Activities For Garafian Shepherds

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Introduction

The Garafian Shepherd is a dog that hails from the Canary Islands - specifically the province of Garafia, which is a rocky place that's marked by its steep, jagged mountains and winding roads. The Garafian Shepherd was bred to help herd goats through their precarious homeland. As a result of being bred to work in a region with a fairly harsh environment, Garafian Shepherds have developed very calm and even-tempered personalities. That doesn't mean that these dogs don't need to be trained and socialized - in fact, these dogs can become very restless and belligerent if you don't spend enough time bonding with them and helping them adjust to urban life.

Word Work

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
10 - 20 min
Items needed
Flashcards
Markers
Dog's Favorite Treat
Activity description
As far as the modern world's foremost puppy pundits have been able to tell, even the smartest dogs are unable to read the same way that humans can - put a Dr. Seuss book in front of a Garafian Shepherd and they won't have the slightest clue as to what all of those little black squiggly things are on the page. But just because dogs can't learn to read the same way that humans do doesn't mean that they can't learn how to read in their own way. Using a couple of flashcards and a few markers, you can teach your dog to recognize certain short words when they hear and see them. You don't have to spend a lot to get started on this activity either - just about $30 for supplies. Take on this unique activity any day of the week, in rain or shine!
Step
1
Small words
Keep things short and sweet with this activity. Stick to monosyllabic words - most of which are no longer than four letters in English. It might also help to only use verbs so that you can follow each word with an accompanying action. Colors won't really factor into this game much as dogs are mostly colorblind, though we will recommend steering clear of really bright hues like yellow or any light hues.
Step
2
Show and tell
After you've written down all of the words you'd like to use for a specific session, you and your dog will be ready to play! Show your dog each card, one at a time, while demonstrating the action if it's a verb like we discussed earlier. Eventually, your dog will come to associate the word "throw" with a something going projectile. This will become evident during future fetch games, once your dog positively responds to you telling them that you're going to "throw their stick."
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Bark Control

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Any Day
Free
Normal
20 - 30 min
Items needed
Training Clicker
Dog Treats
Activity description
Adopting a dog into your family and caring for them can be a very fun and rewarding experience but there are a number of responsibilities that you'll be adding onto your plate; just as pet parents are responsible for feeding and cleaning their dogs once they take them under their roofs, they are also responsible for teaching them how to act properly and not be a nuisance. According to the Cambridge City Council, incessant barking is one of the UK's most commonly reported disturbances. This activity will teach you how to help your dog control their urge to bark when it's not needed - providing you and your neighbors with peace of mind.
Step
1
Barking on command
This method is designed to teach your dog how to control their barking. Set some time aside for just yourself and your dog. When you two are alone, wait for your dog to start barking. Once they do, utter a command (like "speak" or "chat") as they're in the process of sounding off. Hand them a treat while issuing the command to help them associate the vocal command with their actions. Next, try giving the command and seeing if your dog begins barking. If they do, then you'll need to follow up by issuing another command (typically "quite" or "stop") when they stop barking - followed by a treat. It'll take numerous sessions, but eventually, you'll be able to control your dog's barks with a couple of words.
Step
2
Keep them busy
This is perhaps the best, most effortless way to control the amount of barking a dog. Each and every day, make sure that you're Garafian Shepherd is getting their recommended dose of exercise. Beyond helping a dog stay in shape, exercise is also necessary for staving off feelings of restlessness and anxiety that begin to build up in dogs when they aren't being active or engaged with. This is especially true for Garafian Shepherds, who were bred to work on a mountainous island. These guys weren't made to lounge about the place like ornaments - they'll become very irritable if they're not active.
Step
3
Housetrain your dog
It's almost a self-defeating prophecy in a way; the main reason many dogs make so much noise is that they're left outside, exposed to the elements and whatever else may be lurking around at night. The reason some people won't let their dogs stay inside with them is that they feel their dogs don't know how to act indoors (or may very well make too much noise). But dogs aren't naturally going to know how to act indoors - they have to be trained to do so and allowed to learn about the warmth of a loving home. Set aside a few minutes a day where you can teach your dog how to behave inside. That's where they want to be, with you!
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Door-Dog

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 min
Items needed
Training Clicker
Dog Treats
Bandannas or Towels
Activity description
A dog that's as intelligent as a Garafian Shepherd can be taught to open doors all on their own. Using a device called a training clicker, a towel or bandanna that your dog can bite onto and some dog treats, you can effectively teach your pup to get around your home on their own. You'll need about $20 in order to get all of these materials - most of which you can get from the same place. Save for potentially teaching your dog how to open the front and back doors of your home, you likely won't need to spend much time outside. Spend some time each day working on this activity; your dog will have a blast!
Step
1
Dog-friendly doors
The bandannas and towels are meant to transform the door handles of your home into dog-friendly pulley devices. Before getting into the thick of this activity, go around your home and tie towels or bandannas to the handles of any doors that you'd like for your pet to open. The front and back doors of a home are usually great places to start.
Step
2
Tug along
With the pulleys firmly secured, you and your dog are now ready to get down to business. Bring your dog over to a door and then ask them to tug on the pulley. Use the training clicker once they do to reinforce this positive action. Say "open" as they open the door, applying tactical clicks when appropriate. Once the door is fully opened, hand your puppy a treat for a job well done. Always remember to remove the pulley from the door when you leave the home - you don't want your Garafian Shepherd letting themselves out!
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More Fun Ideas...

Snowball Fetch

Garafian Shepherds are able to handle cold environments with relative ease thanks to their thick and full coats. One of the first things you might want to try doing should you visit an area with an abundance of snow, is play a few games of snowball fetch with your dog.

Goat Herding

This is definitely one of the more eccentric and conditional activities on this list, but if you're able to find a shepherd or farmer who will help you train your Garafian Shepherd then it's worth a try at the very least. You'll also need to contact a dog trainer who specializes with herding dogs to help you complete this task.

Conclusion

Garafian Shepherds are definitely unique dogs that you're not all that likely see every day - even if you live in the region that they originate from. These dogs can learn to become great family members but it's going to take a lot of effort and hard work. If you're not willing or able to go the extra mile for this type of dog, then we'd highly recommend considering another breed of dog for adoption. Garafian Shepherds are active animals by nature and will become very unpleasant if their needs aren't met. Engage them in a rousing game of snowball fetch, work on their manners and include them in your home and your life every day to ensure a well-rounded pup. Be the strong leader and your Garafian Shepherd will follow.