Hiking with your Rottie Shepherd is an exhilarating experience which you can both enjoy. Of course, you and your dog must be in relatively good physical shape and health, as the activity is challenging in both mind and body. If your dog has never hiked with you, you will need to get your dog acclimated to the safety equipment and the type of environment in which you will be engaged. You will also need to properly socialize your pet so there will be fewer "issues" on the trail when you encounter other dogs, small animals, and people. A bit of obedience training is a good idea as well to ensure that you remain in control, whether the dog is on-leash or off-leash, during those unexpected situations. The hiking event itself may not be costly, but the procurement of the necessary safety equipment could increase the financial commitment of this outing. The benefits, however, will far outweigh the costs regarding the potential for deeper bonding with your pet and the mental and physical challenges which accompany the hike.
Puzzle toys are those that force the Rottie Shepherd to use their problem-solving instincts to release the treats hidden in them. While these toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the mental and physical exercises that are needed are quite similar and healthy for your pup.
Hunt for dinner incorporates feeding with the mental exercise of problem-solving, a trait that needs to be kept fine-tuned in your pup. Hide kibbles or treats in the house or outside and then encourage your pooch to seek them out. It is excellent fun to watch them in their "search and rescue" operation, followed by happily munching away at their reward.
Flyball is a fun activity for both you and your dog. The game requires your dog to negotiate obstacles, like hurdles or water barriers, to get to the tennis ball at the opposite end of the course. The dog is expected to tap a lever or button which mechanically launches the ball into the air. Then your dog catches the ball and returns it to you at the starting point.
Treat hide and seek is the age-old hide and seek game many of us played as children, with an added twist. In this game, yummy dog snacks are hidden, and the dog is encouraged to locate them, with the reward for success being the consumption of the treasured nibbly.