The Miniature Schnauzer is a lot of dog in a very small package! Adorable without a doubt, affectionate, extroverted and with a sense of humor, this little turbo machine wrapped in a soft fur coat has the energy to burn. Don't be fooled by that sweet face and impressive flowing moustache; they are hardier than they look and have a sense of adventure that can get them into all sorts of trouble. They are a member of the Terrier group of dogs, so they need to move! They are spunky and not afraid of a dog several times their size. So, training as part of the fun and games is a must. Training will keep them out of trouble with others, as they have no idea how small they are! Doing anything with you will be fun, but do try to add some variety to the Miniature Schnauzer's day. Games can include digging, finding, walking, and learning new tricks. Praise and attention are what this dog craves, so reward them with affection. Guiding their energy into a positive activity will keep your feisty Schnauzer out of trouble and too tired to get into mischief.
An obstacle course can easily be set up in the back yard, or even inside if it is cold and wet. Your Miniature Schnauzer will love the challenge of the multiple tasks that you will teach them to do. Once they get the hang of the game, then you can challenge them to do it at a faster pace. Patience is needed in the beginning, if this is the first time your dog has done an activity such as this. Indeed, you may want to start with a couple of challenges such as weaving in and out of the cones and jumping over a couple of low hurdles. Then as your pup gains confidence, add in a few more tasks such as a plank walk, picking up a ball and carrying it across a few jumps and placing it in a box or bucket. This activity will build your dog's confidence, improve their focus, and is great obedience training as they follow orders from you to run, hold, stay, drop the ball and of course, return to you for a treat.
Most dogs love a game of chase, and your Miniature Schnauzer will be no different. This is a game that can use up the energy that your dog has stored and will give them a good workout. The game consists of tying a favorite toy to a rope, which is then attached to a pole that you use to drag the toy around the ground, flipping it up in the air and letting your dog pursue it. Allow them to catch it from time to time and reward them for their efforts. The Miniature Schnauzer loves running and will amuse you with their antics as they try earnestly to grab the toy. Teach the dog to let go once they have had a rewarding chew on the toy (offering a treat may help those 'reluctant' to give it back) and your dog will soon learn that giving back means the game continues and they get more attention and more treats. It is a great way to exercise this little dog and train them while they are having fun.
On a hot summer day, a great idea for an outdoor game is to teach your dog all about the joys of the garden hose. Many dogs enjoy a game of chasing the water especially if you have a special attachment for maximum enjoyment. If your dog is new to this game, try spraying the water close to their feet then move it away. Your Miniature Schnauzer will try to chase and bite the water. Not only will it encourage them to drink on a hot day, but they will get quite wet which will help them cool down. An attachment that moves around with spraying arms to water the grass is another alternative to the game. You could toss a ball into the water spray and watch your dog go nuts as they race in and out of the spray. It is a cheap, fun game for your spunky Schnauzer to enjoy.
Simple yet effective, it is hard to find a dog who won't chase the Frisbee! This game takes minutes to set up and is cheap to play. You can get special Frisbees for dogs that have a material part which the dog can get a better grip on, and it will protect their teeth. All this game requires is a fenced yard, a Frisbee, and a willing dog. Your Miniature Schnauzer will love this game of catch the Frisbee. Two people are better than one but do allow your little pooch to win a few times. Nothing is more disheartening than a dog that tries so hard but gets no reward. Train your dog to bring the Frisbee back for a yummy treat. That way you can both train and have fun at the same time.
Any dog, whether large or small, likes to feel important; they love accomplishing tasks and getting the 'well done' from you. They live to serve, and your Miniature Schnauzer is no exception. In fact, they are devoted pets and thrive on human attention, so they will be very eager to please. You need to be observant and make sure that your little buddy is not overdoing things. Pursue the games at your dog's fitness level. Activities can be done in any time frame. Take a break between rounds in the game to cuddle and give your dog a drink, treat and a convenience break. Dogs learn through activities, and it is easier to teach a new behavior such as sitting and staying put if it is made to be fun (and rewarding - don't forget that part). Activities will keep your dog happy and improve concentration and behavior. A bored dog is often a naughty dog, resorting to deconstructing your cushions to assuage their boredom. Wear your little Schnauzer out, and they will crawl into your lap only too happy to snooze off, yipping and woofing quietly in their sleep.