Activities For Irish Saint Terriers

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Introduction

Irish Saint Terriers are a combination of the Saint Bernard and Irish Terrier breeds. Medium to large in size, your Irish Sant Terrier needs a moderate amount of daily exercise. A brisk 45 minutes of activity should keep your dog mentally stimulated. It also helps keep your dog’s weight in check, as obesity can be common in Saint Bernards.

Irish Terriers got their start as messenger dogs, and Saint Bernards have been used for tracking and rescuing in the snowy Alps for centuries. As a result, your pup will be highly intelligent and eager to spend most of their time outdoors. If you live in a cold weather climate, expect your Irish Saint Terrier to prefer to take a nap on a snowy porch instead of a couch.  

Build a Snowman

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Cold Day
Free
Easy
45 min
Items needed
Shovel
Gloves
Activity description

If you live in a place where it snows for six months out of the year, your pup will think they’re in heaven! If you have a fenced-in yard or well-trained pup, you can build a snowman with your dog’s supervision. The activity is free; all you need is snow and warm clothes. Don’t forget the gloves for a snowball war with your pooch.

It may be more difficult to get your dog to come back inside after the snowman is built. You might want to avoid the yellow snow while you are chasing Fido down. Have your dog fetch the sticks for the snowman’s arms to work off some of that energy.

Step
1
Let it snow
Building a snowman with your pup requires, well, snow. If you live in a warm climate, you could build a sandcastle on a dog-friendly beach or bury your pup in the sand instead. While your pup might be willing to go out in any weather, make sure it’s not too cold outside. You can buy doggie boots to protect your dog’s paws.
Step
2
Build snowman
The actual building of the snowman is done by you (or your kids) but Fido will enjoy helping you roll the ball of snow until it is big enough. While you build, involve the dog by throwing loose snowballs in the air for them to fetch or let them romp in the snow. Once your snowman is complete, you might want to wait until your pup is indoors before adding the carrot nose.
Step
3
Have your pup fetch the sticks
One important part of the snowman is the stick arms. After the snowman is built, you can have Fido fetch a few sticks if you have a wooded area nearby. Put two on the snowman and use one for a short game of fetch. As the snowman starts to melt, you can let Fido destroy it and play with the sticks. As a bonus, hide a toy in the snowman when you make it. Your pup will be super excited to see it when it melts.
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Field Trip

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Any Day
Free
Easy
45 min
Items needed
Harness
Leash
"Pet Me" vest
Activity description

If your Irish Saint Terrier is friendly and sociable, why not take a field trip to your local hospital or nursing home to brighten everyone’s day? Finding a dog-friendly place to take Fido for visits shouldn’t be too difficult. But if you don’t have any luck, you can get your pup into therapy dog classes and train them to become a full-fledged therapy dog.

Those classes can be pricey, but the occasional field trip only costs gas. Some people might be intimidated by your dog’s size. A vest or harness that says “Pet Me” can be easily purchased online or even in your local pet store.

Step
1
Find a dog-friendly nursing home
Nursing homes might be more willing to let you pup visit than hospitals. The first thing you need to do is find a nursing home that is dog-friendly and open to field trips. This may involve a meet-and-greet with the head of the nursing home, but your pup is sure to win them over.
Step
2
Purchase a "Pet Me" vest
Irish Saint Terriers are quite large, which makes some people nervous about petting them. A lot of people have phobias of large dogs, no matter how sweet they are. A vest that declares “Pet Me” lets people know your dog is friendly and can be approached. Your pup will love all the extra pats the vest gets them.
Step
3
Make someone's day
Older people in nursing homes often have to give away their beloved pets to family members. They will love the opportunity to give your dog some love and attention. Your pup will be beside themselves with all the attention from strangers. Bringing your dog to a nursing home is a great way to make someone’s day. And your dog’s day, too! Just watch out that their tail doesn’t knock anyone over.
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Follow the Leader

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Any Day
Free
Easy
45 min
Items needed
Treats
Obstacles
Activity description

The Follow the Leader game is a great way to teach your pup obedience in the form of a game. It teaches your dog to listen to you and treat you like the alpha. After the game has been perfected, you can switch roles and you follow the dog. That keeps the game fresh so your pup won’t get bored.

This is an indoor activity and all you really need is treats, which you probably already have in the house. Once your pup has mastered following you, you can add obstacles (chairs, etc.) to make it more fun for the both of you.

Step
1
Teach "follow me" command
The “follow me” command is pretty easy to teach dogs, given that they tend to follow their owners everywhere — even to the bathroom. All you need to do is give your dogs treats or praise while saying “follow me.” Your pup should pick up on the command very quickly and it can be useful in many situations outside of the game.
Step
2
Add obstacles
Playing the same game over and over again can be as boring to dogs as it can be to you. Once your dog has mastered the “follow me” command, throw in some obstacles. The obstacles can be as simple as going up or down stairs. You can also crawl under tables or chairs and encourage your pup to follow you.
Step
3
Follow the dog
After you’ve trained your dog to follow you through obstacles, you can turn the tables on Fido. Teach them to be the leader and you follow behind. This trick can be used at another time for a game of hide and seek. To your dog, you following them can be considered a game of chase, so it is best to do it indoors or an enclosed area so your pup can’t run off.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hiking

The Saint Bernard part of your Irish Saint Terrier will love getting out on the trails and back into their natural instinct of climbing mountains. They enjoy the cool weather but don't do well in hot climates, so be sure you are hiking on a cooler day. If you feel really ambitious, you could train your pup in search and rescues and volunteer with your local fire department.

Stuffed Chew Toy

Most dogs love chew toys, and this is especially true for Saint Bernards. If you have a busy day and can’t find time to exercise your pup, try a chew toy stuffed with peanut butter. If you can, put it in the freezer for a few hours ahead of time to make it even more fun for these cold-climate fur-babies.

Conclusion

Irish Saint Terriers make fantastic watchdogs, but when they aren’t on guard, they can be clumsy doofuses. They are great family dogs, but can accidentally knock over smaller children. Bigger dogs usually don’t know how big they really are. 

A great way to keep the hijinks to a minimum is daily exercise that lets your pup work off energy and turn into a couch potato. Follow the leader or giving Fido a chew toy stuffed with peanut butter are two indoor activities you can do. Your dog will most likely prefer the great outdoors. Hikes, building a snowman or a field trip to visit senior citizens are all activities that your four-legged pal will enjoy.