Activities For Mini Yorkshire Aussies

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Introduction

When you combine two of the most renowned hunting dogs -- the Miniature Australian Shepherd and the Yorkshire Terrier -- you get a tiny, protective pup who is always on the lookout for trouble! Mini Yorkshire Aussies have double the hunting gene in them since both of the purebred parents were bred for hunting. The two were combined to create a breed that is just "pawfect" for companionship and a lookout, and these mini pups take their jobs very seriously!

Their small size of 8 to 18 inches and anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds means that their family needs to be on the lookout, too. While the Mini Yorkshire Aussie wants to run towards the danger, you need to keep them from being picked up by predators, especially in their older years when the deafness these breeds are prone to starts to kick in. 

Trouble is never too far behind with your Mini Yorkshire Aussie, especially if you don't keep them busy! They are active little pups and will find ways to entertain themselves if you aren't doing it for them. Try some of these activities but be sure to keep them busy in smaller bursts. Their excitement will often outweigh their physical abilities, causing health problems, if you don't rein them in!

Hide and Seek

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
An item to hide
Treats
Activity description

Mini Yorkshire Aussies are quite playful and smart, and they have lots of energy. Finding ways to keep them mentally and physically stimulated is important, but you have to be aware and be careful of their physical limitations. 

These types of dogs are prone to conditions such as portosystemic shunt, tracheal collapse, hip dysplasia, retinal dysplasia, and patellar luxation. These are all big words that say you must never use neck leashes on them, be careful of stairs and anything that can hurt their hips and knees, and watch for folds and clumps around the eye and signs of potential deafness.

But even with all of these limitations, there are still many activities you can do to keep Fido busy! Try a simple game of hide and seek for starters!

Step
1
Find a safe play area
Hide and Sseek is perfect for all types of weather if you have an environment suitable for the game. Since Fido is going to be sniffing around until the treasure (or you) is found, you want to be sure that wherever you play is a safe, secure area. If you are inside, choose a room that you can hide the item in and Fido can't access anything dangerous while searching. If it's outside, use a fenced-in area that you have cleared of hazards.
Step
2
Hide the item
If you are hiding something other than yourself, show it to Fido so they know what they are looking for. Build up the excitement by hiding it a few times right in front of your pup and letting them find it easily after you give a signal. If it's you, do the same thing with yourself. Then, have another family member or friend distract Fido while you hide the treasure or yourself. Give Fido the signal when it's time to start hunting.
Step
3
Praise Fido when the item is found
If you are not going to be able to see Fido at all times while they are looking for you, it's important to have another set of eyes. Otherwise, you can give the signal and set Fido free to explore, cheering them on when they are close and rerouting them as needed if they stray too far into the "cold" zone! When the treasure is found, heap praise and treats on your pup and play again!
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Dog Puzzle Toys

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 min
Items needed
Dog Puzzle
Treat
Activity description

Dog puzzle toys are now all the rage since they have been recommended as a way to mentally stimulate even the most playful of pups. These interactive toys entertain your dog, making them focus on the task at hand in order to get to the reward inside. Each puzzle can take anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour to solve, and meanwhile, your pup is getting enough stimulation to satisfy their hunting side! The best part is that each toy can be created to match your dog's ability, starting at beginner level and continuing to move up along with Fido's expertise.

Step
1
Choose your toy
From beginner's toys to challenging expert options, choosing the toy to start Fido on is your first step. Beginner's toys are usually a simple rubber object with a hollow interior that you place a treat or food in. Fido has to work for the treat. These are great to keep your pup busy while you are gone. More challenging types let Fido use both nose and feet to push around in order to get access to the prize inside. Then there are the challenging ones, similar to board games you'd see a child playing with. Fido will really have to use their brain for these! You can buy these toys at a pet store or use plastic containers around your house to make your own.
Step
2
Stuff your puzzle
In the beginner stage, you should pack a treat or kibble inside so that it will fall out easily. As your pup becomes better and better at solving the puzzle, pack the food inside more strategically so it doesn't fall out quite so easily or seal it with a yummy treat that freezes, like peanut butter, mashed bananas, or other mushy goodies, and give it to Fido after it's frozen.
Step
3
Teach Fido the game
Chances are when you first give Fido their new puzzle toy they are going to simply stare at it, maybe bat it around a few times, and then walk away. This is normal. Don't give up. Instead, help them open the puzzle the first time. When the yummy reward in the center is revealed, Fido will quickly learn that this new toy is something to work for! Then you can slowly build up the difficulty as Fido becomes better at solving the puzzle! It's a game that lasts forever and lets Fido use their brain and problem-solving skills while also keeping out of trouble!
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Obstacle Course

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Household items
Treats
Activity description
You've probably seen the doggy Olympic-style obstacle courses on TV and wished your pup could do those incredible stunts. Well, they can, if you set up your own obstacle course for Fido! You can choose to set up an outside course if weather permits or create an indoor course if you have enough room in your home, but either way, Fido is going to love their new activity! Be mindful of the physical limitations, though. TV dogs may be able to leap small buildings in a single bound, but your pup should not be doing any repetitive activity that could jar their knees or hips.
Step
1
Set up the course
You can use items around your home to create obstacles for Fido or purchase obstacles as necessary. You'll need a tunnel, which can be made by setting up chairs back to back and covering them with blankets or buying a tunnel at a pet store. Weave poles can be made using PVC piping or chairs strategically placed. If you are going to use hurdles, be sure they are low enough to the ground that Fido won't get injured or have a rough impact when jumping them (but not so low that they can't scooch under them!).
Step
2
Train Fido
Now that your obstacle course is made, it's time to train Fido in using it! It is recommended that you focus on one section at a time, letting Fido become an expert on each obstacle before moving on to the next. You can use treats and praise to encourage Fido to keep going and once the obstacle is conquered, move on to the next one. Slowly add the obstacles together so that it becomes one seamless activity that Fido has conquered.
Step
3
Repeat, repeat, repeat!
Once you have trained Fido in all of the obstacles, it's time to put it all together! Starting from the beginning, run the course with your pup and don't finish until you both reach the end! Over time, Fido will be so used to running the whole obstacle course that they will be able to do it without you, but in the beginning, they'll need your constant encouragement and guidance. Dogs learn best through repetition, so repeat, repeat, repeat, and then let Fido have fun on their own! Remember to keep the training limited to 30-minute sessions (so try to keep the items used in your course limited to things you can leave out or easily pack up and reuse).
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More Fun Ideas...

Interactive Play Activities

Fido is never happier than when you are playing with them, too. Interactive play games are often easy for you and stimulating for your pup, so why not take a few minutes out of your hectic schedule and become a kid again? Tug of War brings out the competitive nature in Fido and your own childlike excitement. Or there's always a simple game of Fetch. Frisbee is a winner, too, if you know how to throw it for Fido's height and have a yard big enough to play in. Whatever you choose, as long as you are playing with your dog, it's a winning game.

Take a Walk

Sometimes the simplest activities are the best, and for your Mini Yorkshire Aussie, a walk outside where they can use their noses to sniff for prey is like hitting the lottery. Be sure to use a harness and not a neck leash to protect their sensitive tracheas from harm, but since their prey drive is so strong, it's best to use some sort of leash to keep them safe in case they try to run off in search of that elusive squirrel or butterfly (or dust bunny). Let them lead as long as they aren't heading way off course. This satisfies that hunting instinct in your pup.

Conclusion

Your Mini Yorkshire Aussie is the perfect breed for a watchful, loving companion. Don't be surprised if your pup's favorite activity is to sit at the window and watch for potential threats! They'll alert you to the danger, don't worry (and to them, anything that moves might be danger!). As vigilant as your pup is, they are also sociable, playful, energetic, and loyal. As long as you keep your furry friend active, you have a great addition to any family. Remember, if you don't find ways to keep Fido out of trouble, this feisty hunting dog will make their own distractions up for you!