Activities For Sheltie Pins

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Introduction

Your Sheltie Pin is a hybrid dog resulting from breeding a Miniature Pinscher with a Shetland Sheepdog, and they get a tremendous amount of energy and intelligence from both parent breeds.  Since the breeding blessed this darling doggie with these two attributes, it becomes necessary that you assure your pup gets adequate mental and physical exercise on a daily basis.  Your Sheltie Pin will provide hours and hours of fun and entertainment that will be healthy for both of you, and these activities will keep peace in the household, protecting the couch, your favorite shoes, and the kid’s backpacks from the inevitable destruction that comes from a bored Sheltie Pin.  

Flyball

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Hurdles
Ball box with spring-loaded release mechanism
Tennis balls
Doggie treats
Activity description
Flyball can be incorporated into your daily home routine just for fun and exercise, and it can be one in which you plan to compete in an organized arena when your dog is comfortable, confident and has developed sufficient speed.  Regardless of the long-term goal for this undertaking, it will serve the purpose of using up some of that pent-up energy quite nicely in both you and your pet.  It generally is done at home in sunny weather, but can be enjoyed year round if the course is inside.  At home, you’ll need to acquire 4 jumping hurdles, a ball box which is equipped with a spring-release mechanism to fling the balls out and a supply of tennis balls. The jumps should be about 10 feet apart, beginning about 6 feet from the starting point and ending approximately 15 feet from the ball box. There are activities which are less expensive, easier to perform and not as space or time-consuming, especially if an extensive training period is required, but, it will serve yet another function - the bonding opportunities available to you and your Sheltie Pin are priceless.
Step
1
Scope out space
For the home course, you’ll need a fair amount of open space for it. You’ll need to set up four obstacles for jumping and the ball box at the other end of the course. If you prefer to participate in this activity at a commercial facility, then you’ll need to research to find locations near you, as well as ascertain the type of facilities they offer. Whether your dog is a novice or seasoned veteran of flyball is a significant determining factor when you’re considering the venue for this game. For those of you whose pups are new at this undertaking, we include step 2 to help teach the basic tenants to those newbies.
Step
2
Teach the technique
Many dog breeds seem to have jumping hurdles or obstacles built into their genetics, but not all dogs are “naturals” at this move. Assure that the “jump” is an appropriate height for your pet, allow them to sniff and investigate it. Give ample time for this examination, then, gently and lovingly, encourage your best bud to jump over it, using a yummy doggie treat as a reward. Repeat as necessary until your Sheltie Pin easily and comfortably negotiates all four of the jumps in the course. Next, acquaint your pup with the ball box in the same manner, activating the release mechanism and appropriate rewarding behavior with a snack. This part of the process may be a bit more complicated as the release mechanism adds an element of sudden surprise to the mix, an event that can scare many timid dogs.
Step
3
Racing fun
Once you have taught the basics of the game and your darling doggie is reasonably comfortable, confident, and cooperative, think about joining a team. Doing so will allow your Sheltie Pin to expend the natural, pent-up mental and physical exercise required for their health and well-being. A club membership comes with the added benefit of socialization. If formal competition is your goal, continue to practice this game until your pup has gained the speed required for competitive flyball.
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You Chase Me

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Any Day
Free
Easy
20 - 30 min
Items needed
Open space (amount is variable)
Doggie treats
Activity description

You chase me (and I’ll chase you) is an activity in which any member of the family can engage with your Sheltie Pin, and is played inside the house or out.  Ideally, this game is best done outside, in the fresh air and sunlight, in the openness of the backyard, but, if those conditions aren’t available, you can surely improvise by using the family room, great room or hallway as your “course.”  This game is one that requires only some space, a dog and a human being - and of course, some yummy dog treats as rewards (something you probably keep anyway)!  This exercise also has a very short learning curve since most canines willingly give chase when provided with the appropriate stimulus.  A single firm but gentle pushing down on the head of your pet should serve to signal them that fun is afoot, especially if your delightful doggie gives you the “play bow” -- the chest down and “butts up” position which tells you they’re ready to play!  When your pet assumes this position, be assured that any running, jumping, nipping and associated frolicking that follows show they’re ready for fun and isn’t a cause for alarm.

Step
1
Pat the pursuer
When you’re ready to begin this game, face your pup and gently but firmly push down on their head with your hand, a move that other dogs apply, using their paws, to initiate play or competition. If your dog is ready to play, you will likely see a signal, perhaps the play bow described above, telling you they’re willing to proceed. Lower yourself to your knees, and get to eye level with your pet, creeping slowly in a cat-like manner toward them, looking them in the face. Very slowly and deliberately, stretch out your arms, flexing your fingers and reaching out in a “grab it” motion, to tease and taunt. The longer this part of the game is drawn out, usually the higher the effect and fun.
Step
2
Fix and face
Fix your stare steadily on your dog’s face and eyes as you slowly move toward them. If your four-legged family member is ready to play, you should expect them to wait until you are about ready to touch them before they bolt away from you, enticing you to give chase. And, give chase is what you should do at this point, not worrying about how to proceed because your playful pup will lead the way! Allow them to go a few rounds of the room or backyard before step 3.
Step
3
Turn the tables
After permitting the chase to circle the area a few times, it’s time for you to gain control again. Stop the pursuit of your Sheltie Pin, nonchalantly looking or examining a random item (an item on an end table, or plant outside, or even a previously planted doggie toy). Your pawed partner will naturally notice that you’re no longer chasing them, stopping and returning to investigate the reason for the ceasing of the exercise. When they come close enough to examine the item of interest, you can then try to run away, enticing them to chase you! Repeat this step as many times and as often as desired, or as time limits permit
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Hide and Seek

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Any Day
Free
Easy
20 - 30 min
Items needed
Yummy dog treats
Activity description
The game of hide and seek is one that probably many of you played as children, with family members or neighborhood friends.  It can be as much fun when played with your best bud as it was in your childhood, and it is a beautiful way to make some fond memories and bond more closely with your pet.  This activity, played indoors or out, requires only the dog, a minimum of two humans, some yummy dog treats (as an incentive to play) and lavish praise.  It can be an adventure for pups (human as well as canine) of any size or age, with a cost of little to nothing since you probably already have the treats at home, and the praise, though quite valuable, is both free and plentiful.  The exercise, repeatable as desired in any degree of intensity or time limits, couldn’t be more natural for your Sheltie Pin, making the learning curve very short.  Most dogs enjoy the challenge of problem-solving activities, with some even utilizing amazing pre-programmed tracking abilities inherited from their parent breeds.
Step
1
Distract your doggie
Distracting your best bud is the first, and perhaps the most important one. The distraction, a simple summoning of your canine to receive praise, loving hugs and petting or for a yummy treat, is an action that serves to allow time for one of the other non-canine participants to prepare for the search to follow.
Step
2
Pick the place
By distracting your pup, you give the designated ducker (the hider) the opportunity to choose a hiding place and snuggle into it. This hidey-hole can be as simple as taking up a position behind the couch, behind an open door or curtain, behind a tree or bush, or behind an outbuilding in the backyard. The designated ducker can be one of the kids - the age or size doesn’t matter, only the relationship to the dog is vital. This is worth mentioning because the dog must want to find that individual for the game to proceed as planned!
Step
3
Seek and find
Once the person has adequately hidden, it is time to call your pooch to action. To do this, a simple command of "find" will convey the next step to your frisky friend. Your next step is probably the most fun for you and your pet - you get to watch as they seek the beloved family member you’ve commanded them to find. Sometimes, your pup will find their quarry quickly by sight, while at other times, they may need to incorporate that powerful sense of smell many breeds have. If they tire of the search, yummy doggie snacks will be very handy, encouraging them to continue the fun. This game is repeatable with anyone with whom your playful pet has formed an attachment!
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More Fun Ideas...

Fetch

Fetch the toy is an activity that closely resembles that of Disc Dog, with the exception that, instead of using of the Frisbee disc to fling and fetch, you choose your dog’s favorite toy.  Who knows, you may even get them to return it to you with a little snack enticement!

Disc Dog

Disc Dog is an easy and inexpensive game to play with your pooch.  Purchase a Frisbee disc, take them to an open space, fling the Frisbee, and encourage them to chase and retrieve.  Repeat for hours of fun!

Conclusion

These activities are suggestions of beautiful ways to build closer bonds with your four-legged family member as well as utilize the enormous amounts of energy which this hybrid has inherited.  These are, for the most part, entertaining, engaging and inexpensive methods to protect the health and well-being of your best bud, as well as protecting others in the household from the annoying and destructive behaviors which can develop from a bored Sheltie Pin.