Activities For Russian Toy Terriers

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Introduction

The Russian Toy Terrier is a small, tenacious dog with boundless energy. They need a family that is willing to help them harness their energy to become productive members of their family. Being a small dog with a big attitude, there are numerous activities that they can participate in to burn energy, provide comfort and joy and keep them happy. There are plenty of activities that will fit any budget and energy level. Be sure to research each activity before deciding to give it a try!

Therapy Dog

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Collar
Treats
Therapy Log
Therapy Vest (Optional)
Activity description

Therapy dogs are not the same as service dogs. Therapy dogs provide comfort to those in need whereas service dogs perform specific tasks for disabled or infirmed people. Service dogs go through vigorous training; therapy dogs must have knowledge of basic obedience and be well behaved. The Russian Toy Terrier is a great choice for therapy work because they are a toy breed that loves to be snuggled and held. They would do well going into nursing homes, hospitals, or schools and providing comfort and support. Dogs can actually earn therapy dog titles through the American Kennel Club (AKC) based on the number of visits they make. They can earn five different titles through the AKC Therapy Dog Program.

Step
1
Find a club
When planning on training your Russian Toy Terrier to be a therapy dog you will want to find a dog club that offers a therapy dog program. While you do not have to be a part of a club to do therapy work, if you are hoping to earn titles through the AKC Therapy Dog Program, it is easier to be a part of a club so paperwork is submitted properly to the AKC and appropriate titles are awarded. You will also want to ensure that your dog is properly trained prior to making therapy visits. Having members of a dog club observe your dog’s behavior is a good way to know if they are ready to make therapy visits.
Step
2
Start visiting
Every qualified therapy visit that you and your dog make must be recorded on your official therapy dog visit log and signed. Choose places that you know your dog will feel at ease for their first few visits. Being a small dog, the Russian Toy Terrier may feel more at ease visiting in a nursing home rather than an elementary school. However, you know your dog’s personality best and can make the best decision as to where they would be best used as a therapy dog.
Step
3
Earn titles
The AKC Therapy Dog Program offers an easy way for your dog’s achievements as a therapy dog to be honored. There are several different levels in the program but your dog can earn their first therapy title, the Therapy Dog Novice or THDN, after just 10 qualifying visits. After earning their THDN title, their next step is to complete 50 qualifying visits to earn their Therapy Dog or THD title. The highest title a therapy dog can earn is the Therapy Dog Distinguished or THDD title. They earn this distinction after completing 400 qualifying therapy visits.
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Trick Training

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Treats
Collar & Leash (optional)
Activity description

Trick training is a great way to spend time with your Russian Toy Terrier. It is relatively easy to teach your dog a simple trick, such as to shake hands. It does take a little more intense training to teach harder tricks such as putting away their toys or fetching your slippers. All trick training requires repetition and plenty of praise and treats. Always keep training session short, about 30 minutes, and positive. Never be negative when trying to teach your dog a new trick. They will not find it fun and will not willingly do what you want. Once your dog has learned a few tricks, you can amaze your friends at your next dinner party by having them perform what they have learned.

Step
1
Start small
Most dogs want to please their owners and the Russian Toy Terrier is no exception. While they can be a bundle of excited energy, they can also harness that energy into learning a new trick. Start small with a super easy trick, such as sitting pretty or shaking hands. Always keep training sessions short and do not have a negative attitude. Negativity will cause your dog to not want to be around you or do as you ask.
Step
2
Use repetition
When teaching a new trick to your Russian Toy Terrier, be sure to use plenty of praise and repetition. Dogs learn best by doing things over and over. Therefore, when they learn to shake hands, take the time throughout the day to stop and ask for a hand shake. By repeating the activity throughout the day, your dog will remember the command word and know what is expected of them.
Step
3
Build on what they know
After your dog has learned some simple tricks, you are ready to tackle some harder tricks. But do not let your dog forget what they have already learned. If your dog has learned to fetch a favorite toy, build on that trick and teach them to put their toy away in the toy box. A simple hand shake can be turned into a high-five. When training, be sure to continue practicing their basic tricks so they do not forget!
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Hall Ball

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Any Day
Free
Easy
15 min
Items needed
Ball
Hallway
Treats (optional)
Activity description

Hall ball is basically a modified version of fetch. This is an especially fun activity for a small breed dog such as the Russian Toy Terrier. All you need is a ball and a hallway; treats are not necessary but would probably be greatly appreciated by your dog. Hall ball is played by placing your dog at one end of the hallway and then rolling a ball away from them. Once the ball is rolling, you tell them to fetch and they chase after the ball. Toy breed dogs can get plenty of exercise by playing hall ball with you for only 15 minutes. 

Step
1
Sit stay
In order for hall ball to be played correctly, your Russian Toy Terrier should have some basic manners. A sit stay will help keep your dog from starting the chase too soon. As the game continues, expect your dog to become excited and they may find it more difficult to remain in a sit stay until you give the fetch command.
Step
2
Roll and chase
Once your dog is in a sit stay, gently start the ball rolling down the hall. Once the ball has gotten about one-third of the way down the hall, give your dog the fetch command and watch them give chase. The goal is that your dog brings the ball back to you; however, if it is a larger ball, your Russian Toy Terrier might find this task a bit impossible. Be prepared to chase the ball down yourself after your dog has given chase.
Step
3
Repeat
You simply cannot roll the ball once down the hall and be done. Your dog will think that is just a cruel joke! When you start playing hall ball with your dog, be sure to have several minutes to devote to the game. Expect to send your dog scurrying after the ball several times before they are done with the activity.
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More Fun Ideas...

Barn Hunts

The tenaciousness of the Russian Toy Terrier will come in handy if you want to give barn hunts a try. During barn hunts, your dog must search through a maze for a live rat. Do not worry; the rats are kept in plastic tubes so the dogs cannot harm them. But your dog learns to use their natural instincts to sniff out the rat. Your dog can even earn barn hunting titles.

Puzzle Toys

 Puzzle toys are a great way to keep your dog’s mind sharp. Start them with an easier puzzle so they do not become discouraged and avoid the puzzle toy. Use a treat that your dog finds irresistible to ensure they are interested in figuring out how to get the treat out of the puzzle. Russian Toy Terriers are known for using their feet so you can make your own puzzle toy by putting treats in a muffin tin and then putting tennis balls in the cups over the treats. They have to move the balls before finding their treat. 

Conclusion

Your Russian Toy Terrier may be small, but they are a bundle of energy and need to be involved in activities to keep them from getting bored or into trouble. There are several different activities that you can do with your small dog that are fun and help you form a closer bond. There are even some activities that allow your dog to earn titles through the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. Try a few different activities to be sure you find the right activity for your dog.