Activities For Forceful Dogs

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Introduction

If you have a dog who is forceful, then you know finding activities that you can do with your pup can be tricky. You don't want your dog to sit at home bored (that certainly won't help their forceful behavior) and you also don’t want to start an activity where they will have the dominant role and therefore encourage their strong nature. These activities have been carefully crafted to be suited for a forceful dog and you to happily and safely do together. 

Agility Training

Popular
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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Treats
Furniture
Boards
Boxes
Activity description

A lot of the time, people who own forceful dogs spend a good deal of time trying to tame their pup's behavior. You try to make your dog lie down, stay or heel when all they want to do is run, jump and bark. So why not let your dog do all of those things freely? Agility courses can be set up in any manner of ways to suit your dog's specific needs. Aggression in dogs has also been tied directly to dogs being fearful. When a dog learns to jump over a hurdle or run through a tunnel, they will also gain confidence. A confident dog is a less scared dog. Sounds like agility training is something you and your forceful dog should try now!

Step
1
Make a course
Set up a course using things found in your home. It is easiest to use items you already have before going out and purchasing actual dog agility equipment. Grab a few empty boxes to make a tunnel, a bench to act as a hurdle and a simple piece of wood is great for balancing on.
Step
2
Training with patience
Train your dog to go through the course by using treats and simply spending time with them working on each trick. You want to master each portion of the course on its own as an individual trick before linking them together. Spend a good deal of time to train your dog correctly and be patient. Spending time with a forceful pup and training them is a great way to bond further and also remind them that you are in charge.
Step
3
Practice and play
Let your dog run through the agility course frequently. Add new obstacles or change the order of the obstacles often as well. This will keep the course new and exciting for your dog. If you notice your dog loves the jumps, add more! If they like the station where they stop in a hoop and bark, get another hoop! Let your dog do what they enjoy while on the course.
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Eye Contact Game

Popular
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Any Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Collar
Leash
Activity description

A dog who is forceful may think that they are always in charge. In fact, they may simply dismiss you and ignore any of your commands. A great way to establish your dominance in a gentle manner is by teaching your dog to look you in the eye and recognize that you are in charge. The eye contact game will teach your dog self-control, how to ignore distractions in the area and also how to focus their attention on you. And, the game is fun! Your pup will love all the treats they get (if they do a great job) and you will enjoy training and bonding with your forceful dog in a positive manner.

Step
1
Walk time
Get your dog's absolute favorite treats and head out for a walk with your dog on a leash. Once outside, have your dog sit and pull out one of the treats (make sure they stay sitting!). Hold the treat straight out in front of your own eyes. Your dog will be looking at the reward but also looking at you, since the tidbit is in front of your face. Say a command such as "look" or "eyes" then give your dog the treat.
Step
2
Make eye contact
Do this sequence again but this time, hold the treat behind your back and wait for your dog to look you in your eye. If they aren’t making eye contact, wave the treat in front of your eyes again and then put it back behind you. It won't take long for your dog to learn that eye contact is the way to get the reward.
Step
3
Practice often
Practice this game often and especially in areas where there are a lot of distractions. Head to a public park or a place where others walk their dogs frequently. Make your dog maintain eye contact while other pups and people are active behind you. Your dog will learn to focus on you and this will establish your authority as well.
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Pack Run

Popular
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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Dog Treats
Running Shoes
Collar
Leash
Activity description

Dogs are inherently members of a pack. In the wild, dogs use to travel in groups and you would always find the group leader, the dog in charge of the pack, running in front of the rest. If you only have one dog, then you and that pup make up the entire pack. If you have a very forceful dog, then chances are that your dog believes they are the pack leader. This is something you should change! It is actually easy to make yourself the pack leader and one way is to go for a run as a dog pack - that's right, just you and your pup running down the road like two wild dogs! 

Step
1
Go running
Grab your dog's collar and leash and put on your running shoes. You don't necessarily have to run far (in fact, you can even walk) but this should also be an exercise in getting some of your dog's forceful energy out. A long walk or run will do your pup good!
Step
2
Look at me!
Hold one of your dog's favorite toys or treats in your hand and make sure your pup knows you have it. With your dog's eyes locked on you, looking for their treat, begin to run. Your dog will stay by your side and look at you constantly as you run (they are really looking for the toy or treat!). The leash should remain loose and you should be a half a step ahead of your dog.
Step
3
Be in charge
Stay ahead of your dog for the entire run and reward them along the way. Continue to go for runs or walks using this loose leash training method as frequently as possible. Your dog will begin to accept that you are the pack leader, you are in charge and while you love your dog, you call all the shots!
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More Fun Ideas...

Sled Ride

Get your pup a harness and jump on a sled once the winter snow rolls in. Have your dog pull you and take you for a sled ride! Sled dogs use an exorbitant amount of energy to pull and this is sure to wear out your forceful pup.

Tug

Forceful dogs love to tug and pull as it uses a lot of energy and is challenging for them Some trainers have suggested that you always make sure to win the game of tug when playing with a dominant dog. If you win, then you are the lead dog, not them!

Conclusion

The main key to having a forceful dog is to find a way to help them release some energy in a positive way. You want to bond with your dog as well but always keep in mind that you, the human, are in charge. Help your dog learn this in gentle yet assertive ways and you will be happier and your pup will be happier in your relationship. Try to keep your dog's determined personality while making them a little bit softer around the edges!