Activities For Irish Water Spaniels

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Introduction

The Irish Water Spaniel is a strikingly attractive dog with an energy level and an intelligence to match! Denoted by the breed's name, the pup is happy in the water. The breed was developed to assist hunters by retrieving fallen waterfowl. The Irish Water Spaniel is a highly energetic dog that requires a great deal of exercise to be happy and to prevent the dog's getting into mischief. While you might not be taking the pup out into a duck blind, you can still provide great exercise for the Irish Water Spaniel by playing games of fetch, taking long walks, and consistently working on commands.

Twist on Fetch

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
scented ball
treats
Activity description
The Irish Water Spaniel is a natural born retriever. Why not utilize this ability to have a little fun with your pup? The trick is teaching your pup how to play fetch using the command "Find it." Begin by rolling a ball in your hallway or another tiled area. Always use the command "find it" (as opposed to "go get it"). You'll begin to scent the ball and hiding it in other areas of the house. Then you'll tell the pup to "find it," and, in no time, the Irish Springer Spaniel will be hunting for their favorite toy.
Step
1
Get a grip on fetch
The first six months of your pup's life should be devoted to socialization and housebreaking. Once your dog is a little older, you can begin introducing games and fun activities. One of these games (and one that is a natural for this breed) is fetch. Make sure that your pup understands what you expect while playing fetch before you move on to another game.
Step
2
Teach the game
At first, you might want to allow your pup to watch as you "hide" the scented ball. (You scent the ball by slicing open a hot dog and rubbing the insides on the ball.) Now, use the command "find it." Your highly intelligent Irish Water Spaniel will adapt to the game quickly.
Step
3
Up the difficulty
Once the dog has gotten accustomed to finding the scented ball, now you can begin hiding the ball in different places. Make sure that your pup is outside of the room when you hide the ball. Then, call the pup into the room and tell the dog to find it. The expert nose of the Irish Water Spaniel will sniff out the ball in no time.
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Clean Up

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Any Day
Free
Normal
15 min
Items needed
toy basket
toys
Activity description
Many pet parents will readily share that their pets are like children. Pups often get out all their toys, and, well, make a mess that rivals anything a toddler can do. What is a pet parent to do in this instance? Teach the dog to pick up their own toys! First, you'll need to introduce the basket. The dog may need a few repetitive trials to understand that the basket is the storage place for the toys. You'll also need for the pup to understand the command "give" before you can begin training the pup to put their toys away.
Step
1
Teach "give"
Your pup will need to understand the command "give" before you can begin teaching the dog how to put up their toys. Scatter your dog's toys on the floor. Your dog will naturally pick up a toy. Hold out your hand and say "give." You may have to do this a few times before the dog understands that you want them to give you the toy to put in the basket.
Step
2
Introduce the basket
A good idea is to keep a basket containing your dog's toys handy for some time before you begin teaching this game. Make sure that your pup knows that the toys are stored in this place. When your dog can successfully give you the toy, then keep the dog's attention while you place toys in the basket.
Step
3
Put the knowledge to use
A good idea to utilize is speaking the same command each time the pup picks up a toy. Tell the dog to pick it up. Do this each time that you see the dog with a toy in their mouth. Eventually, the pup will understand that you wish for them to put the toys into the basket when they are done playing.
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Tug of War Twist

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
rope toy
Activity description
The game of tug of war is one of the most typical games pet parents play with their dogs. Many people avoid this game with their dogs, particularly because some believe that the game has the potential to make their dogs aggressive. This need not be the case if you teach your pup properly! You will need to teach some commands prior to playing this game, and you may have to take some breaks from the game. However, played correctly, this game has the potential to strengthen your dog physically while requiring the dog to obey you when asked.
Step
1
Teach the commands
In order to teach this game without promoting aggression in your dog, begin by teaching the dog commands. Your dog will already likely know "find it" from playing Hide and Seek. Add "leave it" to the list of commands the dog must know in order to play this game successfully.
Step
2
Teach "leave It" and use it
If you believe that your pup is becoming too aggressive during the game, then say "leave it" once. Then, put your hands by your sides and do not move them (so that the dog will understand that you are not pulling the toy away). Eventually, the dog will stop tugging.
Step
3
Practice patience
In some ways, teaching the leave command is a way of letting the dog win. The main idea is for you to gain and maintain control throughout the game. If your dog seems too aggressive during the game, take a break for a few days.
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More Fun Ideas...

Scent Trials

The Irish Water Spaniel is a hunting dog, and the pup will be very happy utilizing their nose to follow a scent trail. Many dog clubs sponsor actual trials that you and your pal can participate in.

Swimming

The Irish Water Spaniel is naturally happy in water; however, be sure that the dog is completely able to swim before leaving the pup unattended in the water. A swim vest is always recommended even for the best of swimmers.

Conclusion

The Irish Water Spaniel is a delightfully intelligent dog that naturally has a high amount of energy. This energy makes the pup a great companion while hunting waterfowl, but, it can make the breed a tad challenging when living as a pet. However, there are many great games you can play with the Irish Water Spaniel that will help the pup to expound that energy - and save your sanity. Take the time to teach them what you expect, and you will be able to engage the breed in a variety of activities.