Activities For German Wirehaired Labs

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Introduction

The German Wirehaired Lab is a hybrid breed that combines the best traits of a Labrador Retriever with those of a German Wirehaired Pointer. The Labrador Retriever is known to be a loving and loyal addition to any household. Intelligent, active and friendly toward strangers of both the human and animal variety, the Labrador Retriever is known for their calm and easy-going temperament and eagerness to please.

The German Wirehaired Pointer, on the other hand, is a much more energetic breed. Bred initially to hunt for extended periods of time, this pooch requires daily exercise to burn off their excess energy. Without mental and physical stimulation, a German Wirehaired Pointer can become bored and exhibit destructive or unwanted behaviors. This is equally as likely with German Wirehaired Labs as they too need lots of exercise. These naturally agile pooches require an active lifestyle with lots of stimulation!

Go for a Bike Ride

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Leash with bicycle attachment
Harness
Activity description

Going for a bike ride is one way to get your German Wirehaired Lab moving. Bike rides tend to be shorter than walks, but as this dog breed is a ball of energy, it's possible they'll enjoy bike rides that exceed 30 minutes. This activity is ideal for young or adult dogs, but could cause too much strain on older pups. Bike rides are "grrreat" because you can ride in almost any weather.

Bike rides are simple as they only require you to have a bike attachment and leash. Harnesses can be used instead of just a collar, as it will prevent pulling on your pup’s neck while riding. Once you have your equipment ready, set out and explore your neighborhood at a much quicker pace than usual! 

Step
1
Prepping your gear
Of course, if you don't already have one, you will need a bike for this activity. Bicycles are worth the investment as they provide transportation that's environmentally friendly and an exercise tool for both you and your pooch. You will also need a bicycle leash or leash attachment and preferably a harness for this activity.
Step
2
Introducing the bike
Once you have your bike, you'll need to introduce it to your pup. It's normal for your Wirehaired Lab to be apprehensive about the two-wheeled object at first, but after a good examination and sniff, they should be good to go. Hold the bike at your side and move it forward and backwards so they can see how it works before hopping on.
Step
3
Getting used to the ride
Mount your bike with your German Wirehaired Lab leashed and at your side. Walk with them slowly. After this, peddle, but go slowly at first, using your obedience training to keep them at your side. It's important to maintain leash manners to prevent pulling or accidents during the ride.
Step
4
Riding smoothly
After you've prepped and practiced in a safe space away from others, it's time to put their learning to the test. Start with a short bike route on residential streets you know have little traffic. As you ride, monitor your pup at all times. If they pull, stop and correct the behavior immediately. Pulling can lead to accidents and unsafe situations, so discouraging this behavior is important to creating a smooth ride!
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Tracking

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Long leash
Harness
"Tracklayer"
Activity description

German Wirehaired Labs have an innate ability to track efficiently and accurately, which is why tracking is a phenomenal way to work their body and mind. For this activity, you'll need an extra-long leash, 30 feet in length, as well as a harness. If you do the activity yourself at home, it's free of charge, apart from equipment.

The official sport of tracking involves someone known as the "tracklayer" walking a route, leaving behind their scent. After the dog is introduced to the scent, they then set out on the route. To succeed, your German Wirehaired Lab needs to follow the track exactly how it's marked. 

This activity requires more than one individual to complete. Training facilities for tracking are located nationwide and provide courses, lessons and opportunities to practice. While your pooch tracks, you get to switch roles because it's you who's going to be "wagging" along behind them!

Step
1
Preparing for the activity
For this activity, you will need to purchase equipment if you don't already own it. A harness is needed to secure a long leash. If you plan to compete, the official leash length is 30 feet. As a result, the handler is behind at all times, never leading and always following.
Step
2
Setting the track
If you're training your pooch to track, begin by making short, concise tracks for them to follow. It may be best to have their owner set the tracks, as a dog will know and be interested in their scent. In that case, a different handler would track with your pup when you're done setting the track. As your pooch progresses in their ability to track, increase the length of your track.
Step
3
Locating the track
Tracking is something that comes naturally to a German Wirehaired Lab. When practicing the activity, monitor your pooch, and when it's clear they've caught the scent of the "tracklayer" (e.g., nose to ground where the track begins), encourage them to "track" by giving a clear and firm command. Decide on one command and be consistent in your usage.
Step
4
Using positive reinforcement
While your pup is tracking, motivate and encourage them by using praise and positive reinforcement. If you notice they've steered off course, redirect them and reward them when they re-establish themselves. It's important to reinforce a successful track by coupling praise with a favorite treat! If you notice this is an activity your pup excels at, inquire into "oppawtunities" to track competitively!
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Obedience Fun

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Toys
Treats
Activity description

There's all sorts of ways to work your pooch mentally through obedience training. The first stages of training include mastering basic commands, which is typically done at a young age. Of course, it's best to begin training as soon as possible to instill the behavior and further encourage its repetition. 

If you've already taught your German Wirehaired Lab the basics, which wouldn't be hard since they're gifted with intelligence, you can begin to explore different avenues for obedience training. Such avenues include using fun and interaction games, like toy tidy up and hide and seek, to practice simple commands while combining them with complex behaviors! 

Step
1
Playing hide and seek
Hike and seek with your German Wirehaired Retriever is the same as with a child. You begin by giving the command to "stay." This command must be one your pup already knows to play this game. Once they've obeyed the command, begin searching for your hiding spot out of their sight. Once in place, call out to your pooch telling them to "seek." Watch in amazement how quickly they use their tracking skills to find you!
Step
2
Toy tidy up
Toy tidy up is fun and equally rewarding for you, as the end result is a tidy house. The game involves conditioning your pooch to put their toys in a designated bin or basket that's open and accessible. Using reinforcement, you'll teach your pooch to put the toys in their bin. While doing so, couple the action with a command, such as "tidy." Once they learn to put the toys in, you need to teach them they can also take them out. You can create a new command like "toy time" and repeat the conditioning process, encouraging them to take a toy when permitted. When they do, reward the behavior.
Step
3
Search and retrieve
Search and retrieve is quite similar to hide-and-seek, except this time, you’re hiding a favorite toy or object, not yourself! Just like with hide and seek, this activity begins with having your German Wirehaired Lab stay. Introduce them to the object by holding it in front of their nose and letting them sniff. Then, repeat your command to "stay" and head off to hide the object. Once it’s hidden, give the command to “seek” and have fun watching your pup quickly sniff out their toy!
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More Fun Ideas...

Exploring Open Fields

It's important to give your pup time to roam and explore off-leash, as they're born to hunt. Roaming is a suitable alternative to hunting, especially if you find a large field or forest for them to venture through.

Hiking

Grab the leash and head out to take a walk in the great outdoors. Switching up your traditional walk and exploring hiking trails is one way to pique your pup's interests. Hiking is a more strenuous activity, depending on the terrain, which is why it's ideal for working your pooch physically.

Conclusion

German Wirehaired Labs are an adorable hybrid dog breed, characterized by a friendly demeanor and excitable temperament. With tons of energy to burn, German Wirehaired Labs do best in a home where they can get lots of attention and exercise -- which isn't hard to achieve when you have a handful of activities to try!

For starters, obedience training is one of the best ways to exhaust your dog's mind, and so is tracking. With basic commands in place, explore all the entertaining ways to test their obedience together! Hide and seek, object retrieval and toy tidy up are all ways for you to stimulate your German Wirehaired Lab's mind. For physical exercise, let your pooch loose in an outdoor space with lots of room to roam and run, such as a field. Hiking and agility training also require physical and mental endurance. Finally, bike rides provide ample opportunity to get in some cardio. With an excitable and energetic breed like the German Wirehaired Lab, you'll find the more physical activities you try, the happier your pooch will be!