Activities For First Time Large Dog Owners

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Introduction

Oh my goodness, how did that big dog get in your house?! The answer is (most likely) that you adopted them! Big dogs are so loveable and irresistible but then, when they are finally home with you, what do you do with them? It may be slightly intimidating to have such a big pup in your house especially for a first time dog owner  so having good activities lined up is necessary. Just because your dog is big doesn't mean they don't want to play! 

Get Out!

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Activity description

Having a big dog inside your house all day may make your space seem crowded. This is especially true for first time big dog owners who aren’t use to having such a large creature around. The solution to this "problem" is simple, head outside! You and your dog should get out of the house as much as possible. Fresh air is great for revitalizing your pup's spirit (and your own) and it is a good idea to get out in the open and away from cramped spaces. There is also plenty to do outside that you and your dog will enjoy. 

Step
1
Walking fun
A walk around the neighborhood is one of the easiest and best things to do with your big dog. Your dog will get the chance to stretch their legs while also getting to sniff around outside. Walks are also easy to build into your daily routine so grab the leash and head outside for a nice walk with your pup everyday!
Step
2
Dog park visit
Dog parks are a fun outdoor activity that you and your big dog will love. Dog parks allow dogs of all sizes to run leash free and socialize with other dogs. You will also enjoy going to the dog park and talking to other dog owners - maybe there will be other large dogs there too!
Step
3
Backyard freedom
If you have a fenced in yard, simply open the door and let your big dog run free! Having this luxury is amazing for large dogs as they can get outside anytime they like. This is also ideal when you are unable to take your dog out yourself, they can play and run solo!
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Agility Class

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Agility Equipment
Collar
Treats
Activity description

A big dog doesn't have to equate to a clumsy dog. In fact, big dogs can be surprisingly agile and this is something you can celebrate and nurture. There are many doggy agility classes that you can enroll in with your big dog - yes, you as the owner will have to go to class too! What fun it will be to teach your pup some new tricks and keep that big pup limber. These classes are great workouts, ideal for bonding with your dog and perfect for teaching them new tricks and commands. Tell that big dog of yours to get ready to stretch those paws and check these classes out!

Step
1
Sign up
Find a doggy agility class in your area and sign your pup up. There are likely many levels of the class so it is best to start in a beginner's class (even if you think your dog may be advanced, starting off easy is always best). Grab your pup and head to their first day of class!
Step
2
New tricks
Teach your dog all kinds of new tricks at agility class. Some things you may expect to learn include running around objects, jumping through hoops, staying still on command and chasing things really fast. As always, don't forget the treat rewards - make sure your dog is having fun and praise them for their efforts!
Step
3
Practice makes perfect
After class is over, keep training your dog at home. Practice makes perfect after all. While you can practice the easier skills inside such as sitting still or jumping in place, you can also set up an agility course outside in your yard as well. Your big dog will have a blast on their own personal agility playground!
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Doggy Therapy

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Therapy Certification
Collar
Leash
Activity description

People tend to really like big dogs. There is something about a gentle giant that is soothing to people in all different walks of life. Because of this special power that big dogs can have, you may want to consider enrolling your dog and yourself as a dog therapy team. These dog and human teams are known to go to places such as hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers in order to help cheer up the patients. Not only will people who may be struggling in life get the benefit of being around your big dog but you will also feel great knowing that you and your pup can brighten someone's day. 

Step
1
Get certified
Find a group or organization near you that trains dogs to be 'therapists' . Your dog will most likely need to pass a few tests to prove that they are calm and can handle being around all different types of people. Once you and your pup are certified as a dog therapy team, you are ready to get out there and do some good!
Step
2
Make a visit
The organization you are working with will assign you a time and a place to bring your dog. Once there, you will bring your dog around to those who need the love and companionship of a big dog. Expect many people to pet your dog and ask questions about them. Tell fun stories about your pup and keep your dog engaged by offering treats and praise!
Step
3
Set your schedule
Make a schedule when you and your dog can consistently visit your assigned locations as a therapy team. Not only will your dog get more and more comfortable each time (and therefore enjoy it more) but the people you are helping will look forward to seeing your dog on a regular basis. Large dogs bring smiles wherever they go!
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More Fun Ideas...

Big Cuddles

A big dog loves big cuddles. Curl up with your pup and watch a movie, read a book or simply take a nice afternoon nap.

Stair Run

If your large dog is stuck inside all day, they may need to stretch their legs. Run up and down the stairs in your house with your dog to get out some energy and keep that big pup moving!

Conclusion

Even if you are a first time owner of a big dog, your love for your pup will be the same regardless of their size. Therefore, you are sure to want your dog to always be enjoying life and having fun. These activities are perfect for big dogs and new owners alike. So why not try everything on this list? Keeping a fresh rotation of activities will ensure your big dog never gets bored, is always having fun and is bonding with you, their new owner!