Activities For Gentle Dogs

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Introduction

Every dog has a different, unique personality which needs to be taken into account when you are playing with or training them. Some dogs have bold personalities; some are adventurous. Stubborn dogs resist your will, and pushy dogs try to test your will. Then there is the gentle dog; they want to please you and like calmness, kindness and affection over boisterous high voltage action. The gentle dog is often quiet, they stay out of the limelight, never sure if they should do one thing over another. The kindest way to treat this type of personality is to honor your dog and respect their nature. We can't all be hyperactive superstars. So, when planning activities for your dog, consider their personality. If you do, your dog will respond positively, and both of you will enjoy the game. Don't try to force a gentle dog into being aggressive - it won't work. Work within the boundaries of your dog's nature for an enjoyable outing or game. This planning will help bolster the gentle dog's confidence and enable them to participate without fear of reprisal.

Day at the Beach

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Waste pick up bags
Frisbee
Ball
Water and small treats
Towel
A brush to Remove Sand
Activity description

Your dog will love a change of scenery and a day out at the beach or river will be a welcome visit. Try to choose a day when it is not too hot, just a comfortable heat, so your dog doesn't overheat. The benefit of going out is that your gentle pooch has an opportunity to meet and greet other dogs, with you beside them for support. They will enjoy a leisurely lope along the beach or a splash in the waves. At a river, they may enjoy a relaxing swim, paddle or indulge in a little 'fishing' if there are some small fish nearby. For a more active dog, a game of catch the Frisbee or retrieve the ball will be fun. A change of location will bring out their curiosity as they investigate a new area. And when dogs are out and about, they are on neutral territory and seem happy to welcome a new dog into a game. A gentle dog often needs a boost to their confidence and a change of routine will shake them out of their complacency. Then when they tire, a picnic and cuddle on the beach or riverbank is the perfect way to end the trip.

Step
1
Do your research
Go online and check out the rivers or beaches nearby. Confirm that dogs are welcome before heading out to a new area. Pack everything into the car, including your dog's leash. Ensure you have fresh water for a thirsty pooch, and some yummy treats for both you and your dog. Then, give your dog the command to get into the car and off you go. A slightly open window will allow your dog to smell the breeze and they will grin all the way to the location.
Step
2
Let the fun begin
Put your dog on the leash to begin with until you get to know the area. Grab your bag of towels, toys and treats, and after securing your car, head off to explore this new beach or river. Your dog will love all the new smells so expect to stop often.
Step
3
Enjoy the day
Once in a good location, allow your dog to roam, although keep them close where you can watch them. Let them get over their curiosity before you start any games. They will want to greet other canines cantering about, and may want to have a swim first. Later you can get the Frisbee or ball out and go for a game. After some time, call your dog and have a rest break. A fresh drink especially on the beach will be welcomed. Then have a bit of a snack attack, a cuddle and then its up to you; do you continue for a little longer, or call it a day? Don't ask your dog for their opinion or you may never see home again!
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Balls in a Bucket

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Any Day
Cheap
Hard
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Tennis balls
Bucket
Treats
Activity description

Balls in a bucket is an easy game to set up and play. It is good for dogs who are gentle by nature, yet love to play without being too competitive or intimidated. The game can be played inside or out, and in most weather. The idea of the game is for your dog to take one ball at a time from a pile of balls, and go and put it into a bucket some distance away. In the beginning, when they are learning the game, give a small treat after getting each ball in the bucket and when they return to you and sit. Then as they get better at the game, get them to go back and forwards with one ball at a time until all the balls are in the bucket and then they get a reward and a cuddle, plus lavish praise. If you want to get fit, you could run each way with them, encouraging them on. It is a simple game that is done at your dog's pace. Dogs love feeling important; they love to have tasks to do and enjoy the love and feedback they get.

Step
1
The set up
Set up your ball to bucket course. It can be inside or outside, that is the beauty of this game. Down at one end, have a pile of five or six tennis balls. Down the other end, a bucket. Teach your dog what to do, encourage them to pick up a ball, then walk with them to the bucket and get them to drop it into the bucket. Then walk back to the start with your dog and reward and praise.
Step
2
Getting into the flow
It may take a few runs for your dog to get the idea, but once they do - it will be a ton of fun. They will race from the ball pile to the bucket in a matter of minutes. You may decide to make it one ball at a time then reward, or to do a whole set of balls then reward. But be consistent - don't confuse the dog by rewarding one minute, and not for the same task another minute.
Step
3
Upping the game
To make a longer game, you can then do the game in reverse. Once all the balls are in the bucket, get your dog to fetch a ball out of the bucket and bring it back! Always genuinely praise your dog for being so clever! This game will teach your dog valuable skills about following your commands. The game will also build a gentle dog's confidence.
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Learn Toy Names

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Any Day
Free
Hard
20 - 30 min
Items needed
Favorite toys
Ribbon or cord - optional
Small Treats
Activity description
Dogs are incredibly intelligent and can learn a lot of different things, including the names of their favorite toy. According to some studies, our dogs have the ability to learn over 200 words, which is amazing. When you play with a toy with your dog, use the name of the toy often during play. For example, you might say ' what a pretty blue ball this is ' as you both play with it. Before long, your dog will associate the 'pretty blue ball' with the object which in turn can be turned into a fun game. By using a selection of your dog's toys, arrange them in a line (use the tape or ribbon if that is easier for you). Then train your dog to go and fetch the toy you want them to get. It takes a while for some dogs to get it, but be patient, and give a lot of praise for their efforts, after all - learning a new language is never easy! But it will soon become a game your dog will love, and will make them feel proud when they have achieved a goal.
Step
1
In the beginning.
If you are starting from the beginning, you will have to train your dog to learn the names of the toy. This action involves playing with the toy and using the name often as in the example above for the pretty blue ball. Then once they know a few names, get your dog to stay, while you lay out the toys in a line (using the ribbon if that helps). Get your dog to sit with you some distance away from the toys, then issue a command such as 'go fetch the red dog'.
Step
2
Praise, don't growl
Off your dog will go on your command and will grab the red dog toy and bring it back. If they go for the wrong toy, say politely, 'no - try again' or a similar command. When they get it right, erupt with praise and excitement and tell them how good they are. The idea is to build confidence, not to intimidate them by showing impatience or growling if they get it wrong.
Step
3
Reward the effort
When your pup brings the toy back to you, give them a lot of love. Reward them with a small healthy treat and make them glow with pride. Then ask them to go and get another toy. This game can be as long or short as you want, as long as it is still fun for the dog. Never overdo a game as your dog will lose interest and be reluctant to play again.
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More Fun Ideas...

A New Route

For a gentle dog, a new additional activity can be as simple as a new walking route to a different park that they can explore. You and your best buddy can amble along, taking in the breeze, and chill out in the park. Just as going to the same shops day in and day out would bore you, your dog will enjoy a change in the routine and will appreciate a different view. Or take them for a short drive to the water if you live close to the sea. Dogs are easy to please, just a shift in the daily routine will be fun, and for the gentle dog it will be a non threatening change.

The Bubble Game

This game is a no-brainer for a gentle dog. It consists of a non-toxic bubble solution for dogs, and a bubble pipe to blow the bubbles. I don't know a dog yet that can resist chasing the bubbles. If you have a small enclosed area outside that you can play in it will be even better as the breeze will help the bubbles to fly. If you have a child, they will want to play as well, but let them know they have to share the bubbles with the dog. Maybe they can blow the bubbles for the dog. Every now and again, call for a break and sit and cuddle (both dog and child) while giving them an appropriate treat. It's hard work chasing bubbles so they need to fuel up for another round. Praise you dog and child for their efforts, it is free and builds such strong bonds of respect and trust. If it's a hot day, you could pull out the paddling pool and add they can splash in and out while chasing bubbles. It's a ton of fun for everyone

Put Toys Away

This is a game that not only is fun for your dog, but will help you when it is clean up time. Using small treats as a reward for doing it right, teach your dog to pick up their toys, and drop them into a box or container. Make it easy at the beginning. Pick a phrase such as 'time to put your toys away', and get them to pick up one toy and take it to the toy container. Then command them to drop the toy in the container and when they do, lavish them with praise and pats and of course, a small treat. Once the dog gets the idea, increase the number of toys in the room or area. Before long, your dog will be the best helper you ever had. This game teaches the dog to follow orders and gives them a sense of satisfaction when they have done it well.

Conclusion

Gentle dogs are the coolest dogs; they are cuddly, affectionate and in their own way they have a unique type of dog humor. While you may not get it for a while, it will slowly dawn on you that your dog just got one over you! They won't overstate a victory, but will let you figure out that you have been beaten! And they will be polite enough not to laugh about it in public, but if you look back at them, they will be laughing their head off, tongue fully flapping in the breeze behind your back. All dogs enjoy an outing or a new challenge. A challenge tailored to your dog's character and nature is the best. Before long that quiet, gentle dog will take on an air of invincibility. A gentle dog will 'fangfully' not broadcast their victory to the world and show you up, but while your dog may be gentle, all dogs LOVE to win!