Activities For Shelesties

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Introduction

The Shelestie is a designer dog breed that was introduced to the world back in the late 1990's/early 2000's. Due to this fluffy little guy's being so new to the world, not a whole lot is known about them - save for the fact that they result from mixing a Shetland Sheepdog and a West Highland White Terrier together. To make matters more complex, Shelesties tend to look drastically different from one another to the point where two Shelesties who were bred from the same parents could look like they weren't even members of the same breed. While the appearances of these dogs may drastically differ, they all seem to possess the same charm that their parents have and they also seem to favor many of the same activities that their parents do.

Dog Treat Toys

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
25 - 30 min
Items needed
Dog Treat Toys
Favorite Treats and Snacks
Activity description
Dog treat toys are splendid little mechanisms that can provide your dog with hours upon hours of fun! As opposed to simply providing dogs with their snacks, treat toys coax pets into working for their rewards by using their teeth and paws to unlock them. All quality treat toys are dog proof as well, meaning that brute force alone won't allow a dog to get at the delicious treats inside. As an added bonus, most dog treat toys, even the quality toys, are very cheap and inexpensive. These treat toys come in many shapes and sizes, so you won't have any trouble finding the right toy for your Shelestie.
Step
1
Treat toy basics
Dog treat toys are very simple devices that can be loaded up with a number of dog treats and even scraps of your dog's favorite kind of protein. You do this by opening a small hatch that's usually located at the top or bottom of the device and then pouring the goods inside. Most dog toys resemble the kinds of chew toys that you'd typically let your dog play with, so your Shelestie will instinctively sink their teeth into one of these treat toys. After enough biting, prying, and shaking your Shelestie's efforts will be rewarded with the tasty treat you put inside.
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2
Best practices
There really won't be much you'll need to do once you've actually given your dog the treat toy - instinct will take the reigns as your dog's primary guide from that point onward. That being said, there is a lot you can do before you give the toy to your dog; clean up the play area and do your best to make sure there isn't anything your dog can accidentally knock down.
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Dog Puzzles

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 40 min
Items needed
Puzzles
Treats
Activity description
Dog puzzles are a lot like the dog treat toys that we talked about earlier only they're much trickier and will really put your puppy's brain to the test. Whereas dog treat toys really are meant to help your dog burn off some excess energy, dog puzzles aim to increase your Shelestie's brain power by prompting them to take their time and solve problems through less conventional means. Dog puzzles are typically very cheap in terms of costs but quality dog puzzles can get a bit up there with cheaper puzzles tending to cost around $20 while quality puzzles tend to cost upwards of $50 or so.
Step
1
Dog puzzle basics
Though the two devices may sound similar, dog puzzles and dog treat toys are two very different pieces of equipment. While a bit of rough play is actually encouraged with dog treat toys, it's largely discouraged with dog puzzles. Quality puzzles will be durable enough to handle light bites and tugs from your dog, but they aren't meant to be pried opened like dog treat toys are. Indeed, the hardest part of teaching a dog how to use a dog puzzle is teaching them how to exercise restraint.
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2
Dog puzzle demonstration
Dog puzzles tend to be all about sliding various pieces around in order to solve them and get at the treats inside. To that end, it can help if you sit your dog down and demonstrate how they can go about solving the puzzle to them. You don't need to bite down on the pieces to show your dog how it's done - your Shelestie will be smart enough to put the pieces together (or in this case slide them apart) after they watch you solve the puzzle a few times.
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3
Taking off the training wheels
After solving a few dog puzzles with your dog watching, you'll next want to present them with a puzzle and then let them try to solve it on their own. Before, your dog was largely operating on their ability to memorize your movements. Now they'll have to dig in deep and really think about their own moves in order to solve the puzzle on their own. Encourage your dog all the way through this step, but don't solve the puzzle for them if they get stuck. Let them take a break and then crack at it again later.
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Canine Soccer

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Soccer Ball
Water
Activity description
All dogs, even smaller sized dogs like West Highland White Terriers and certain Shelesties, have something called a "prey drive." This prey drive compels puppies of all shapes and sizes to chase after things that are smaller than them so that they can catch them and bring them back to their packs. As a member of your pack, your Shelestie will be eager to find various things that they can capture and them bring back to you. Canine soccer aims to capitalize on your dog's prey drive in a constructive way, coaxing them to "capture" and bring back a soccer ball rather than something less flattering, like an old shoe.
Step
1
Differences in canine soccer
We sort of hit on it earlier, but canine soccer really isn't about getting your dog to score points - at least not early on. Whereas a normal game of soccer consists of two human teams attempting to move the ball from one end of the field to the other, canine soccer is more concerned with getting your dog to move the ball back to you after you've kicked it a certain distance away. Your dog will also resort to using their head rather than their legs nine times out of ten.
Step
2
Be consistent
Once you and your dog start playing canine soccer together, we urge you to keep it up and play at least a game or two every week. If you ever want your dog to learn how to score with this game, you'll want to keep practicing with them until they get the basics down pat.
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More Fun Ideas...

Trick Training

This last activity is a great way to help a dog learn how to understand and follow your commands while also providing them with the structure all pets need. To teach your dog how to sit, stay, or lay down you'll need to get their attention with a treat and then you'll need to demonstrate the action you'd like them to pull off by issuing the corresponding command.

Dress Up

West Highland White Terriers are some of the biggest fans of this game in the entire animal kingdom, so don't be surprised if your Shelestie also turns out to be a big fan of dress up. For this activity, all you need to do is get a hold of as many loose fitting articles of clothing you can find and them outfit them on to your dog in order to see which clothes they love.

Conclusion

Shelesties may be relative newcomers to the canine kingdom but they have so much in common with a number of the older breeds that pet parents shouldn't have any trouble at all figuring out how these pups operate. Shelesties are very even tempered dogs as well, meaning that they're much more patient and understanding than a number of breeds that are older than they are. Lastly, Shelesties can make great family pets as they tend to get along very well with children so long as they're respected. Shelesties do need a lot of attention, so you may not want to adopt one if you can't be around them often enough, but otherwise, there are very few cons to adopting one of these puppies.