Activities For Min Pin Shepherds

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Introduction

Owners of Min Pin Shepherds may have a hard time finding information on these relatively new hybrids, originating in the 2000s. A cross between the German Shepherd and Mini Pinscher, the Min Pin Shepherds aren't recognized yet by designer kennel clubs or registries, but they are beautiful, stubborn, and smart mixes. 

With an average height somewhere between 20 and 25 inches tall and a weight between 45 and 60 pounds, these medium-sized dogs tend to need enough space to go with their energy and size. They are very active dogs and require a lot of exercise and play time.

Since the Min Pin Shepherd is quite obstinate and strong-willed as well as highly intelligent, owners of this hybrid need to be ready to assert their dominance in a loving yet consistent way.

Obedience Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Harness and leash
Treats
Clicker
Activity description

There are no "bones" about it - obedience training is a must for this strong-willed pup. Owners who neglect to teach their Min Pin Shepherd the basic commands have trouble corralling their independent dogs and this often leads to problems in the household.

Obedience training does not have to be done in a class, but if you find one in your area that fits your budget and has a highly recommended instructor teaching it, you might find it easier to train Fido than should you do it yourself. 

Either way you choose, the most important aspects of obedience training are consistency and repetition. 

Step
1
Find an obedience class
When it comes time to find an obedience class, it's important to read the reviews thoroughly. Just because the class is near you and in your budget doesn't mean it's going to be a good fit for Fido. An instructor who doesn't know what they are doing or is a better fit for a military academy isn't the way to go. Your Min Pin Shepherd is smart and will know quickly whether the teacher can be trusted. If Fido is not comfortable, you're wasting your time and money.
Step
2
Sign up and go
When you find the class that fits your location and your budget and also has a trainer that comes highly recommended, call early! Some obedience classes have specific requirements, such as shot records, clickers for training, or a harness. You don't want to be turned away at the door because you weren't prepared. Try to get there early, too, so Fido isn't intimidated walking on a leash into a room full of unknown dogs. This is never comfortable for any dog.
Step
3
Practice, practice, practice
You thought obedience class was just for Fido? Nope! You have to learn what the teacher is teaching your pup and apply it at home consistently. If they are using the clicker method, you need to use that, too. If it's treats and praise that work for training, that's what you need to practice with, within reason. Fido's energy isn't going to let them get out of shape, but too many treats are never healthy for pets. Remember, practice makes perfect, and for your stubborn dog, you may need a lot of repetition and practice!
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Swimming

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Doggy life vest
Activity description
Min Pin Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, so while it's important that they get a lot of activity, you have to be careful what kind of exercise is it that you are providing them. Long walks on concrete and other hard or unlevel surfaces are dangerous to them. Instead, if your dog enjoys water, swimming is the "pawfect" activity for these hybrid pups. It ensures that there is no weight put on their hips and still lets them get the exercise they need to get rid of some of that excess energy! Not all dogs enjoy water, though, so take it slow for the first few times and don't push your pup to do something they are not comfortable with.
Step
1
Suit up
No matter how good of a swimmer Fido is, it's always a smart idea to use a doggy life vest unless you are in a wading pool Accidents can happen, and it's easier for you to get yourself and your pup to safety if they - and you - are in a vest. Even backyard swimming pools are places where accidents can occur, and it is always better to be safe than sorry in an activity that has the potential to be dangerous, like swimming.
Step
2
Go slow
Try not to start with a full-body immersion first if you can help it. Sometimes it's difficult if you have a pool that is all one height, but if you can let Fido wade into the water, it helps them feel more secure. Don't rush your dog. Let them take time to learn this new feeling. As they see you go out further, they will naturally want to join you. Eventually, you will both hit a point where Fido can't touch the ground anymore and you can begin the swimming training.
Step
3
Swim!
The life vest will help Fido buoyantly move through the water, but it's your job to teach them how to control the movements. Move just out of your pup's reach and call them over to you, praise your pup once they start learning the basics of doggy paddling, and then, as they are comfortable, you can both start becoming more active and swim together. However, even though your Min Pin Shepherd is full of energy, swimming is a tiring activity. Keep an eye on your pup and don't overdo it. An hour is more than enough time to be in the water.
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Walking

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
15 min
Items needed
Harness and leash
Water and dish
Activity description

With pets who are prone to hip dysplasia, low impact exercise is key to keeping the condition from getting even worse. You want to be able to take your dog for a walk, but you have to plan ahead since you can't just take them to any road or dog park and head out. 

If your dog has active hip dysplasia, regular low-impact exercise can actually help reduce the pain this condition causes to Fido's joints and even improve tendon and muscle strength. However, avoiding hard and unlevel surfaces is a must, otherwise, you can make the pain worse, cause increased swelling, and antagonize an already painful condition.

Step
1
Find a good location
It's not always easy to find a perfectly level ground for Fido to walk on unless you happen to have access to a high school or college running track. Since most of us don't, you'll have to make do with a path that doesn't have any cracks in it or rocks in the way. If you can't find a perfect area, look for a dirt path wide enough for Fido to avoid tree roots and rocks, since animals with hip dysplasia have a hard time lifting their feet more than a few inches off of the ground.
Step
2
Use a leash and harness
Before heading out to your new location, it's important that Fido knows how to use the harness and leash. Some dogs find a harness uncomfortable and will spend quite a bit of time rolling around the floor trying to pull it off. Be sure to find a harness that fits just right. Too small and Fido will end up chafing and hurt, but too big and it will just come right off when Fido tries to pull away.
Step
3
Take a walk
Now that Fido has accepted the fact that the harness is there to stay until you take it off, it's time to load up in the car or head out for your walk. When you're ready, put the leash on Fido's harness and start out at a slow, steady pace. Fido isn't going to be too vigilant about watching for obstacles since your pup will be too busy sniffing everything in their path, so you'll have to be the one on the lookout. Use the leash to guide Fido away from obstacles that will require leg lifting, keep that slow pace the whole way, and stop for water breaks for both of you if you are in the heat.
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More Fun Ideas...

Rainy Day Games

It's easy for dogs with the energy of a Min Pin Shepherd to get into trouble on rainy days, but if you play ahead, you can keep this from happening. Play Hide and Seek with your pup's favorite toy, teach them Over, Under, and Through with a chair, or create a simple homemade obstacle course out of things you have lying around the house. Whatever you do, be sure to make it something your pup can use to work off that excess energy, or you are going to end up with a mess on your hands when Fido finds their own way to keep occupied!

Interactive Games

Fido loves to play, but their favorite games are always those in which you are an active participant. Simple games of Tug of Rope or Fetch are tried and true and great ways to tire your pup out and make you forget all of your stresses. Get down on the floor to play an aggressive game of Tug of Rope, growling when Fido growls and rolling around to keep the rope held tight, or simply toss the rope or Fido's favorite toy in a rousing game of Fetch. The challenge is getting your pup to drop the toy on command so that you can throw it again.

Conclusion

Min Pin Shepherds are one of the newest hybrid dogs, so you'll be learning along with the rest of the world as your pup grows. One thing is for sure, though: with a combination of the energy of the German Shepherd and the Miniature Pinscher, your pup will have lots of loyalty and an abundance of playfulness. These dogs are recommended for people who have large yards and time to play with their furry family members. With their stubbornness and high intelligence, it's also a good idea to pair these pups up with owners who can show dominance with love and consistency.