon with your English Shepherd and use it as an opportunity to socialize with other runners and their canines.
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More Fun Ideas...

Doggy Massage

After a long day filled with physical and mental stimulation, your English Shepherd will be more than happy to curl up in your feet and relax. End your dog’s exhausting day on a good note by giving a doggy massage. Start rubbing your dog’s neck and start making your way towards the entire body. A massage is a good way to show love and affection and can help your dog relax.

Flyball

Flyball is a canine sport that incorporates both fetch and agility. This activity is a relay race that involves your dog jumping through hurdles and retrieving a ball that is shot out of a flyball box. English Shepherds will do well in this sport. To get started, find a local flyball team or kennel club and find out how your dog can get involved.

Conclusion

Attentive, affectionate and active – these are the three A’s that best describe an English Shepherd. This breed is adaptable and takes on multiple roles as long as they are given the proper training. They also need to engage in a good amount of physical and mental stimulation for them to stay happy throughout their life.