Activities For Irish Terriers

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Introduction

Irish Terriers are smart, courageous, and determined little dogs who love their families even more than they love chasing vermin out of the yard. These funny, medium-sized dogs need plenty of attention and training to make sure they understand their place in the family. Activities for Irish Terriers should keep them mentally challenged as well as physically. Being terriers, their instincts can often override their common sense and lead them into trouble. Find activities that help them with impulse control and lead them to find purpose with a "job" like agility or other dog sports.

Agility Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Treats
Agility Obstacles
Activity description
Agility is one of the most well-known dog sports in the country. It's also one of the best activities for Irish Terriers because it challenges them both mentally and physically. In agility, a human and dog team are required to navigate various obstacles at speed, with the human giving instructions on how the dog should complete each task. The dog must control their urge to run through the course and play close attention to the cues given by the human. It takes trust, communication, and lots of energy to complete an agility course. Your Irish Terrier will enjoy each new challenge.
Step
1
Basic training
Before you can set paws on an agility course, it's a good idea to work with your dog on basic obedience and commands. Now only does learning how to come, sit, and stay keep your dog safe and limit distractions, but it's also the foundation of your working relationship. Irish Terriers can be difficult to train, so make sure you find a trainer or class who is familiar with this breed. They can give you the skills you need to work with your dog.
Step
2
Join a class
Once your dog has graduated from basic obedience school, you can enroll them in a class for basic agility. Look for an agility center near you to find recommendations. Many agility centers have coaches and offer classes to help people learn the basics. Your coach will show you how to work through each obstacle and teach you and your dog new commands. Try to practice as much as you can between classes either at home or at the agility center.
Step
3
Never stop learning
You may find your feisty terrier changes their whole demeanor when doing agility. Instead of being distracted by every noise and sound, they become focused and driven. Keep challenging your Irish Terrier through new obstacles and combinations. There is always something new to learn or improve in agility. The relationship you form through this focused and challenging work will help them perform better each day.
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Flyball

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Tennis ball
Hurdles
Flyball box
Activity description
Flyball is one of the most perfect activities for Irish Terriers because it combines their love of chasing balls with their need to run and play. This fun team sport requires a dog to run through a course of hurdles, step on a box to release a tennis ball, catch the tennis ball in their mouth, and run home as fast as they can so the next dog on the team can start. Any kind of dog can be part of a team, and the hurdles are set for the lowest dog on the team. Flyball requires equal parts running like a maniac, and concentrating on the task at hand.
Step
1
Tennis ball catch
The first step to mastering fly ball is to teach your Irish Terrier to catch the tennis ball in the air. You don't want them to let it drop and then pick it up, so practice tossing the ball from a close distance right to them. Each time they catch the ball (or attempt to catch it) give them praise. If they let the ball drop, try again. Soon they will be catching the ball right out of the air each time.
Step
2
Hurdles
The next step is learning how to jump over the hurdles in succession. Start with one hurdle and lure your dog over it in each direction with a ball. When they are comfortable with one hurdle, you can add another until there are three. When they feel comfortable following the lure over the hurdle, you can try tossing a ball across all three hurdles and encouraging your dog to fetch the ball. In flyball, they will have to run over three hurdles to reach the flyball box.
Step
3
Flyball box
The last piece can sometimes be the hardest to train. Your dog will need to step on a spring-loaded box to release a tennis ball. When you introduce the box, give them a treat each time they get near the box. Once they know the box means treats, only treat them when they place their paws on the box. When they are touching the box with their paws, treat them when they put pressure on the box. Once they put enough pressure on the box, they will release the ball! It won't take long for them to learn how to release the tennis ball. Now it's time to put all these skills together and join a flyball team.
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Follow the Leader

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Treats
Obstacles
Activity description
Follow the leader is a great activity for Irish Terriers because you can play in any kind of weather and it's a wonderful bonding activity. You play follow the leader with dogs much the same way you play with other children, and it's so much fun to watch your dog as they figure out the game and follow along with you everywhere you go. You can make interesting challenges for them to maneuver through and keep their attention when you turn them into the leader. Irish Terriers love nothing more than to be with their people, and this game will soon be a favorite.
Step
1
Follow me
First, you need to teach your dog to follow behind you with the "follow me" command. You can start by using a treat to lure them right behind your back. Introduce "follow me" when they are consistently moving right behind you. Start walking forward and keep them behind you with treats. Soon they will learn to follow behind you even when you are moving.
Step
2
Obstacles
Now that your dog can fall in line right behind you, it's time to challenge them with a variety of new obstacles. Always try to change up where you go when you play the game, and give them some interesting maneuvers to do. You can crawl under a table or a high chair or walk over a bridge. Be creative in your paths and your dog will always be concentrating on where you are and what you will do next.
Step
3
Switch leaders
Once your dog has become following you through a variety of paths and obstacles, you can turn the tables and follow them. Create a release word for "follow me" and use it to make the dog the leader. It may take a little while for them to switch roles, but following your dog can be a fun and interesting experience too. This game of following the leader is perfect for rainy days and will leave your dog feeling loved and happy.
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More Fun Ideas...

Fetch

Irish terriers were born to fetch! They love chasing anything that moves and will catch a ball or frisbee as long as you will throw it.

Long walks

Irish terriers are always ready to take a walk with you. They love to explore new places and smell all the scents they can.

Conclusion

Activities for Irish Terriers should be active and mentally challenging to make sure they get everything they need to stay out of trouble. These loving, family dogs want nothing more to protect their owners and chase anything that moves! With proper training and socialization, these medium sized dogs can make great family pets. They excel at mental and working dog sports because it helps them with impulse control and gives them an important "job" to do. Though they are good with people if socialized well, they can be aggressive or challenging to other dogs. They don't know their size or limits, so it's up to you to keep them safe.