Activities For Highland Malties

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Introduction

The Highland Maltie is one feisty little dog with a fun personality. This keen pup loves to play and is great with kids and other pets. While they do have a stubborn streak and love to get their way, you can include some 'sneaky' training disguised in a fun game to overcome this trait. When your Highland Maltie discovers you are willing to hand over a treat when they do something you ask, they will be pestering you all day for a game. So read on for a few options of fun things to do with your little attention seeker, and wear them out. Use their instincts to chase to get them some extra exercise by chasing a ball, fetching a Frisbee, or just running around to find the kids when they hide. Bright and cheerful, they will happily join in your games, not realizing that they are being exercised or trained. Any game where they are the center of attention, your Highland Maltie will absolutely love. So read on, and get ready to outfox your busy little pup.

Predatory Toy Chase

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Toy
Rope
Food dispensing toy
Activity description
Chasing is instinctive for many dogs, and your Highland Maltie is no exception. You can purchase a lure toy or you can make one of your own by clipping a light toy to a rope and dragging, flipping and bouncing it along the floor or field to get your pup's attention. If you are playing outside, add in a bit of flavor or their favorite treat and they will have every reason to chase the toy. Even the laziest dog will want to play this game. You can play the game inside or out, depending on the weather. It will exercise your dog using their natural responses to a fast moving object.
Step
1
Set up the fun
While your dog snoozes, prepare the toy by tying it to a piece of rope then spread a bit of yummy treat over or inside it for a smell. Then you are ready for when your little canine awakes and is ready to play. As well, you can use a food dispensing type of toy where they get little bits of a treat when they catch it.
Step
2
Play by the rules
Let your dog know that there are rules to this game. They have to sit and stay and only chase on your command! Having them do so will allow you to get a bit of distance after you show the dog the toy. Once you release the dog and they catch the toy, they will have to 'drop it' after they first have a wrestle and taste of it.
Step
3
Making it tougher
Once your Highland Maltie has gotten the idea, you can add in some commands when chasing such as stop, halt or whatever you choose. This command will train them to do as you wish even in tempting times such as when the toy keeps moving. It will help you to control your dog when out in public and they want to chase after butterflies.
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Shopping

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog leash
Doggie back pack
Activity description
When you and your dog are bored, consider taking your dog shopping with you. As long as your pup is on a leash, they can go most places except perhaps the butchers! A great place to go is to the local pet supply store where your dog can sniff all those wonderful food smells and meet other dogs. Most owners are happy for you to bring your Highland Maltie in to browse for a new toy. Be prepared to also purchase a treat or two, as who can resist those pleading eyes? If it is a wet day or the shop is far away, the car outing will be fun for your dog. But if it is a fine day and the shop is nearby, why not walk to the mall? This activity is relaxing and although not cheap, it will be fun, and your dog will get some valuable exercise.
Step
1
Getting ready
Whether you walk or drive to the shop, as long as you invite your dog, they won't care. Strap on their backpack so they can help carry the purchases and clip on the leash and you are good to go.
Step
2
Hanging out or stepping along
If you take the car, secure your little dog and wind down the window a bit so they can enjoy the breeze. If you are walking, step briskly to get a bit of a work out on the way to the shops. Be prepared to stop often while your Highland Maltie sniffs a bush or two.
Step
3
The choices are endless
If you have some things to purchase, buy them first before approaching the pet store. Once you get inside, your dog may never let you out! Your pup will experience sensory overload as they see all the bright colors and smell all the bags of biscuits! Let them choose a new toy and grab a few treats then head for home. Your dog may even want to carry their new toy.
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Bath Time Fun

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Paddling pool
Toys
Bubbles
Activity description
A sunny day may be the perfect opportunity to give your Highland Maltie a bath. While not every dog considers this fun, you can make it more enjoyable by bathing them outside in a paddling pool of warm water, fun toys and a lot of bubbles! Doing this outside allows for splashes of water and your dog to go crazy chasing bubbles. It will take longer to get them soaped up and washed, but this fun way of bathing will score your points with your dog. A new rubber duckie that floats and then squeaks when bitten will be fun, and nontoxic bubbles to chase and bite will have you laughing at your little pup's antics. Let them play in the water for as long as they like (as long as it's warm and sunny), then chase them with the water hose. Blow bubbles at your fun-loving pooch before you catch them to dry them off and rub them down.
Step
1
Fun bath
When your dog hears the word bath, they may run and hide. But surprise them with a fun way of doing this boring chore. Fill a paddling pool with warm water, a few new toys and get a bubble mixture ready to go. Be as prepared as possible so you don't lose your reluctant pooch when they discover what you have in mind.
Step
2
Wet and wild
You won't even have to put your dog in the pool, just blow a few bubbles over it and they will dive right in. Squeak a new toy and let them be surprised and chase it. Add a little dog shampoo to their fur here and there when you get the chance. But mostly, happily talk and play with your dog. Make it a fun activity.
Step
3
Getting them out
Like kids, dogs are hard to get into a bath and even harder to get out when they are having fun. Turn on the water hose and spray them - most dogs will chase the spraying water. Blow bubbles all around the grassy area and let them bound after them. When they have had enough, tackle them with a towel and dry them off. Let them chew on their new toy, as well as give them lots of praise and a treat for being so good.
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More Fun Ideas...

Exercise the Brain

Once your dog has learned a few commands and knows how to behave, we tend to go easy with teaching new tricks. But teaching new behavior is a wonderful way of making your Highland Maltie use that creative brain of theirs. New feats to teach your canine include bowing on command, high fiving or just sitting and begging. Other tricks include having them crawl on their tummy and rolling over on command. Or, get them to sit and stay, then walk away. They have to stay, so put them back if they immediately try to follow you.  Keep the training interesting and not too long or your Maltie may lose interest. Involve a few rewards for getting the lesson right and you should have their attention for some time.

Canine Toy Swap

It can be expensive buying new toys all the time for your dog. Do you have a friend with a dog? Perhaps you could swap a few toys to make life interesting for your pooch. Just don't include their favorite toy, let them keep that! But a few new toys with a few interesting smells will keep them happy on a dull day. The perfect scenario is to go and visit your dog-owning friend and let your dogs have some dog play while you organize the toy swap and enjoy a coffee and chat. Dogs create their own games and expend their energy just by being with other dogs. Then when you go home, they will have a whole new pile of new toys to play with. It's the perfect doggie day.

Earn the Treats

If you are stuck inside because of 'ruff' weather, teach your dog some tricks like asking them to sit, drop, come, or stay, to earn a treat. This activity will get them focusing on what you want so that they can get what they want - the treat. It also fills in time during the day when you just can't get your Highland Maltie outside to run off that energy. Don't keep asking for the same old trick; they will get bored. Vary it up and teach them to roll over, sit on their haunches and shake hands, or teach them the names of their toys to fetch, such as 'get the pink pig.' Keep it fun and end with a bit of tug of war before settling down for a well-earned snuggle.

Conclusion

The Highland Maltie needs to be the center of attention and loves your adoration. If this dog becomes bored, then you may find chew marks in your good shoes, or they may destroy your garden, one plant at a time! Keeping a dog active includes mental activity, not just physical. Sometimes, mentally challenging tasks are more tiring than the physical stuff. Use a food dispenser toy to feed your dog when they are bored. An eager dog can scoff down a plate of food before you can blink your eye, so load up the toy and make them work for their food by rolling it, shaking it and so on. This activity can keep them occupied for ages. Take their size into consideration when designing a challenge, they can suffer from joint issues later in life so be careful when exercising them not to stress those tiny little legs.