Activities For Large, Easy To Train Dogs

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Introduction

You own a Saint Bernard, a Mastiff, or an Irish Wolfhound. Perhaps you own a Rottie or Doberman. Maybe your large dog is a mixed breed pup. Regardless of the breed of your large dog, your pooch needs daily activity - both mental and physical stimulation. Furthermore, your dog relies on you to provide this activity. Never fear, there are multiple fun activities you can partake in with your pup in order to keep them busy. If you find that your dog is fairly easy to train, there are several fun and stimulating activities you can do with your dog in order to provide the activity they need and keep them out of mischief.

Flirt Pole

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Stick
jute string
a favorite toy
Activity description
The flirt pole can be considered fishing for your dog. With larger dogs, this game is especially easy. You can make your own "flirt pole," or you can buy one at any pet supply store. If you choose to make your own, you might want to utilize an old fishing pole that is somewhat flexible, yet sturdy enough to withstand any tugging action from your large dog. Jute string, which can be found in the craft section of any local store, makes a strong choice for your "fishing string." You can attach a toy, even a favorite one. However, remember that you'll likely need to drill a hole in the chosen toy.
Step
1
Attach the toy
While I do encourage you to use a toy that your pup already likes, keep in mind that you will need to drill at least one hole in the toy in order to use it properly. If you use one of your pup's favorite toys, it might not be suitable for play with anything else other than the flirt pole. Attach the toy securely to the pole using the jute string.
Step
2
Have fun!
This game can be played indoors or outdoors, rain or shine. If inside, you can play this game while seated and watching television. If outdoors, you can benefit from some physical activity as well! Run alongside your dog while holding the pole up for them to jump at and chase. Some owners say that when playing outside with the flirt pole, they are just as active as their dog!
Step
3
Work on release command
Some owners use this flirt pole to work on the "release" command with their dogs. Some say they are even able to forgo using treats of kibble as a reward for learning the release command because, for the dog, being able to resume play is a reward in itself!
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IQ Test

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
puzzle toys
3 opaque cups (like a Solo cup)
treats
Activity description
Testing your dog's IQ might be easier than you think! There are a number of ways to judge your dog's intelligence. First, consider your dog's behavior! Does your pup tend to get into mischief? Think of your pup like a bored toddler. The more shenanigans that the pup gets into, the more intelligent they are likely to be! This is especially true if you find your pup coming up with enterprising ways to get to food on the counter or to get a toy that you stored in a place you thought was out of reach. There is an official test (Dognition, see below), and there are other games you can play with your pup in order to judge his canine IQ.
Step
1
Let's play puzzles
Utilizing a toy such as the Kong or another food-puzzle toy, engage your pup in some interactive play. The food puzzle toy has an opening at both ends. You will place food inside the toy, and it is up to your pup to shake, rattle, and chewing until the treat falls out of the food puzzle.
Step
2
Play hide and seek
Grab three Solo-style cups and a treat or a small tennis ball. Allow your dog to see you hide a treat (for the initial round) under one of the cups. If you wish, set the cups up a few feet apart and walk around the cups to distract the dog. Then, tell the dog to find the treat and see just how well the dog's recall works.
Step
3
Dognition
You can go through a series of steps inspired by Dr. Brian Hare known as Dognition. Dr. Hare created nine levels of intelligence for canines taking his Dognition intelligence test. Dognition is a total of twenty tests that can be performed with ordinary items in the home. You record the results and send them in, and you are given a full report on your easy to train dog within a few weeks.
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Indoor Dog Park

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
45 min
Items needed
treadmill
treats
obstacle course
Activity description
An indoor dog park is a great way to get yourself some time out of the house, and the socialization and activity that you will receive when you attend an indoor park is beneficial to both you and your dog. Keep in mind that you can also make your own indoor park if you have a few tools around the house to do so. You can take some terra cotta flower pots, turn them upside down, and place a broomstick across them to simulate a jump in an obstacle course. Grab two bar stools that are tall enough for your dog to walk under. There are many things you can utilize in your own home in order to complete this fun activity.
Step
1
Hit the treadmill
Don't live near an indoor dog park? You can utilize your own treadmill at home. For pups that have never been on a treadmill before, you will want to start slowly. Keep your pup in the middle of the traction strip so that their feet don't get caught in the machine.
Step
2
Go through the obstacle course
If you do not live near an indoor dog park, you can still create your own obstacle course. You can do this indoors, or you can set up a few things outdoors if weather permits. You can utilize flower pots and a broom to fashion a hurtle, or bar stools can be placed strategically for your pal to walk under in order to make an indoor obstacle course.
Step
3
Get social
One of the most important benefits of the indoor dog park is the social aspect. Not only will you get to hang out with other pet parents, but you will also see your pup benefit from spending time with other dogs.
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More Fun Ideas...

Fetch and Tug

One of the most instinctual games for dogs is Go Fetch or Fetch and Tug. These are great games that will help your pup release any pent-up energy.

Swimming

Swimming is fun for any dog, particularly if he is a large dog such as a Labrador Retriever or an Irish Water Spaniel. Scout a dog-friendly beach for some fun in the sand and surf.

Conclusion

It is always important to give any dog adequate exercise; however, you will want to give larger, easy to train dogs activity appropriate to their age and activity level. You can use home-made toys and obstacle courses in order to exercise indoors. You can also move outside and utilize your backyard to provide adequate activity for your pup. Keep in mind that some larger dogs are prone to joint issues such as dysplasia and arthritis. Try to keep activities low-impact in order to prevent injury. Enjoy your bonding time with your dog!