Activities For Progressive Dogs

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Introduction

To be progressive means that you promote change and innovation. It can also refer to doing things in a step by step manner. So how does this apply to dogs? Well, with the games and activities that they play of course! If you have a progressive dog it means that they are well beyond a typical game of fetch and are ready to take the next step into new and exciting games. If this sounds like your pooch, here are the next, more modern activities you should do together.

Treibball

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Eight Exercise Balls
Treats
Soccer Goal
Activity description

In the past, many types of dogs were bred to help herd animals on farms. These dogs would chase flocks of sheep or cows and guide them into new pastures. Even though many herding breeds are now away from the fields and lounging on your couch, they still have an innate desire to herd. So what is a more progressive way to satisfy your dog's need to herd without finding a field of cattle? Play a game of treibball! This awesome dog game is a few steps away from herding live animals but the general mentality is still there which will make your pup's inner herding dog very happy!

Step
1
Find a field
Find a fenced-in field where you can set up your treibball court. Grab a net (similar in size to a soccer goal) and eight large exercise balls for your dog to herd. When first playing treibball, consider using fewer balls and working your way up to the standard eight.
Step
2
Guide the ball
Set up the goal at one end of the field and then disperse the eight balls around the center of the field. In a regulated game of treibball, the balls are set up in a triangle pattern so this is one formation you could use. Begin training by encouraging your dog to push the ball around the field and give commands such as "forward", "left", and "right" so they learn to guide the ball in the direction you ask.
Step
3
Herd faster!
Once your dog has successfully pushed one ball into the goal, praise them and encourage them to push the next ball into the goal until they have herded all eight balls. Now it's time to do it again! Practice treibball daily and make your dog herd the balls into the goal faster and faster. Once they are pros, enter them into a treiball competition and test their herding skills against other pups!
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Dog Parkour

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Any Day
Free
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Outdoor Obstacles
Activity description

If you have never heard of parkour then you are missing out! The general idea of the practice is to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. This means running, jumping, climbing and scaling objects in order to reach a destination in the fastest way possible. Need to get across the living room but there's a couch in the way? Don't go around, leap over! Imagining your path and navigating your surroundings in a new way is what parkour is all about. The best part, your dog can join too! Dog parkour is excellent exercise for your pup and it is fun to train them to use this progressive way of getting around.

Step
1
Find a place
Bring your pup to a safe area where there are a few natural obstacles. Parkour does not use equipment but uses obstacles that are all around in day to day life. Head to a park with a few low bushes and benches or a skate park where there are lots of ramps and bars. Anywhere, really, will do!
Step
2
Plan a path
Assess your surroundings and plan your dog's method of navigating the space. Should your pup run around a bush or jump over it like a hurdle? Is walking across the top of the bench the best bet or should you show your dog how to crawl under? Once your path is planned begin showing your dog how to move around.
Step
3
Run, jump, climb
With lots of treats, guide your dog around the parkour course you have set in your mind. Training your dog to safely jump off high objects then immediately crawl through a small space are all skills that dog parkour are revolved around. After teaching and training your dog in the ways of parkour, they will begin incorporating it into their day to day life. Isn't it more fun to have a dog who jumps onto the back of the couch and balances on the edge to walk across rather than a dog who goes all the way around on the floor? Such a progressive way of behaving!
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Flyball

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Treats
Tennis Ball
Flyball Box
Hurdles
Activity description

Sure, fetch can be a fun game to play with your dog but it isn't very progressive. Your progressive dog needs something new, something a step above fetch, something more fun. Flyball is the game for them! Flyball is a dog game that involves your pup jumping over hurdles in order to reach a box which will shoot out a tennis ball when pressed. The general idea of flyball is speed and precision - your dog should aim to jump the hurdles and retrieve the ball quickly and without distractions. This awesome game can also be played as a team with dogs taking turns racing through the hurdles and getting the tennis ball prize. With a team or alone, flyball is perfect for progressive dogs who need more than just fetch.

Step
1
Hurdles at home
While you can enroll your dog in a local flyball school or flyball practice group, you can also set up a course on your own. All you need are a few hurdles and a flyball box! You can use almost anything as hurdles (or purchase official flyball hurdles), just make sure they do not come up higher than your dog's shoulders - the official flyball way of sizing the hurdle.
Step
2
Leap
Set the hurdles up in a straight line and place the flyball box at the end. Load the flyball box with a tennis ball and you're ready to play! Begin by showing your dog how to leap the hurdles, rewarding them after every hurdle they clear. After they can easily jump one hurdle to receive a treat, have them do two in a row. Three hurdles in a row and then four, your pup will be a jumping machine!
Step
3
The ball
Train your pup to place their paws on the flyball box in order to have the tennis ball thrown out. Have your dog practice this step several times and then add their two new skills together, jumping hurdles then pressing the box. Have your dog run the tennis ball back over the hurdles and to the finish line! Now that they know the flyball game, how fast can they run the course? They will have to practice every day!
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More Fun Ideas...

Dock Jumping

Why would your dog just walk into the water when they can take a flying leap?! Train your dog to run and jump off of a dock and into the water. Once they can jump really far, enter them into a dock jumping contest to show off their skills! 

Skijoring

When skiing and dog sled racing combine, you get skijoring! Put on your dog's harness and hold on to your pup's leash as they pull you across the wintery ground. A progressive way to get around and a step up from a typical dog sled.

Conclusion

A modern dog needs more progressive activities in their day to day life. Your dog doesn’t want to be sitting around all day in the house or be entertained with typical games like fetch. So skip that regular old walk around the block and bring your dog for some fun doggy parkour. Help them entertain their herding instinct with a game of treibball. Skip fetch and practice flyball. Your progressive pup is going to love these new, step ahead games.