Activities For Irish Mastiffs

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Introduction

The Irish Wolfhound and the Mastiff (also known as the English Mastiff) are two of the largest dog breeds in the world, so it's no surprise that crossing these breeds produces pooches for which the word "big" is an understatement. Luckily, the gorgeous Irish Mastiff has plenty more going for it than being the biggest canine in the dog park.

Known for their loving and affectionate nature, these gentle giants usually like to take a relaxed approach to life. They can adapt to a wide variety of living circumstances and can be very protective of the ones they love -- plus, they're also eager to please.

And while they don't have the same sort of exercise requirements as some other large breeds, they still relish the opportunity to get out and about and have some fun. Here are three grrr-eat activities your Irish Mastiff will love.

Nosework

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Any Day
Free
Normal
20 min
Items needed
Cotton ball
Essential oil
Cardboard boxes
Activity description

Dogs of all shapes and sizes are famous for their incredible sniffing power, so why not let your canine pal put their amazing schnoz to work? Nosework is an increasingly popular scenting activity where dogs are trained to identify and track down specific odors. You can search to find clubs and trainers near you that specialize in nosework if you want, or you can start teaching your dog what they need to do in the comfort of your own home.

Nosework can be fun and mentally stimulating for your furry friend, so here's what you need to do to help your pooch harness their legendary sense of smell.

Step
1
Introduce the scent
The first step is to introduce your dog to the scent you want them to find. A dog-friendly essential oil on a bit of cotton wool works well, but it's up to you. Reward your dog for sniffing the scent or showing any interest in it, and they'll soon come to associate finding that particular odor with something positive. Food, toys, and praise can all be used as rewards.
Step
2
Hide the scent
Next, hide the bit of cotton wool under an overturned cardboard box and encourage your dog to find it. Remember to reward them whenever they do. As their hunting skills improve, you can add more boxes into the mix so your dog has to use their nose to sort through them all and find the right one.
Step
3
Increase the difficulty
Over time, you'll be able to add more boxes and try new and challenging hiding places. You can increase the size of the search area or move it outside or to a different part of the house, making sure to always keep the nosework sessions fun and interesting for your pet. It's a highly rewarding experience for your four-legged friend, and dogs of all ages and fitness levels can participate.
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Doggy Birthday Party

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog treats
Dog-friendly birthday cake
Party hats and decorations
Activity description

If you're looking for a fun way to spoil your Irish Mastiff, one of the best things you can do is throw them a doggy birthday party. This is basically a chance for your dog to have a whole lot of fun with their best canine pals, but it's also the paw-fect excuse for like-minded owners to enjoy some socializing as well.

If your backyard is big enough, then you can host the party at home, but if space is an issue, you can arrange to meet everyone at your local dog park. Then all that's left to do is enjoy the hilarity and undeniable cuteness of a doggy birthday party.

Step
1
Party planning
Take some time to think about the pooches your Irish Mastiff gets along well with, then send out the invitations well in advance. You might want to ask your guests to bring a plate of something, or you might prefer to do all the catering yourself. Don't forget to plan a few doggy party games (like musical statues) and to find a grrr-eat recipe for a dog-friendly birthday cake.
Step
2
Party time!
When the big day arrives, set up some decorations (make sure they're out of the reach of pets if necessary) and get ready for the guests to start turning up. Then it's all about letting your dog enjoy some off-leash fun and games with their friends. There'll be plenty of exercise, plenty of treats, and no shortage of cute moments for you and all the other dog owners to enjoy.
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Play Time

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Dog toys
Ball
Frisbee
Activity description

Got a free afternoon to enjoy with your dog and not entirely sure what to do? You could plan an elaborate outing with all the bells and whistles, but if that sounds like too much effort or cost, then you can just plan a fun afternoon of playtime in your yard.

Dogs don't need you to spend big bucks planning amazing activities for them to enjoy -- for an Irish Mastiff, it's pretty hard to beat an afternoon spent playing games with you. Not only will this give them the exercise and mental stimulation they need, but it'll also help the two of you develop an even stronger bond.

Step
1
Gather everything you need
Get all your dog's favorite toys together and even a few they may not play with all that often -- chew toys, balls, puzzle toys, frisbees, and whatever else you can lay your hands on. Next, find the paw-fect spot in your yard to enjoy some games, whether it be a shaded corner or a sunny spot on the deck.
Step
2
Play
Remember how long you used to spend playing with your Irish Mastiff when they were a puppy? Now is the time to treat your dog to the best play session they've ever had. You can play fetch, tug of war, have a gentle wrestle, chase each other around the yard, and even just spread out on the grass to relax. Whatever you choose, the aim is to spend some quality one-on-one time with your pet -- and to enjoy every second of it!
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More Fun Ideas...

Trick Training

Irish Mastiffs adore their humans and are always eager to please, so why not try teaching your pooch some new tricks? Whether teaching your dog to roll over, bark on command, spin in circles or maybe even learn some doggy dance moves, training will be fun and stimulating for your pet.

Lure Coursing

A great way to tap into your dog's strong prey drive, lure coursing lets your Irish Mastiff harness their natural hunting instincts but without any animals being harmed. Check whether there are any clubs near you offering this fun and fast-paced sport.

Conclusion

Regular exercise and plenty of mental stimulation are essential for your Irish Mastiff's general wellbeing. But as the activities listed above show, there's a wide range of fun and interesting activities you can use to give your massive mutt all the essentials they need to stay happy and healthy. Best of all, whether they're snuggling in front of the TV or tackling their favorite doggy sport, your Irish Mastiff will simply love being able to spend time with you.