Activities For Mali-Dutchies

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Introduction

The stunning Mali-Dutchie combines the genes of the Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd into one hybrid pup. The combination results in a large breed characterized by herding instincts and an eagerness to please their owners. The Mali-Dutchie has two highly intelligent parents, making it a bright pooch with lots of "pawtential."

Weighing between 60 to 65 pounds, the Belgian Malinois is a high-energy breed that requires regular mental and physical exercise. Like the Dutch Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois would not be satisfied as a "lazy" house dog; they need to tackle challenges regularly. The Dutch Shepherd is less known than the Belgian Malinois, but they are equally hard-working. Both the Belgian Malinois and the Dutch Shepherd belong to the herding group, which explains their high energy level and need to work. As a result, the Mali-Dutchie requires regular, daily stimulation to keep their brains and bodies busy, and without it, they may turn to destructive behaviors. 

Obedience Lessons

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Healthy Treats
Leash
Activity description

Obedience training is an activity that you can use daily to stimulate your Mali-Duchie's mind, while simultaneously working their bodies. The purpose of obedience training is to teach your dog the norms of social interactions as well as teaching them control and your behavior expectations. 

Teaching your pup how to follow commands will help your pup stay calm in a variety of social situations. Obedience training also strengthens the bond you have with your dog while providing them with much-needed mental stimulation. You should begin training your Mali-Dutchie as early as "pawssible" and continue their lessons throughout their life. The only materials you need for this activity are a leash and treats. Your sessions can range from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on whether you're first introducing a command or just refreshing it with a follow-up session. 

Step
1
Introducing each command
You'll need to introduce your commands one at a time in different training sessions. The initial sessions should be at least 30 minutes long. It's also a good idea to pair your verbal commands with a hand gesture. Treats and positive reinforcement go a long way in obedience training (although, once your pup understands what you want them to do, you can replace treats with praise).
Step
2
Taking it slow
After your dog successfully obeys the command, you'll need to continue practicing, over and over, using positive reinforcement to cement the behavior. The more you practice, the quicker they will learn and the sooner you can remove the treat incentive. After your initial training lessons, 15-minute review sessions should suffice. Review sessions are also a great opportunity to teach a new command.
Step
3
Using commands in real life
Teaching your dog how to follow commands in isolation is "pawfect" for introducing the commands, but they need to learn to apply them to real-world situations. Do this by creating situations for them to practice. You can take your dog on a walk and have them review their "stop and wait" command at each corner. Find fun ways to practice their new commands so that they understand the skills are applicable at all times, not solely during training sessions!
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Brain Games

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Any Day
Free
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Toys
Treats
Activity description

The Mali-Dutchie is highly intelligent and responsive, which is why their brains need regular stimulation. Using brain games is a fun and convenient way to get your Mali-Duchie thinking. There are plenty of games you can play with your pooch both indoors and out which require minimal materials.

Treasure hunt and hide-and-seek are similar in nature because they both require your dog to do some detective work. With the game of treasure hunt, your Mali-Dutchie will search for hidden objects such as their favorite toy. Hide-and-seek with your Mali is the same as with a child, where you hide and they need to seek you out! Finally, toy tidy-up is a fun game that puts your pup's intelligence to the test. Explore each game with your Mali-Dutchie to find what they like best, and alternate between the activities to diversify their exercise schedule. You can play from any between 15 minutes to an hour, depending on their interest level that day.

Step
1
Hide-and-seek
For hide-and-seek, begin by having your pooch sit and stay. Once in position, set off to find a hiding spot. Once in your spot, call to your pooch. Listen carefully while your pup rummages through your home searching for you! If they seem to be having trouble, call again to help them out. When they find you, start over, and pick a more challenging hiding spot!
Step
2
Treasure hunt
Treasure hunt requires you to gather your dog's favorite toys ahead of time and hide them throughout the house. Once hidden, give your pup the command to "seek" and watch as they search. When you first introduce the activity, try rubbing a treat or piece of kibble on the toy or item so your pup can sniff out the scent easily. Introduce them to the scent before sending them to search.
Step
3
Toy tidy-up
For this activity, you will need a large, open storage box for your Mali-Dutchie's toys. First, you need to teach them to put a toy in the box using a specific command. (Giving each toy a "name" will help with this.) Make this a focus of one of your obedience lessons. Once they learn to put the toys in the box, scatter a few on the floor and practice giving the command to have them tidy up. Repeat this multiple times before using the command in real life after your dog has a play session with their favorite toys.
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Treadmill Exercise

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Any Day
Expensive
Normal
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Treadmill
Treats
Activity description

One way to ensure your Mali-Dutchie gets a walk daily, regardless of the weather outside, is by using a treadmill for training. This is easy if you already own a treadmill. If you don't own one, you will need to purchase one for this activity or find a facility which allows dogs to use treadmills. (Canine rehabilitation centers are always a good bet.)

Once you have access to a treadmill, you will need to use conditioning to teach your dog how to use it. You can incorporate these sessions into your obedience training. After your dog has learned how to use the treadmill, it's easy to incorporate the activity into their daily schedule to improve their endurance and maintain a healthy weight.

Step
1
Setting up the treadmill
If you don't already own a treadmill, you need to get one for your first step. Once you have it, set up your treadmill in a location with plenty of space. This open space is necessary in case your pup jumps or falls off the machine. Be sure there are no breakable objects around the machine.
Step
2
Getting to know the treadmill
Both you and your Mali-Dutchie need to get to know the treadmill before you can train on it. Turn it on and try it out so that you can learn the controls without your pup around. Next, let them check out the treadmill on their own, with the machine off. Let them sniff it, climb on it and look at it before you get them to mount it and start walking.
Step
3
Start at low speeds
Once your pooch is comfortable with the treadmill both off and on, you can get started. First, have them climb on while on a leash. Then, turn the treadmill on low, and by gently pulling the leash, get your dog to walk. Reward them with treats and/or praise throughout the process to encourage them. After they master a slow pace, turn up the speed slightly. Do not overwhelm or scare your Mali-Dutchie by going too fast too soon. Build up to a run using many sessions and once there, let them use the treadmill regularly.
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More Fun Ideas...

Agility Training

Mentally and physically exert your Mali-Dutchie by building an agility course and teaching them how to navigate it. You'll need to teach each obstacle one at a time, only moving on to the next obstacle once your pooch has mastered the last one. When your pup gets the hang of it, you can command your pal through the course whenever they need a workout!

Scent Tracking

This activity involves your pup using their superior sniffer to track a pre-laid scent trail. Expert trackers participate in competitions with track length stipulations and rules. You can try the activity yourself at home by setting tracks in your own backyard. You can lay treats to train your pooch to track before putting their skills to the test.

Conclusion

Mali-Dutchies are large dogs that are highly intelligent, responsive and capable. Without daily stimulation, this breed will become bored and can exhibit destructive behaviors. If you plan to own a Mali-Dutchie, or already do, you need to invest at least two hours daily to provide them with mental and physical stimulation.

You can easily accomplish this by combining a variety of activities throughout their day. For example, work your pooch with some morning obedience lessons and then allow them to exert any excess energy by completing a backyard agility course or taking a run on the treadmill. Challenge them with a brain game in the afternoon, such as hide-and-seek, treasure hunt, or toy tidy-up. Tracking is another activity that works both their bodies and minds. Nourish your Mali-Dutchie's intelligence and physical ability by providing them with ample outlets and activities to explore each day.