Activities For Giant Schnauzers

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Introduction

The Giant Schnauzer is a large dog that is playful and full of fun. Highly intelligent, they are easy to train and take their learning seriously. They are known for their obedience, agility, tracking, and carting as well as herding. You can involve this dog in a lot of sports and they make ideal running companions or hiking buddies. These dogs are full of action and are best in a family with older children. They need an experienced owner to exercise them, train them and socialize them. In return, this scruffy, yet dignified dog will give you hours of fun, companionship and laughter. They love being with their master, enjoy activities where they are challenged to achieve and love working as a team with their human. You will get fit with this dog around!

Backyard Playground

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Hanging ropes to tug
Balls and toys
Comfy bed
Activity description
Turn to the backyard and make a place for your dog to enjoy when a change of pace is in store. You can tie a rope to a tree so they can tug to their heart's content. Or leave a few toys out for them to play with, changing them on every second or third day so they don't get bored. The idea is to get them used to the yard as a place of fun. A comfy bed so they can soak up the sun, a sprinkler on a timer for a bit of fun. Fill a strong dispenser toy with food so they have to turn it, shake it and maneuver it to get the goodies out. There are many ways to make the yard fun. A clear Perspex window in the fence can allow your dog to see what is happening on the other side. Think about it, you may be surprised how many ideas you get!
Step
1
Getting the yard set up
First of all, make sure your dog can't escape and take off. Fix any holes near the fence, and move large objects away from the fence so they can't use them to get over it. You might consider getting around Perspex window for the fence so your dog can see what is going on in the neighborhood. Make sure you have a water bowl for your dog. Make an area for a comfy dog bed for rest times. If you have some large trees, tie some long rope onto a branch for a solo tug-of-war toy. Leave a couple of balls out for them to play with or herd around.
Step
2
Think ahead
During the summer, if you freeze some dog treats in a water or broth solution overnight in an old ice cream container, then you can leave it out for your dog the next day. The block will take ages to thaw even with them licking and chewing at it. For fun, toss a handful of kibble over the grass and let your dog use their nose to find the food. For a hot day, you could pre-set the hose and sprinkler to come on for several minutes at a time which your dog will find fascinating.
Step
3
Vary the toys and treats
You don't have to change the yard every day, but once or twice a week will keep your Giant Schnauzer wondering what you will come up with next. An automatic tennis ball launcher will keep them entertained for as long as you set it. With all of these great activities, your doggie playground will keep your companion busy while you tend to the garden or relax in the hammock with a book!
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St Patrick's Day Outing

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Doggie Waste Bags
Activity description
The luck of the Irish is a celebrated event and can be a fun outing to attend. This global day in March observes the death of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Check out your town to see what events are planned for this annual celebration and take your dog with you, as many can be enjoyed outdoors. St Patrick's Day started out as a religious feast but has expanded into parades, special foods (often colored green), music, dancing and just a whole lot of fun. Even some breweries color their beer just for the day. It can be a fun day out celebrating the Irish, and an opportunity to do something special with your dog. It is a great socializing opportunity, so put on your dog's green bandana, and head out to find some fun.
Step
1
Check the events out
The first thing you need to know is what activities are on, and whether they are pet-friendly. Once you have a plan, you can start with a brisk walk to a local café that is serving Irish fare. Take a few normal treats for your dog so that they can be a part of the day. Enjoy listening to the Irish music while you relax. Not only is it good for your dog to learn social skills, but it will also deepen the bonds you have with your dog.
Step
2
Wandering on
After your stop at the café for refreshments, wander on to view the activities such as watching the dancers work their magic, or listen to a good old Irish band thump out some great tunes. Your dog will be entranced with all the things going on around them. They will get to meet other dogs out enjoying the day, as well as meet some exciting new people. This activity is also a form of training. It gets your dog used to a lot of people and the noise that goes with it. Keep them calm and reassure them often with hugs, praise and treats.
Step
3
Calling it a day
When you think your dog has had enough, call it a day and head home. Let your dog stop and sniff the bushes, or stop in a secure pet park so they can run about free from restraint for a while. Then, continue on home. Outings like this are a real experience for your dog; they will relive it many times in their dreams so expect your pooch to flop in a comfy spot and nod off for a while. Providing an outing such as this is ideal for your dog, it keeps their mind stimulated and they are more content.
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Hurdles and Tunnels

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Rainy Day
Free
Easy
60 min
Items needed
blankets and towels
Reward treats
Activity description
Wet days can be challenging for owners who have large dogs. A daily walk is almost essential for these dogs, and even that may not be enough during a week of wet weather. This is where you need to get creative, and make an indoor obstacle course for your pup. Gather many blankets and towels, and roll them into 'logs'. Clear a path around the home, ideally the living room, down the hallway, into a bedroom, and then back the same way. At intervals, place the logs for your dog to jump over. If you have a young dog, don't make this too hard as their leg bones are still developing and you don't want to hurt them. You have to teach your dog to at first follow you around the circuit, then do it on their own. Time them and see how fast they are. Between sets, cover them in spare blankets and see if they can 'dig' their way out.
Step
1
Clear a path
Clear the route of any delicate or valuable items, just in case there is an accidental bump. Then, roll the towels and blankets up to make hurdles. For larger dogs, you may need to make stacks of blankets. Try and make a decent run for your dog. If you have an enclosed porch as well as a hallway, so much the better. For the first time around, you may have to run with your dog so they get the idea. Perhaps add a toy at the midway point that they have to retrieve and take back to the start.
Step
2
Second stage of the game
Next thing is to get your dog to run on their own, timing them to see how fast they are. Make sure they don't cheat and turnaround if they get out of your sight! This activity is great training as your dog learns to follow your instructions and carry out your orders. It is both mentally and physically challenging. Allow a rest period between sets. Bury your dog in a pile of blankets and see how fast they can dig their way out. Cover yourself and get your dog to pull off the layers until they find you. It will be so much fun!
Step
3
Getting back to normal
Have a few rounds of the game and keep a watch on how your dog is coping. Some dogs are fitter than others, so don't overdo this activity. Signal to your dog that the game is at an end, and enlist their help to bring the logs back to the living room. Put everything back in the right place, give your dog a good pat and tell them how well they performed. Praise and your approval is what your dog wants more than anything, even more than food! So don't be stingy, pile on the praise and your dog will swell with pride.
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More Fun Ideas...

Rollerblade Run

The Giant Schnauzer is a great athlete. While you may not be able to keep up with them on a run, you can cheat by learning to rollerblade and zoom along beside them or get them trained to pull you along. They will need to listen to your instructions - the most important one is 'stop'. But get them used to 'go right' or 'go left' and you should be in business. 

Tunnel Fun

A kiddie collapsible tunnel is all you need for this game. First, you have to teach them how to move through the tunnel, so you may have to crawl through yourself so your dog gets the idea. Time your Giant Schnauzer to see how fast they can get through. Then, have a toy (or a pile of toys) at the end, where your pup has to run through the tunnel, grab the toy and bring it back. This activity will provide a lot of exercise and fun.

Dog Limbo

Set up some PVC pipes - two as supports and one as the Limbo bar. You may need a couple of pegs to hold the horizontal bar. Start the game with the bar up high, and teach your dog to go under it. Slowly lower the bar as your dog understands the game. Go lower and see just how low they can go. They will eventually have to crawl under the bar. Remember to praise lavishly, and treat occasionally for a job well done. This activity will burn off a lot of your dog's energy!

Conclusion

Dogs love variety and the Giant Schnauzer is no different. They do love toys to play with when they are relaxing, but mostly they enjoy energetic activities such as running, hiking, training, and just about anything else you can think up. If you live in the country, you can bike for miles with your dog running at your side. Or learn how to rollerblade and have them tow you along around the paths of the city. Take your Giant Schnauzer out in public often, and let them meet as many people as possible to get over any reservations they have over strangers. Stop at a café and enjoy sitting outside with your dog and watch the people go by. It is all learning for this eager dog who can be a whole lot of doggie fun!