Activities For Porcelaine Dogs

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Introduction

The Porcelaine Dog, also known as the Chien de Franche-Comté in their native country, is a rare breed of scent hound that was decimated by the French Revolution, with only a few escaping France. While there were not enough pure Porcelaine Hounds available to keep the breed going on its own, there were enough to reestablish these beautiful dogs with the help of a closely related breed, the Schweizer Laufhund. They are both fierce and tenacious when hunting, but are typically known as calm dogs in the home who are particularly patient with children. 

Geocaching

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Cell Phone or Tablet
Optional Souvenirs
leash
Waste Bags
Activity description

Geocaching is a modern-day activity, first introduced in the year 2000, that relies on cellular and GPS technology produce a worldwide treasure hunt. Geocache seekers search for a container that was hidden by another Geocacher utilizing information and clues that can be found on the geocaching website and the cell phone app that goes along with it. For many, simply finding and logging the geocache is enough entertainment, but many geocaches also contain small treasures, things like small plastic toys, pretty stones, or even special trackable items that you can purchase directly from the company that organizes the game. These energetic and determined scent hounds will have a great time enjoying the outdoors with you, and with their excellent olfactory senses, they may even be able to help find the treasure.

Step
1
Create an account
In order to participate in the geocaching community, you will first need to sign up for a free geocaching account. This allows you to access the locations of containers that are near your location by utilizing GPS and cellular technology, getting you very close to the container. The website and app can also give you additional information on the specific container you are looking for including the type of vessel, how hard it is to locate, and often clues about how to spot it. While there is no actual dog-friendliness rating on the geocache sites, many people will add notes to the description that will indicate whether or not it is dog appropriate.
Step
2
Follow the map
The interactive map can be found both on the webpage itself or on an app that can be loaded on to your smartphone. This map gives you coordinates that the geocache can be found at, and may give you a hint or two about how to spot it. The containers are not typically right out in the open, and they can be hidden under, in, or behind other items. Many of the official geocache containers are even camouflaged, making the game more challenging. If you are taking your pooch along, make sure it is a dog-friendly area, as some caches may be hidden indoors or in other areas that dogs are not allowed. Dogs that were developed for their tracking and scenting ability, like the Porcelaine Dog, may be able to help you sniff out the treasure.
Step
3
Log and share
Once the container has been located, shower your pooch with praise and rewards, even if their help wasn’t needed. This will help motivate them to help you find the next one. Inside the container, you will find a logbook in which you can log your find, and you may even find a small souvenir. If you take a souvenir from the container, be sure to replace it with a new gift item for the next person searching for that specific cache.
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Hide and Seek

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Any Day
Free
Easy
5 - 30 min
Items needed
Toys
Activity description

The childhood classic game Hide and Seek can easily be adjusted to entertain both humans and canines. Although dogs are not generally suited to the hiding portion of the game, scent hounds like the Porcelaine Dog are quite skilled and have extraordinary scenting capabilities which can help them find their missing friends and family members. This is an entertaining activity that you can do with your dog that allows your dog to use their minds as well as gives them an opportunity to use their scent discrimination abilities. This game is also a good way to allow for some much needed mental stimulation as well as providing opportunities to help bond with your pet. 

Step
1
Choose a reward
Although the first instinct of many pet parents is to grab one of your pooch’s favorite treats to entice them to find you, this is generally unnecessary. Most dogs will happily play this game just for the praise and joy. Those that require a little more incentive will often be happy with a tossed ball, playing a quick game of tug, or the opportunity to play with a favorite toy or chew. Choosing these options over treats means that you can play this game even if your dog is gaining too much weight or develops allergies and requires a temporary elimination diet.
Step
2
Who and where
Initially, when teaching your dog this game, it is best to start simple and have just one hider, preferably a family member, for the dog to seek, as well as choosing uncomplicated hiding spots, possibly even ones that are somewhat visible. As your Procelaine begins to understand the game you can make the hiding places more difficult to spot. As they master the components of the game, you can increase the challenge by adding more people. Some pet parents may even choose to enlist a helper to either hide or handle the dog’s leash and take the game out to local parks or hiking trails.
Step
3
Getting started
In many cases, the act of hiding from your dog when they don’t expect it is enough to spur them to start looking for you. Interact with your dog for a few minutes, do something to distract them like throw a ball, then go hide somewhere nearby. The dog is likely to start searching on their own, but if they just stand there with a confused look on their face or decide to lie down and wait for you to return, call their name softly or make another noise to lure your dog to you. When they do find you be sure to reward them with lots of love, praise, and joy.
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Search and Rescue

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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Certifications
Leash
Activity description

While the majority of search and rescue dogs are herding breeds or retrieving breeds like Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, and Newfoundlands, scent hound breeds such as the Bloodhound and the Porcelaine are particularly useful for trailing missing children or Alzheimer's patients who have wandered off and need to be found. Search and rescue dogs must be driven to find their quarry but also be composed around people and around other dogs; Procelaine Dogs were developed to work cooperatively with other dogs, and while they do have a very strong prey drive, they are also very communally minded dogs who get along very well with other dogs and people, particularly children. 

Step
1
Suitability
Search and rescue is a rewarding job for both the dog and their human handler, but it is by no means an easy job. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing, and it is essential that both members of the human/canine team are well-equipped to deal with the stresses. Both the human and canine members should be examined prior to starting search and rescue work, to ensure that they are able to stand up to the physical rigors of the job. Dogs that are under eighteen months of age are not eligible for the targeted training required to become a Search and Rescue dog until they have matured.
Step
2
Training the handler
The human member of the search and rescue team is not simply there to hold the dog’s leash. Handlers also require several hours worth of education, attending classes for certifications such as life support, first aid, and CPR training. Those who specialize in specific types of search and rescue are may require additional training in subjects like backcountry survival skills, Haz-mat training, and navigation techniques.
Step
3
Certifications
Several groups are nationally recognized for their Search and Rescue efforts and offer the proper training and certification for suitable teams. Search and Rescue teams can become certified with FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Certification program, the National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA), Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States (SARDUS), or the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR). Once your pup has been found to be a suitable candidate for training, you can enjoy their company and the challenge as you undergo months of training and practice.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hunting Games

While they tend to be calm and affectionate at home, Porcelaine Hounds are a fierce and tenacious hunting breed with an excellent nose and a musical howl. Playing games designed around hunting can help prepare a young pup who you intend to hunt with or help to keep a veteran hunter in good form when it is no longer hunting season.

Scent Work

Porcelaine dogs are talented trackers that specialize in rabbit, hare, and deer. Their superior olfactory abilities make them natural candidates for the dog sport of competitive scent work.

Conclusion

This serious but affectionate dog is always willing to participate in activities whether they be for work or play. Involve them in your day and add extracurricular activities to the mix to ensure a healthy and happy pet. You can have all members of the family partake in the fun as the Porcelaine Dog has the personality to have fun with people of all ages.