Activities For Sheltie Tzus

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Introduction

This Shetland Sheepdog and Shih Tzu mix is a small dog that usually reaches about 20 to 25 pounds on average and while they are lovable and huggable, they also like to work. The Sheepdog genes make these pups long to herd because they were bred to be sheep herders, hence the name Sheepdog. The Shih Tzu part of your dog is all about guarding the family (and the flock or herd) so having a mix of these two breeds makes your pet the perfect herding and guarding dog. However, these pups also like to play so make sure they get enough play time in their daily activities.

Herding

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Herding animals
Activity description
Yes, herding is the number one hobby, sport, or job for dogs like yours. Even though your buddy is only half Shetland Sheepdog, that is plenty enough to give them the upper hand over other breeds. These dogs are born to herd and they love to do it. You may even find your Sheltie Tzu herding your other pets or children at home. So, maybe it would be a good idea to put those skills to good use. There are plenty of herding activities, and while most of them are for full blooded Shetland Sheepdogs, you can find plenty that allow mixed or designer breeds to their herding competitions. Check with the local American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) for more information.
Step
1
Old McDonald
If you own a farm with some farm animals, chances are pretty good that your Sheltie Tzu already knows a little bit about herding. In fact, even if you don’t, they have probably practiced it on your other pets or kids once or twice. Learning to herd comes easily to this breed in most cases. All you will have to do is learn the command signs and teach your pooch the proper way to herd. You need to learn your dog’s herding style too. They may be a barker or one who shows a strong eye toward the herd to keep them in line. Some do not bark at all but can get the herd to listen by just looking at them.
Step
2
Teach the right skills
Let your dog herd as much as they want. In fact, if your pooch can practice on a daily basis, that is perfect. Keeping those skills sharp and their herd in line is what keeps your pup in charge. The proper handling technique will not mean much if your dog loses the respect of the herd so make sure you encourage your dog when they get the herd to listen.
Step
3
Get herding
Entering a herding competition can be difficult if your pup is not ready so make sure you practice and hone those skills before jumping in the ring. You do not want to stress your dog out on the first go-round; if you do not think your pooch is ready to be in charge, try again at a later date.
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Rally Obedience Trials

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Treats
Activity description
This is a sport that combines obedience with agility while you guide your pooch through different stations of exercises. Like other canine sports, rally obedience trials are dependent on teamwork. If you and your dog cannot work together as a team or your fur baby just has trouble following your lead, this may not be the best choice for you. The trial includes 10 to 20 different stations, each with a specific exercise such as sit, heel, turn, and lay down. Of course, just because your dog is good at these things does not mean they will enjoy it. Make sure your pooch is enjoying what you are doing so it does not become a chore or punishment for them.
Step
1
Praise your pooch
Always praise your pooch. You want your dog to be happy when performing these trials so let them know that they are doing great and how much you appreciate them. When teaching them commands, it is important to give them a treat when they do what you ask of them. This will encourage your dog to want to keep on doing it right.
Step
2
Take a class
If your dog seems to enjoy the process but you are having trouble with the commands, you may want to try taking a class. You can find a class for just about any dog sport if you Google it. Try the local animal shelter or humane society as well as your veterinarian. If you cannot find what you want, ask the owners of the dogs who are performing in the trials in your area.
Step
3
Show off those skills
Once you think your furry friend is ready to compete, go to a few trials and check out the competition. Let your dog experience the atmosphere, crowds, and other dogs to get used to the surroundings before entering a trial. A rally trial is usually for dogs over six months of age so make sure your dog is old enough and getting checked out by a veterinarian beforehand is also a good idea.
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Tracking

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Tracking item
Collar
Leash
Treats
Activity description
Tracking can be a very important skill that can even lead to a rewarding job helping find lost victims or suspects. The art of tracking is similar to search and rescue, having your pooch follow a scent trail to find a scented bait object at the end of the trail set up for them. The track area can be from 450 yards to about 1,000 yards, depending on your dog’s experience and ability. There are various changes that can be done on the tracking trail by altering the age of the scent, cross-tracking, and direction changes. While this is typically an American Kennel Club event only open to registered breeds, you can find tracking trials and competitions in many areas for mixed breeds and unregistered pups.
Step
1
Natural instincts
If your dog is always sniffing the ground and running off in search of the critter that left the scent, tracking may be a fun sport to introduce them to. Of course, it is more than just about sniffing the ground. Your dog has to be trained not to run off on their own and they must have good recall.
Step
2
Compete
Competitions with other trackers can be fun for both of you and your pooch will probably love the attention. Actually, make sure your dog can tolerate the noise and rowdiness of the crowd and other dogs before entering a trial. As long as your little fur buddy is having fun, you should be having fun too.
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More Fun Ideas...

Go For a Walk

Your Sheltie Tzu will always love to go for a walk with you no matter what time of the day or night it is so if you are at work all day long and cannot find the time until after dinner or right before bed, so be it. Your dog won’t mind. A walk is a walk, after all, and it is always fun to go for a walk with your human.

Frisbee

Some call it disc catching while others refer to it as Frisbee, but your dog will just call it fun. This is one of the most common park activities people enjoy with their dogs and for good reason. You both get to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, you get some exercise, and you can meet other dog lovers as well.

Conclusion

Sheltie Tzus need at least one hour per day of vigorous exercise so if you like one of the above ideas, try getting out there with your little one at least a few times a week, alternating with just playing in the backyard or going for a short walk on other days. If you have trouble finding the time, try a professional dog walker. Your dog won’t mind if you use them as a substitute once in a while.