Activities For Shichons

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Introduction

Toy breeds grow in popularity by the day, with more and more people preferring smaller dogs for smaller homes. However, if there ever were a toy breed to shine through, it would be the Shichon. Also known as a teddy bear or Zuchon, they are a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise designer dog that looks exactly like a child’s soft toy teddy bear. They are cute, cuddly, friendly, and are well worth treating to some fun activities. While a Shichon doesn’t need a lot of physical activity, they still require you to provide them with stimulation of around 45 minutes per day to curb destructive behavior. Find out how below. 

Playdates

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Any Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Toy
Activity description

You don’t need to take your Shichon to a dog park for socialization, but you do need to make sure they play well with others and can burn off energy at the same time. Therefore, there’s no harm in tracking down a friend with a dog of a similar size and temperament for regular playdates. They can run and play together in any weather, all the while learning that other dogs are friends, not threats. The best part is, this is a free activity that doesn’t require you to do any work. All you need to do is meet up with a friend for coffee and let the dogs enjoy an hour of easy play! 

Step
1
Neutral ground
The first step to a successful playdate is first to introduce your Shichon to another dog on neutral territory. Shichons can be quite yappy and territorial, and they may be more so if you bring another dog into their space. Meet at a dog park or even an open piece of ground away from your home.
Step
2
Initial introduction
When you get to your meeting place, have your dog on their leash with it slack. Walk the two dogs beside each other, not letting them touch. You can then cross paths, letting each dog sniff where the other has just walked. This process enables your dog to get used to the presence of the other, without a confrontation.
Step
3
Meet
Now they can meet! Let them face each other with both owners still holding onto the leashes. Take note of their reactions. If there doesn’t appear to be any hostility, let go of the lead and stand back. Be ready to grab it if you need to. Shichons are not aggressive dogs, however, so you may find the meeting, and subsequent playdates go off without a hitch!
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Tricks

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Rainy Day
Free
Normal
15 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

Believe it or not, Shichons are brilliant dogs, enjoying nothing more than to please their owners and obey your commands. As a result, they are reasonably easy to train. If you want to go far beyond obedience training into the realm of fun skills, then why not try your hand at handshakes and playing dead? This rainy-day activity is one you can work on for five minutes, three times a day, involving snacks and a normal difficulty level. Contrary to what you may think, this activity is one that your dog will pick up quickly and will enjoy if it involves treats.

Step
1
Handshake
Teaching your dog to shake hands can make them a hoot at parties. But, it can also be helpful for them to understand that they must work hard for treats, as opposed to just getting them for no reason. Make your dog sit and hold a treat in one hand. Show it to your pup then close your fist. Tell your dog to “shake” then show them the hand to remind them what’s in it. When they start digging for the treat in your hand, tell them “good” with a high energy voice, then give them the treat. Repeat for five minutes, three times per day, until they understand.
Step
2
Play dead
Play dead is an effortless process if your dog already understands how to sit and lie down. Master these techniques first before moving onto this one if they don't. Rub your dog’s belly once you tell them to lie down. You can then roll them onto their side, praising them for this position. Later, every time you see them on their side, give them words of praise and tell them to play dead. Before long, they will associate those words with that position, enabling you to carry out the two-step process of lying down then rolling over.
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Fetch

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Fetch toy
Activity description

A game of fetch is an excellent activity for a small Shichon, due to its versatility. You can play it inside, outside, when it’s raining, when it’s sunny, and if you have a yard or an apartment with no outdoor area. Not only is fetch going to cater to your dog in all situations, but it’s also an affordable and easy activity that can wear them out in as little as 20 minutes. All you need is a toy for the game which you can buy at your local pet store and some space set aside to throw the toy. You can then get started! 

Step
1
Choose a toy
The best fetch toy is one that’s robust, can handle you throwing it on the ground, and is aerodynamic as well. It should also be lightweight and small, given the small frame of the Shichon. Your furry friend can also be quite destructive, so if you want the toy to last for a long time, either purchase a robust rubber one or only use it for a game of fetch.
Step
2
Play
Now that you have the best toy, you can play! Clear an area then throw the toy up a hallway or a fair distance away. Your dog then has to run as fast as they can to retrieve it, bringing it back to you to throw again. The whole process, when carried out over 20 minutes, is going to give them most of the physical stimulation they need for the day.
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More Fun Ideas...

Walk

Whether you live in an apartment or your dog is getting lazy at home, you may find a daily walk can cater to their physical requirements. You only need a leash and waste bag, but it’s an activity that can take up half an hour of your time while tiring your furry friend out in the process.  

Chew Toys

When you bring your Shichon home for the first time, you will quickly discover that they like your new pair of shoes as much as you do. It doesn’t take long for your Shichon to become bored, so make sure they always have something to occupy their time – so that your prized possessions don’t end up in the firing line. Small, robust rubber toys are going to be more than suitable for your dog’s chewing requirements. They can then sit down quietly and benefit from that much-needed mental stimulation. 

Conclusion

Your teddy bear dog will be the light of your life, and they will think the world of you too. If you want to make sure your furry friend has adequate mental and physical stimulation every day, then treat them to some of these activities above. Both you and your four-legged companion will enjoy the time you get to spend together.