Activities For Lab'Aires

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Introduction

What could be a cuter mix than a Lab'Aire, a cross between an Airedale Terrier and a Labrador Retriever? It's like having a Lab with whiskers! They are an athletic breed and are talented at seeking and finding, so base activities for this dog around these natural characteristics. A good long walk or run is always an option and should be a regular activity, but use your imagination to offer your dog some variety in their day. They respond well to positive training techniques and also enjoy swimming, beachcombing, or river kayaking. Variety is the spice of life, and it is the same for our dogs. Doing the same old activities each day is boring! Shake the tree a little, do something different, and your dog will become a happy and contented pooch!

Agility Table

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Any Day
Free
Hard
30 min
Items needed
Leash
Small Table
Activity description
The Lab'Aire Dog is an athlete and loves to do challenging things. Build a simple agility table for a very low cost and teach your clever companion to jump up, stay put, and drop down again. It is quite strenuous, so consider your dog's fitness before trying the activity. If your pup has been a bit of slouch over the winter, start this training slowly, starting at five minutes of instruction and increasing it as they get fitter.  Ideally, train without the leash but if your dog still hasn't mastered the 'come back' or 'stay' command, then keep it on. Doing so means you will have to run with your dog which isn't a bad thing, as you will both get fit together each day as you practice in the backyard!
Step
1
Make it fun
First and foremost, teach the agility table in a fun way. Start with a table about 8 inches off the ground. Lead your Lab'Aire to the table and motion for them to jump on the table while stating "table". Once they are on the table, use a treat to encourage them to put their head down on the surface of the table. Then, guide the rest of their body down. Soon, your clever athlete will assume this position each time they jump up.
Step
2
Going to the next stage
Once your Lab'Aire has learned to jump and stay, work on speed. You will want your pup to run to the table, and assume the down position in quick succession. You can set up a course of a few tables, and vary the height. Once they have done it a few times give them a break. Let them learn at their own pace and never make training boring or stressful or your dog will not want to do it. Be positive and patient and they will get there.
Step
3
Doing a circuit
Once your dog is a pro at this game, then you can use all the tables around you to give your dog a circuit. You may need to run with them if the tables are apart, but instruct as you run. Get them to stop and stay on some tables, with others, you could make them go up one side, over the top and down the other side and then get them to reverse the direction. As you can see, it can be a real workout for your dog. Have plenty of water and rest breaks. There is nothing better than seeing a well-trained dog who craves to please their human. You can see it on their faces, they are fully focused. Remember to praise them for all their efforts, and reward them well for all the energy they have worn off!
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Wet and Windy

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Rainy Day
Free
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Wet weather gear
Leash
Waste Bags
Activity description
If your Lab'Aire dog is quite young, the feeling of the wind in their ears as they walk can make them act silly. Don't put off a walk even if it is raining. Yes, you may get a bit wet, but you can soon get dry once you are home. And it will be a whole new dimension to walking the dog. All those puddles to explore, and the rain and the wind to battle will be part of the fun. It will all be a fun experience for your dog. The beauty of walking in the rain is that hardly anyone else goes out, so you have the paths and parks to yourself. Of course, use common sense - if a hurricane is approaching this is not a good option! But on a gentle rain and windy day, it makes a refreshing change for both you and your pup. So go and explore!
Step
1
Open the door and go
Sometimes we have to force ourselves to go out on grey, raining days. The comfort of home is enticing. But your dog still needs to be exercised, and a wet day can be pleasantly surprising - it is often quiet on the streets and the whole place has a different feel to it. Your dog will have the run of the parks unless you meet some other adventurous soul who has braved the weather. Toss a stick or two for your dog to chase; they will charge right through the puddles, so stand back! Let them burn off some energy running up and down the path - just make sure they keep reasonably close to you and don't get distracted by other creatures.
Step
2
Toss in some training
If the rain and wind are not too heavy, do a bit of spot training for ten minutes or so. Go over the commands you use to ensure your dog remembers each one. Then for fun, take them on the merry-go-round if there is one at the park. Because there are no children around, your dog can enjoy some games in the kid's area. You may even find yourself having a swing in the rain. Between fetch the stick, hide the branch and playing on the playground, your dog will get a good workout before they go home!
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Marathon Walk

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog backpack
Water
Treats
Waste Bags
Activity description
Raising money for charity is always a great occupation to get involved with as it is usually for a good cause. While a running marathon might be out of your league, a walking marathon can be a way to participate and have fun raising money. Often the organizers encourage teams to dress up, so you and your dog can wear matching hats or scarves for an adorable look. The crowd will be exciting for your dog; make sure they are on the leash for their protection, you wouldn't want to lose them! Be aware that hot days can dehydrate your dog - keep a watch to ensure they are alright. Walk your own pace, and enjoy the activity. This event is a tremendous socialization outing for your dog and is useful for testing their obedience. Give them loads of encouragement and remember to get a photo taken as you pass the finish line with your Lab'Aire.
Step
1
Prepare your dog
It always pays to be a bit proactive and do some preparation work before a marathon, even if you are only walking. Take your dog out for walks a few times a day and increase the distance until it is approximately the distance you will walk on the marathon day. Make sure you have good shoes and break them in, and get your dog prepared by taking them to mix in crowded areas so that they won't be overcome by the large number of competitors on walk day. Best you check that dogs are allowed to compete - some organizers will allow them while others won't.
Step
2
Marathon day
As you walk along you will meet many people and their dogs so it is a great way to make friends - for you and your dog! At the close of the day, give your dog exuberant hugs and pats after you pass the finish line, they are a champion! Usually, you can sit and relax after the walk and watch the final walkers stroll through the finish line. A long drink of water and a treat for your dog will be appreciated. If your family or friends have turned out to support you it will be a fun day. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of having done something to help less fortunate people.
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More Fun Ideas...

Diving For Toys

If you have a pool and it is a hot day, teach your dog to dive for a toy. As this is instinctual behavior, it won't take them long to master this. Just throw a toy in the water and ask them to fetch. If the toy sinks, they will go after it if you start at the shallow end first. Most dogs love this activity, but not all dogs. So if your dog is reluctant to play this game, let them off the hook. They can't be great at everything! But if they are keen, you will have a game that they will love.

Extra Attention

Your Lab'Aire is a friendly dog; they love to be with you and enjoy any attention they can get. A nice belly rub, ear scratch or even just a great big hug will make your dog feel special. Get out the brush and gently stroke their coat, or use a hand mitt to brush out the loose hair. Take the time to sit and play with your dog; the dog to human bond is wonderful, so show your dog how much you love them.

Conclusion

Whether riding in the car or taking a stroll down the center of town, your Lab'Aire Dog will attract attention. They are a friendly breed of dog and love to meet and greet. Encourage this as it allows them to develop their personality and become a confident dog. Training them in a public area is an excellent test for their powers of focus. Should they listen to you, or chase that flock of pesky birds? When they resist such temptation, they deserve a reward! Walk them to the library, let them rest in the shade while you choose your books, and let them help you carry them home in their backpack. Helping you makes them feel good, and the smile on their face will confirm that. A dog with a purpose is a happy tail wagger!