Activities For Old Deerhound Sheepdogs

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Introduction

The Old Deerhound Sheepdog is a hybrid breed that combines the Scottish Deerhound and the Old English Sheepdog to make one large, friendly pup. Both parent breeds are known for their friendliness, but the Old English Sheepdog is as gentle as can be. This breed tends to be protective, making for an alert guard dog. Old English Sheepdogs are well-mannered and love to herd, something they tend to do to children in the home. As a result, herding activities, such as Treibball, are ideal for the Old Deerhound Sheepdog.

The Scottish Deerhound is a sensitive but easygoing companion who enjoys their independence, unlike an Old English who's usually attached to their handler's hip. Scottish Deerhounds love to run and are eager to please, making them a "pawfect" candidate for brain games. These two breeds combined make for a large, loving guardian with lots of energy ready to be exerted! Keep your Old Deerhound Sheepdog happy and healthy by diversifying the activities you do together each week! 

Camping

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 2 days
Items needed
Leash
Dog Treats
Camping gear
Food
Drinking Water
Activity description

What better way to spend time with your Old Deerhound Sheepdog than camping outdoors for a weekend getaway? Camping is a phenomenal choice because you and your pooch will have plenty of "op-paw-tunities" for entertainment. 

Almost all campgrounds charge a fee which varies depending on the type of vehicle you're camping in as well as the amenities you want. Find a campsite nearby that meets your needs and wants, and start prepping your gear. If you're new to camping, you'll need to purchase some essentials, including a tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, outdoor cookware, flashlights, and tarps, to name a few. Once your gear is set and your location is booked, head out with your Old Deerhound Sheepdog for an adventure they won't forget! 

Step
1
Finding a location
Before you can start packing your bag, you'll need to determine where you want to go! Check online to find a dog-friendly campground -- Wag! offers information on dog-friendly campsites in the USA, which is "pawfect" if you're new to the activity. Decide which amenities you're interested in and how far you're willing to travel -- this will help narrow your search. Campgrounds that have dog-friendly areas or activities are a bonus.
Step
2
Prepping your gear
It's always best to pack as light as "pawssible" for any camping trip in a remote area, but you'll need to bring the bare necessities, including food, water, and camping gear. Bring along a leash and tie-down for your dog, as well as lots of toys and some bedding. If you're camping in a densely forested area, insect repellant and a snake bite kit can come in handy. Pack with your pup at your side, making them part of the experience.
Step
3
Planning your stay
Camping is a relaxing way to spend uninterrupted time with your pooch. To optimize your camping experience, plan out your itinerary beforehand, and include various activities you can try with your pup. For instance, many campgrounds have designated dog walking areas, which may be where the two of you start your day before heading out on a hike. Having your day planned will ensure you make the most of your time, and it will give you a chance to research all the options you and your pup have so you don't have to do the work while camping!
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Treibball

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
60 min
Items needed
Exercise Balls
Activity description

Treibball is one of the many sports "offured" in the pooch world. This specific sport requires a dog to work alone to follow a series of commands, given by their handler, directing them to navigate exercise balls into a net. A dog must learn how to follow the directions so that the balls are scored in a specific order within a short timeframe. 

The game, of course, can be modified to include the number of balls desired, without any time limit. The official game of Treibball uses eight exercise balls. If you don't have a net big enough to fit an exercise ball, or the exercise balls themselves, swing by your local department store to grab the items! All dogs must first learn the skills to play the game before mastering it, which is where the training comes in! 

Step
1
Getting started
The purpose of Treibball is for your dog to herd a series of balls into a net, following your command. The balls are to be maneuvered in a certain order, which means that a handler and their pooch must practice working as a team to accomplish the goal. The first thing to teach your pooch is how to herd the ball. To do this, you will need to use a series of practice drills. Grab your treats and ready your patience!
Step
2
Introducing herding
As Old Deerhound Sheepdogs have a herding instinct, you may not need to focus your training in this area for long. Begin by using your hand. Simply extend your hand in front of your pup and have them touch it with their nose. It helps if you have some form of "target" for them to touch, like a piece of fabric. Reward them with a treat immediately. Repeat this activity until it's clear they've made the association.
Step
3
Herding with a ball
The next step is introducing the ball to your pup. Like with your hand, reward your pooch when they touch the ball. Once they've mastered touching the ball, it's time for them to move it. Do this by using the command "to me" which is common in the handler world for herding. Reward your dog as they push the ball with their body. This stage will take lots of treats and praise.
Step
4
Adding in directions
Once your pooch has mastered moving the ball towards you, it's time to add in left and right commands. The standard commands used in herding for going left are "come by" and for the right, "away to me." You can modify the commands you choose to use. When you're introducing direction commands, begin in front of your dog, as you did in the previous drills. Once they're moving, give the direction commands and move in that direction as well with their treat in your hand. Repeat this training multiple times until they respond to the command without you moving.
Step
5
Playing the game
After mastering all the necessary skills to play Treibball, your pup can finally get started. Set up an open area for the game to take place, preferably outdoors. Arrange your balls in the field and start the clock when you give your first command. You will, of course, need to practice navigating the balls into the net, using rewards, so your pup learns that this is the overall goal of the game! Have fun and play at your own pace!
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Play Games with Purpose

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Toy Box
Treats
Dog Toys
Activity description

With a need to please and a love for work, brain games that give your Old Deerhound Sheepdog a purpose are perfect for their personalities. There are a variety of games you can play to get your pup thinking, all of which require minimal materials and therefore minimal costs!

Try out hide-and-seek, object search and toy tidy-up to get started. Teach your pooch each game throughout different training sessions. After they learn a new game, practice that game daily, even when introducing a new activity. With the three games in your back pocket, you can ensure your pup gets mental stimulation daily. Grab some treats and pick the game that intrigues you most. All games can be played indoors or out and only take a few minutes, which makes it easy to fit them into any busy schedule.

Step
1
Hide-and-Seek
HIde-and-seek is an excellent game because it can be played at any time and only takes a few minutes. You can play by either having your pup stay while you hide or by hiding spontaneously to get started. Once in your spot, call for your pup. If they're having trouble finding you, let out a few vocal clues. Once they find you, reward their good deed and start again!
Step
2
Object Search
Object search is similar to hide-and-seek, except this time you hide a cherished toy or treat. Find a hiding spot and once the object is hidden, give the command to "find." If your pup's olfactory skills seem to need some support, you can do some leading to get your dog engaged! Reward their find and start again!
Step
3
Toy TIdy-Up
Toy tidy-up is a fun way to clean up the house. This game will require some conditioning because your Old Deerhound Sheepdog needs to learn where the toys go. To do this, demonstrate to your pup by placing a toy in the bin. Give a toy to your dog, and using a treat, lead and reward them when they drop it in. Repeat the training before scattering toys and putting Fido to the test.
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More Fun Ideas...

Running the Fields

Take your Old Deerhound Sheepdog to a large, open field area and let them just run free! Their parent breed, the Scottish Deerhound, loves to race and run outdoors, chasing animals and exploring independently. So treat your pup to unlimited running and open space, but be sure you pick a safe space that’s enclosed and away from roads!

Weighted Walks

Weighted walks are a great activity for high-energy dogs as the weight makes an easy walk more challenging. Weighted dog backpacks and vests are available for purchase online and in pet stores if you don't already have one. If your pup is getting up there in age, consult with your vet before trying this activity!

Going for a Swim

On those smoldering, muggy summer days, cool off with your Old Deerhound Sheepdog by hitting up the local beach. If your local beach isn't dog-friendly, check out the surrounding area for other beach options. If no beaches are available, try walking to a river or conservation area where your pup can still take a dip, even if you can't!

Conclusion

Old Deerhound Sheepdogs are a large but gentle breed who loves to run and play! With a high-energy breed like this, it's vital to ensure they receive moderate exercise daily for approximately an hour. The exercises can vary and be broken up throughout the day in the form of mentally and physically stimulating activities. Such activities include brain games like hide-and-seek, object retrieval or toy tidy-up, all of which only take a few minutes to play! 

If you're interested in more physically enduring activities, try taking a weighted walk, playing Treibball or going away on a weekend camping getaway together. A weekend in the woods will guarantee you access to other outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming, both of which are great for releasing built-up energy in your pup! Take advantage of your Old Deerhound Sheepdog's energy and intelligence by filling their schedule with meaningfully engaging activities you can enjoy together.