Activities For Shiffons

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Introduction

Small in size but big in personality, the Shiffon is friendly, a little noisy, and rambunctious at times. A hybrid cross of the Brussels Griffon and the Shih Tzu, the Shiffon will make their own fun if left to their own devices. This could mean your washing dragged from the line for you... or perhaps your pillows being attacked and destroyed! You need to stay one step ahead of this pup and have tasks on hand for them to do. When you want to bring in the washing, throw your pegs around the area and train your pup to pick them up and drop them in a special container. This activity provides a mental and physical workout for them. Extend this activity to having them pick up their toys inside - get this little dynamo working. Get them to chase a ball, or grab their leash and take them out for a walk. A tired pup is a good pup.

Crawl, Jump and Roll

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Any Day
Free
Hard
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Boxes
Low jumps
Treats
Activity description
Teaching a dog a new trick is an activity that will make your dog think hard and teach them to follow orders. You will need to arrange a few low jumps for your dog, nothing fancy - even a low box will do. If your dog is young and still growing,  take care with jumping as they can damage the still soft and growing bones. It will be like a mini obstacle course when you teach your dog to jump over obstacles, crawl on their tummy and then roll over on command. You will need to be patient with this trick - it takes practice and concentration for your dog to understand and put your commands into effect. Having a few treats will help encourage your pup to perform. Praise your pooch when they get it right; the Shiffon responds really well to hugs and craves your approval. Keep the tasks fun and be kind, the Shiffon is a sensitive dog so don't berate them or they will not play.
Step
1
Get ready to play
Get the jumps set up leaving a good area to run between each one. This activity can be played inside or out. Take one component of the activity at a time when teaching your dog. Get them to run and jump over the boxes on command. Once they get that step, move onto the crawl, then finally the roll. Be patient as your dog learns what it is you are trying to teach them. Reward progress with a treat and plenty of happy enthusiastic praise. In the beginning, you may have to run with them around the jumps, but take it slowly, they will soon be bounding around your course like a professional.
Step
2
Crawl pup, crawl
Now comes the crawl. This activity can take some time. The best way is to start by getting your Shiffon to lie down and stay. Then get down on the ground in front of them, and hold a small treat in front of their nose but slightly out of reach. Say the command to 'crawl', and when they sneak forward on their tummy, let them have the treat. If they rise up, gently press their back and give the command to lie down and stay. It can take time, but be patient. Once they get the idea, you can sit or stand up, and they will learn to stay down and crawl for that treat.
Step
3
Finally, comes the roll!
If you have gotten this far all in one sitting, your dog is a superstar! The roll over command is taught similarly to the way you started them to crawl. First, have your dog lie down and stay. Next, wave a treat in front of their nose, but slowly move it to their side - they will follow it with their head and then will have to roll as you pass the treat over their body. Once they have done a roll, exclaim with praise for them. They will get the idea. While you practice, take a few breaks to pat your dog and let them race around the yard. Then get back into training. Once they can do all three moves, string them all together. Get your Shiffon to run and jump, drop and crawl, then roll over.
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Picnic Time

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Picnic basket
Water bottle
Ball
Doggy Waste Pickup Bags
Activity description
What could be better on a warm sunny day, than to pack up a picnic basket and head outdoors with your pooch for a picnic in the park? The park makes an ideal venue for your dog as it combines many things that they love. They can walk, run, play in the leaves, dash after a bird or two, and check out all the other dogs who visit 'their' park. For you, it is a chance to relax while your dog frolics in the park. When you want them to relax, reach for that picnic basket, and like magic, they will be at your side. Set out a blanket to sit on, and start organizing lunch. By now, your Shiffon will have used up most of their energy, so they will be happy to sit and eat. Later, you can play a game of fetch, but for now, just relax and enjoy the moment.
Step
1
Select the park
Most cities or towns have a selection of parks available to the public. Ensure you choose one that is pet-friendly, and take along a bag to clean up after your dog. Apart from that, all you need is the destination, and a bulging picnic basket full of goodies to get moving out the door. Regarding food, make sure you put in a few special treats to surprise your dog and take a water bottle along.
Step
2
Unleash the energy
On arrival at the park, let your dog off the leash to run and play. The caveat here is that they are well behaved and don't just disappear. Even though there are many distracting things, it is important that they respond immediately when you call them. Apart from that let them wear off their energy before lunch. There is so much to see, sniff and explore! Then, there will be other dogs to meet, and children to investigate. Allow them to wander safely within your immediate sight to get rid of their excitement before you start to set up for lunch.
Step
3
Dog delights
As you start to set up for lunch, your dog will suddenly materialize by your side. Dogs seem to know when food is about to show. Good manners must be adhered to even though you are outside. Give your Shiffon a few special treats to start them off. Perhaps a food dispensing toy will keep them busy for a while, stuffed with all sorts of bits of food that they have to figure out how to get out. After a relaxing feast, keep your dog with you to relax for a while. Allow time for their food to go down. Then toss the ball for them to retrieve to finish the outing off.
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Old Toy Refreshment

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
60 min
Items needed
Used dog toys
Household cleaning items
Activity description

Ask your dog to go and get their toys. This activity should be taught to your dog as soon as possible. They can be a great help at the end of the day when you are cleaning the house. No doubt your Shiffon has a good pile of toys that they have played with over the week. By now, some of the toys will be dirty and well mouthed. A quick wash and rinse, followed by a cycle in the microwave will sterilize the toys and bring them back to life. Discard any toys that have broken bits and repair any toys that need some maintenance. While your dog looks on, put the soft toys and tennis balls in the wash. Some dogs are mesmerised by the sight of their toys going round and round in the washer or dryer. Once clean, you can hand them back to their owner (your pooch) and it will be like getting a bunch of new toys. Or you could do a swap with your pet's doggie buddy for a whole new bunch of toys. Just disinfect them  prior to use with a good pet friendly product first.

Step
1
Toy time maintenance
Like most dogs, your Shiffon probably has accumulated a basket of toys. Every time you walk past the pet store, somehow they acquire a new toy! The pleading eyes of your dog are hard to resist. But just like children get bored with their toys, so too does your dog. Spice up their toys by rounding them all up, cleaning them and fixing any broken or ripped parts. Toss any that have sharp broken edges, they are not worth fixing. Save a few for another day before giving your buddy their toys back. They will think if you liked playing with them, those toys must be great!
Step
2
Swap unwanted toys
Often your dog gets tired of a toy and really doesn't want it. So clean it up and offer to swap toys with a friend who has a dog. This activity saves you having to go and buy new toys. If you have a lot of friends who have dogs, you could set up a rotation scheme so that every two to three months your dog gets a set of new toys. Don't give away their favorite toys though, they need to keep those. Just disinfect the new bunch and then let your dog loose with their new toys.
Step
3
Rotating toys
If you save a few toys from each bunch and put them away, you will always have a new toy for those moments when you are busy and your dog is getting bored. This provides hours of entertainment for your dog as they rediscover old toys or get to grips with a new borrowed toy. Entertaining your pet doesn't have to cost a fortune. By forming a dog toy swapping group, your dog will always have toys that enthrall, challenge and comfort.
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More Fun Ideas...

Four Star Hotel Experience

What do you do if you want to go to an area and stay overnight? You take your dog with you! This will be a great experience for them and prevents the guilt when you have to leave them at a boarding facility. Many hotels and other forms of accommodation are now reverting to being pet-friendly. They vary from just allowing dogs to be present, to going all out and providing meals, spa experiences, and special dog beds for your pet. Check out the pup-friendly places in your area, you may be surprised at the choice.

Rock Pool Exploration

The beach is an ideal place to take a curious dog. Try to get away from the crowds to an area where there are rock pools. These miniature pools are perfect for a small dog to explore, swim and 'fish' for minnows. You can wander along for ages on a sunny day. Make sure you have fresh water for both you and your dog. Let them dig and roll in the sand, or dig under a rock and chase the crabs! If you are collecting shells, your Shiffon will want to help too. What a perfect bonding day.

Carnival Fun

Carnivals are both fun and exciting, as well as a bit overwhelming for some dogs. But, it is a great socializing activity in a small dose for your dog. The excitement in the air, the parades, the people and of course - the food! What is not to love? If it is your dog's first carnival you may need to reassure them often as they adapt to all the activity. If you can grab a spot where you can sit and watch with your dog on your lap, that would be perfect.

Conclusion

Your feisty Shiffon just really wants to please you. They crave your approval and will try hard to get it, but you need to be patient as they can be resentful of harsh training methods. Make learning fun and you will have no problems. Varying their daily routine can be as easy as just taking a new route to a different park on your daily walk. Or it may be taking your Shiffon with you when you go to the markets. This activity is an ideal socializing opportunity for your dog. All the smells from the food stalls, the meeting and greeting of the many dogs out with their owners, but most important of all is the proud feeling your dog will get when you choose to take them out and about with you. That is the best thing of all for your Shiffon!