Activities For Labahoulas

1k Views
0 Comments
0 Votes

Introduction

The spectacularly speckled Labahoula is the adorable cross between the Labrador Retriever, one of the most paw-pular breeds in the United States, and the hard-working Catahoula Leopard Dog. Since this breed is a cross between two working breeds, the result is often a high-energy pup who needs plenty of paws-itive outlets to channel their spunk. We've compiled a list of activities to keep your spotted pup busy on both the prettiest and dreariest of days.

Scent Games

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Harness
Scent marker
Leash
Activity description
Both Catahoula Leopard Dogs and Labrador Retrievers have deeply rooted histories as hunting dogs, so scent work is what they do best. Scent work is a great way to stimulate your Labahoula's mind in a way that other activities don't.  Scent games can certainly be taken a step further if they are something your dog excels at. For instance, a dog with great tracking abilities may be a good candidate for search and rescue training.
Step
1
Lay the scent
Rub a piece of cloth with a tasty substance (think a hot dog or some peanut butter). Drag the cloth on an open piece of ground and lay one of your pup's favorite treats at the end. This will be the scent trail your pup will follow. Make sure you lay the scent out of your dog's sight.
Step
2
Hit the trail
Strap on your Labahoula's harness and leash, and you're ready to start the fun part: tracking. Let your dog get a whiff of the marker cloth and then let them take the lead to explore the scent path while you hold the leash. When they find the path and lead you to the treat, be sure to give them lots of praise to reinforce the behavior.
Love this activity?

Musical Statues

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description
Musical statues is a game where your dog has to sit completely still while you walk a full circle around them -- kind of like Duck Duck Goose or musical chairs. These games help boost obedience skills, which are super important for an independent breed like the Catahoula Leopard Dog. In addition to strengthening your dog's obedience skills, it also helps your dog learn to calm down fast, which can be especially helpful with bark-happy pooches. Make sure you keep plenty of treats handy to keep your pup's attention during the game.
Step
1
Master the "sit" command
Before your dog can be a real pro at musical statues, they will need to learn how to sit on command. Thankfully for those new to obedience training, this is usually the simplest trick to master. Simply ask your dog to "sit" and then place them in a seated position. Say, "Good sit," and give them a treat. Eventually, your pup will associate the command with the reward and repeat the behavior.
Step
2
Master the "stay" command
After your dog has mastered sitting when prompted, you should then begin teaching the "stay" command; many owners to find this to be more difficult than "sit," especially with impulsive, high-energy dogs like the Labahoula. Gradually work with the "stay" command by slowly increasing the space between you and your dog and increasing the amount of time spent before you "release" them from the stay.
Step
3
Play the game
Once your Labahoula has mastered the "sit" and "stay" commands, it's time to try your paw at playing the game. Start slow at first, taking small steps. Reward your dog only when they stay absolutely still in a sit-stay. This will take some practice, so be patient! Eventually, your dog should stay still as a statue while you run circles around them. This is a furrific way to teach your dog to stay calm in highly stimulating environments!
Love this activity?

Dock Diving

Popular
0 Votes
Hot Day
Free
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Floating Rubber Toy
Activity description

Dock diving is a water sport where dogs compete to see who can jump furthest off a dock. Dock diving is a favorite sport of Labradors, but the Catahoula Leopard Dog has been known to excel at dock diving as well. Both the Catahoula and Labrador have webbed feet that make gliding through the water easier and more efficient; this was particularly an asset to the ancestors of the Lab, who were fishermen's dogs.  

Competitions for this sport are becoming increasingly paw-pular, especially near large bodies of water (no worries, there are dock diving centers with pools too!). Those interested in competing can check out the North American Diving Dogs webpage for information on events nearby.

Step
1
Teach Fido how to swim
Teaching your Labahoula to swim should be a breeze, but it may take some time for them to really master the motions. Do not throw your dog in the water -- this will only make them wary of swimming. Put them at the edge of the water and gently encourage them to explore the water, or even go in yourself. Labahoulas are people-pleasers so getting excited when they do something correctly (like swimming) makes them want to repeat the behavior. Eventually, with plenty of opportunities and lots of encouragement, your pooch will be doggy-paddling like a pro. After all, Labrahoulas are half-Lab, so you'll probably put in more work keeping them OUT of the water!
Step
2
Teach Fido how to fetch
Both Labs and Catahoulas are known to be quite fond of fetch. Teaching your mutt to retrieve shouldn't be too difficult ("retriever" is in their parent's surname). Simply toss a ball or treat-stuffed toy and watch them go after it. Offer gentle praise when they do this correctly. Teaching them to "drop" the toy may be a little more difficult!
Step
3
Dive in
Lead your dog up the to the dock. Get Fido excited by saying "You want the toy?" or "You want to get it?" and shaking the toy. Once you've sufficiently "hyped" your dog, throw the floating toy outward and give the command to, "Get it." Your dog may not want to jump at first, and that's perfectly normal! Just keep encouraging Fido and keep plenty of treats at the ready!
Love this activity?

More Fun Ideas...

Watch a Game Together

Labs love a good game of fetch, and their Catahoula-mixed offspring is no exception. Many dogs enjoy watching baseball games, even on television. Check your local area for times of local baseball games (or little league games) that allow dogs in the stands. Share a hot dog (sans onion) and watch that ball fly! We can almost guarantee your pup will keep their eye on the ball better than the players!

Take a Nap Together

Nothing can recharge your body and soul like good rest, even more so when you are sharing your sleeping space with your four-legged snuggle buddy. Studies have shown that snuggling with your pooch stimulates both the human and canine brains to release feel-good hormones.

Conclusion

Whether your Labahoula is a hardcore nose hound or a laid-back lounge puppy, we hope that this list has inspired you to implement new activities to promote bonding and stress relief for you and your pup. Keep in mind that learning new skills can be a lengthy process, but with a little patience and a lot of praise, your dog can master them and so much more.