Activities For Golden Irishs

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Introduction

The Golden Irish is a delightful hybrid breed, combining the well-known and adored Golden Retriever with the energetic Irish Setter. Though the Irish Setter is not as recognizable of a breed as the Golden Retriever, this pooch is known for its hunting abilities, high energy, and stamina as well as its devotion to pleasing its owner. With an exceptionally enthusiastic and upbeat personality, the Irish Setter needs vigorous exercise daily, or else they can become bored and rambunctious. Golden Retrievers, on the other hand, have a calmer demeanor, especially when exercised daily and stimulated both physically and mentally. Known to be a friendly companion, The Golden Retriever is obedient and devoted to their family. 

These two breeds combined make for an eager outdoor enthusiast that's friendly towards others and always looking for ways to exert their energy! Which brings us to some suggestions for activities that can be used to enhance your experience with your Golden Irish. 

Toy Tidy Up

Popular
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Any Day
Free
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Various Dog Toys
Healthy Treats
Basket/Bin
Activity description

One fun way to keep your pup mentally stimulated on days you're trapped indoors includes teaching them how to tidy up their own toys! Start by selecting a basket or bin, and show your pooch that it's where their toys belong. After using simple conditioning techniques, your pooch can learn to "tidy up" on demand, keeping them occupied and mentally stimulated throughout the activity. Depending on the number of toys your pup has, this activity can take them quite a while and requires them to use both their locating skills as well as exert physical energy by searching your home for their precious treasures.

The cost is minimal if you already have toys and some kind of storage container. The activity can be done indoors, making it "paw-fect" for rainy days. You can also modify the activity and bring it the backyard as well, keeping your yard tidy and pup active.

Step
1
Introducing the storage bin
When it comes to tidying up, it's key your Golden Irish knows exactly where the toys are going. Start off by putting all toys inside of the chosen bin. Whenever your dog retrieves a toy and leaves it, return it to the bin. This will establish clear expectations as to where the toys belong.
Step
2
Teaching your pup to tidy
Giving your Golden Irish specific training sessions on how to use the bin is the "paw-fect" way to stimulate them mentally. Begin by giving the dog a toy. Give a firm command to "tidy up" and direct your pup to the basket. If they successfully drop the toy into the basket, reward the behavior immediately to encourage it to continue. If not, don't give up -- just continue trying until you're successful.
Step
3
Rewarding the behavior
Rewarding the behavior with praise, both verbal and physical (saying good job, while petting the dog simultaneously), will encourage the behavior. Your dog will form a positive association between returning the toys to their bin -- which is key to maintaining the behavior. You will also want to repeat your training multiple times, ensuring your dog understands the command. Use the activity daily for some end-of-the-day stimulation when it's time to clean up and hit the hay!
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Frisbee

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
45 - 60 min
Items needed
Frisbee
Healthy Treat
Activity description

Frisbee takes the game of fetch to a whole new level. After your Golden Irish masters the art of catching and returning, you can introduce the frisbee to up the ante. With enough patience and practice, your dog will be able to anticipate the frisbee and catch it in mid-air!

Frisbee should ideally be played outdoors in a large open space. Though it's best to play on a warm, sunny day, this game can be enjoyed in any weather.

Step
1
Introducing the frisbee
Introduce the disc by letting your pup sniff it out and take it into their mouth. After they’ve played around with it, it’s time to get started. Be sure you and your pup have plenty of room to play the game, though you will need to start by taking baby steps to reach the desired outcome.
Step
2
Tossing the frisbee
The first tosses you make should only be a few feet away. Have your Golden Irish stand on the side of your non-dominant hand. As you prepare to toss the disc, be ready to give your firm command of “seek.” As you toss the disc, give your command while throwing it high so your pooch has time to position themselves for the catch. It's a good idea to practice tossing it beforehand to get a feel for how to move your disc up or down.
Step
3
Catching the frisbee
It is important to note that a successful retrieval is only one where the disc does not touch the ground. If you throw the disc and it reaches the ground before your dog reaches the disc, take it without allowing the dog to touch it. This will be an incentive for your pooch to catch it before it hits the ground. After practicing at short distances and mastering the catch, move onto the next step. Remember, Golden Irishs are inquisitive dogs that enjoy being challenged, so they should catch on quickly.
Step
4
Mastering and competing
As your pooch continues to excel at the sport, they may graduate to mid-air catches -- jumping high to retrieve the disc when it's well above their height. If they do get to this stage, you may want to consider enrolling your Golden Irish into Disc Ball competitions. At these competitions, be prepared to be blown away at the agility and talent exhibited by the participators.
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Urban Sledding

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Wagon
Pull Cart with Wheels
Toboggan (Winter Only)
Wooden Sled (Winter Only)
Harness
Activity description

Urban sledding is a new sensation that requires your pup to pull some form of weighted sled. Ideally, whatever sled they are using needs to have wheels, unless you plan to complete the activity in the snow. In that case, a toboggan or wooden sled would also suffice. The activity is easy to modify and requires physical exertion, which is "paw-fect" for the high energy level of Golden Irishs.

The only costs required involve getting a sled and harness, if you don't have these materials already. Using household objects, such as books in a bag to add weight to the sled, is one cost-efficient alternative to weights.

Step
1
Selecting a sled and object
Start this activity off by doing a good old house sweep for an object that’s suitable for a sled. Some ideas include pull wagons or some other form of pull cart. Toboggans (wooden or plastic) can be used for traditional sledding during the winter. If you don’t have any of these materials to use as a pull object, check out garage sales or buy one at the local department store.
Step
2
Weighting the sled
Weighting the wagon or sled with heavy objects to increase the challenge is recommended. Start with smaller weight increments and slowly increase them, based on the Golden Irish’s demonstrated abilities and progress. Any object can be used to weight the wagon. There’s even weighted vests you can find at pet shops and online.
Step
3
Harnessing your pup
Securing and properly harnessing the Golden Irish to the wagon is necessary to avoid any form of complication or injury. Weight pull harnesses are available at pet stores and online. It’s important to purchase a harness for the correct size and weight of the dog to ensure it functions correctly. Weight harnesses have a latch to secure the wagon or sled, making it easy to set up for the activity.
Step
4
"Sledding" out on your journey
Begin your first session with a walk, but feel free to gradually increase to a run. Keep your pooch on a leash at all times when first introducing the activity and walk along beside them as they pull. Always monitor your Golden Irish to ensure their comfort and safety. If you notice any form of discomfort, stop your walk/run immediately and address it before continuing. Starting off with shorter sled rides is advised to test the endurance and response of the Golden Irish. As the dog becomes a pro, it'll be easy to intensify the challenge by adding running or increasing weight.
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More Fun Ideas...

Using Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are easy to locate as they can be found at almost all pet stores. Different toys require dogs to complete different tasks, most of which result in a reward. Puzzle toys are a fantastic way to keep a Golden Irish occupied so they don't get bored or engage in destructive behaviors.

Going For a Swim

When the hot weather hits, take the "op-paw-tunity" to visit a local swimming location, such as a beach, lake, or conservation area. Allow your pooch to cool off in the waves and bring a toy to enhance their experience in the water! Be sure to check out pet regulations before visiting!

Walk/Jog

Having a routine for scheduled daily walks with your Golden Irish is a good idea, as they love the outdoors and need to release their excess energy. Beginning the day with a walk and walking again in the afternoon is an easy way to fit in the required exercise for your pooch.

Conclusion

The Golden Irish is a remarkable blend of the gently obedient Golden Retriever and game-driven Irish Setter. The combination of breeds makes for a friendly, high-energy companion in need of constant stimulation to avoid boredom and unwanted habits (such as chewing or destructive behaviors).  Engaging your pooch in physical activities that require lots of energy is the best way to exercise. Frisbee, urban sledding, daily walks, and swimming are only some ideas to get you started. Mental stimulation is also key, so couple physical activities with those meant to challenge your Golden Irish’s thinking, such a toy tidy up or puzzle toys. Be patient, enjoy your experience, and remember, a happy Golden Irish is one that’s exhausted and stimulated!