Activities For Italian Daniffs

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Introduction

The Italian Daniff is a cross between the Cane Corso Italiano and the Great Dane. Cane Corso Italianos have a long history dating back to ancient Rome, where their ancestors served as war dogs. They were used to herd and protect livestock, as well as for hunting.

Great Danes were also used for hunting wild boar, later becoming the pet of royal families. Great Danes are now considered gentle dogs, but it’s important to remember where they came from.

Italian Daniffs are giant dogs who can weigh up to 130 pounds. This crossbreed requires 30 minutes of exercise per day. Despite their great size, they don’t need a long exercise session. They would do better with several short sessions throughout the day. Here are a few activities to keep your Italian Daniff healthy and happy.

Flirt Pole

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Pole
String
Toy
Activity description

A flirt pole is exactly what it sounds like: a pole with a dog toy attached to the end with string. You can make your own flirt pole or buy one at your local pet store. This is a "grrr-eat" activity for both the human and the dog to get exercise. The dog is encouraged to chase after the toy, while the human keeps it out of their reach. This is an outdoor activity due to your pup’s size. It’s best done in warm weather, but not during the hottest part of the day. If your dog doesn’t take to this activity, you can use flying discs or tennis balls to play a regular game of fetch.

Step
1
Find a pole
Planning to make your own flirt pole? You'll want to use some durable PVC piping or an old fishing pole in case your dog gets a little too rambunctious and breaks the pole. A long, strong stick could work as well.
Step
2
Get some string
The string to attach the toy to the pole can be purchased at your local craft store. The color and texture of the string are up to you, but it should be tough enough to withstand your dog’s pulling. You can also use an old bungee cord or something similar if you can’t find a strong enough string.
Step
3
Attach a toy to the pole
Once you’ve got the fishing pole and the string, attach one of your dog’s favorite toys to the end of the string. Make sure to leave enough string to tease your dog with the toy. When you’re not using the flirt pole, keep it somewhere safe so that your dog doesn’t break the pole or rip off the toy.
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Brisk Walk

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Harness
Towel
Activity description

Italian Daniffs are not dogs that enjoy jogging or running -- a brisk walk is more their speed. You might need to take several short walks throughout the day, especially in the warmer months. You can walk in your neighborhood or at a pet-friendly park. It's always a good idea to plan out your route beforehand to eliminate distractions during the walk. Your dog will most likely drool buckets along the way, so you might also want to bring along a towel. Don’t forget the water!

Step
1
Leash train your pup
Your Italian Daniff should go to obedience classes to learn basic commands. The classes can also help teach you how to train your dog to walk on a leash. When you are walking your dog, they should be at your side with the leash held loosely. They shouldn’t be pulling at you or leading the way.
Step
2
Use a harness for more control
Many people make the mistake of using regular collars on their dogs for walking. This can injure the dog’s neck (or you) if they take off after another dog or small animal. Remember, these dogs were used as hunters and have high prey drives. A harness gives the walker more control over their dog, and it is essential for large dogs.
Step
3
Walk around your neighborhood
Once you’ve got the harness and leash walking skills, you can take your pup on a brisk stroll around your neighborhood or to a local dog-friendly park. Given your dog’s size, other people might find them intimidating. You can buy harnesses and vests that assure people that your dog is friendly and that it is okay to approach them.
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Doggy Play Date

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Any Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Toys
Leash
Activity description

Italian Daniffs are large dogs, but they are also friendly. Great Danes are often called “gentle giants” because of their calm demeanor. Socializing your Italian Daniff is a must, so make an effort to spend time bonding with other dogs (and their owners!) in your area. Once your dog befriends some of the neighborhood dogs, have a doggy play date or a doggy slumber party. Unlike kids, dogs don’t need pizza or other treats at their play dates. All they need is some toys and a lot of room to run.

You can also take your pup to the local off-leash dog park if you can’t find anyone for a play date. The dog park is one big play date, but it is risky without knowing how other dogs will react to your pup.

Step
1
Join a local walking group
If you're not "fur-tunate" enough to live near lots of other dogs, you can find a local dog walking group and join up to find other four-footed friends for your pup's play date. If you don’t have your own fenced-in yard, you can let the dogs play in the house and take them both for walks if you can handle two dogs.
Step
2
Initiate a doggie play date
Once your dog is comfortable with other dogs, invite their owners over for a play date. Dogs often entertain themselves with adorable antics and dog toys. You might also consider adopting another dog so that your pup will have a forever playdate!
Step
3
Supervise play
Even if it is your own dogs playing together, you should supervise them at all times when they're playing. Even friendly dogs can get into a scuffle, and it can happen in an instant. If you are supervising, you are more likely to catch the visual cues of a fight than if you are in another room. This is especially important with such a large dog, as they can do a lot of harm, even unintentionally, to smaller dogs.
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More Fun Ideas...

People Watch

The Great Dane part of your dog is gentle, laid-back and a people lover. If your dog craves attention and pats, take them to a local park so they can observe and interact with people. Given your dog’s size, a “Pet Me” vest might be a great purchase so people are encouraged to approach your dog.

Herding Trials

Part of your pup’s history was herding livestock on farms for generations. Your local area might have herding trials your dog can join to satisfy that herding itch. More farms are taking advantage of the growing popularity of herding and allowing dogs to herd farm animals. The animals are never in any danger and it gives your dog an outlet for their energy.

Conclusion

It might seem like your massive dog needs tons of exercise to stay healthy, but the breed generally doesn’t like to run or jog. Prolonged high-impact exercise can harm their legs. A brisk walk or a play date with another dog are great energy burners. If your dog’s personality is friendly, consider hanging out at a local park to let your dog people watch and learn socialization skills. For more energetic pups, you can use a flirt pole to keep your dog occupied. Herding trials are a great way to tap into your dog’s ancestry as a farmhand. Whatever you choose to do, remember to spice up your pup's activities to keep them stimulated and content.