Activities For Shih Apsos

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Introduction

The Shih Apso is a cheerful and inquisitive dog who loves to be with their owners all the time and does not like being alone. Socializing is important for this small dog; otherwise, they can get quite possessive and prone to not getting along well with other dogs. While they don't require a large space to roam or a lot of outside activity each day, variety in their life will keep them guessing and on their toes. Boredom doesn't sit well with this delightful little dog. They are always sticking their nose into things which can often land them in trouble. The best way to teach this slightly headstrong pup is to do it through fun activities. Getting them involved in a game or retrieving objects will train them without them even knowing. And while they are on the small side, they are more than capable of handling a few challenges!

Tug-a-bug

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Hard
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Sturdy rope or toy on a rope
rope or chalk
Activity description
Tug-of-war is such an oldie but a goodie - why wouldn't you include it in your Shih Apso's routine? While your Shih Apso is more bug-sized than brawn, and doesn't have the size to offer a serious challenge, it is still a great game to play with them. Don't always let them win, make them work for their success. Before starting, make sure your dog understands the release command such as "drop it" or something similar. Then tug away to your heart's desire. Another variation is to mark a line on the ground and the winner is the one who tugs their opponent over the line. You will have to let your earnest little pup win a few of these in all fairness. Give rewards for all their efforts or they may get disheartened and leave you to play on your own! This activity is always a good game as it gives your dog an outlet for their energy and their natural predatory instinct. Yes, even that cute little Shih Apso has the instinct buried deep within. So let the beast out! Let them tug, growl, and shuffle you across the line for a well deserved treat.
Step
1
Let's begin
All you need is a sturdy rope with a toy on the end or a large knot, then start tugging on it and your dog will spring into action and tug back. No way are they going to let you win! You may be surprised at the growls emanating from this usually quiet dog, but tug-a-bug is serious stuff!
Step
2
Drop it or release it
After a while, get your Shih Apso to drop or release the tugging toy. Reward them well for this achievement. Sit quietly for a moment or two and let them have a treat before trying another round. Let them win occasionally because they will give it one hundred percent effort! This is not only great for exercise, but it is a form of training as well.
Step
3
A line in the sand
Try drawing a line on the ground or place a piece of tape on the floor to mark where you have to pull your opponent over to win. See how much strength your dog can muster and let them win the odd round or two. Like everything they do, your dog will give this activity their full focus and will do their very best to win. Reward their efforts so that they will want to keep playing. Fun is all your dog wants, that, and your company of course!
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Bedtime Prep

Popular
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Any Day
Free
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Comfortable chair or couch
Activity description
After a busy day, your dog will enjoy the ritual of having a special one on one time with you before bed. It is a great opportunity to calm your dog down, and get them ready for sleep. The last thing you want is a hyperactive dog on your hands at bedtime! An hour or so before you head to bed, settle down with your pooch and quietly and calmly speak to them and pat or brush their coat. This will have a calming effect. Your Shih Apso loves to have your attention, and this is one activity that you can make a daily routine. The secret here is everything should be calming. Soft music, soft voices, and no thundering television series that will keep them awake all night. Slow things down and work on relaxing your pup so that they won't want to be up playing all night. If you have worked them all day, it should be easy to get them to relax as they will be tired. They may even fall asleep and you can carry them to their doggie bed where they will fall into a deep sleep!
Step
1
Slow things down
As the time for bed draws near, you want to be able to quieten things down to encourage your dog to relax and unwind. Keep activities calm and invite your dog to join you for a cuddle. They won't need a second invitation as they love to be with you. Keep the television low or turn it off and play some soft music. Slow things down.
Step
2
Read your dog a book
Reading your dog a story or even just talking to them while you stroke their fur will get them to relax and chill. It will be like a mini dog massage and after a busy day, it will be just what your Shih Apso will want. This activity has proven to lower your dog's energy to make going to bed enjoyable. They will soon doze off and you can carry them to their bed knowing all games are over for the day.
Step
3
Make it a nightly routine
This activity is bound to become one of your dog's favorite activities. They have your undivided attention, with no interruptions. If it becomes a habit, it is easy to persuade your dog that they need to settle down and it will be bedtime soon. Dogs are like us, they need their sleep so they can explode into a new day with abundant energy!
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Bike Ride

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Any Day
Expensive
Normal
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Bicycle
Dog Trailer
Activity description
Even the fittest Shih Apso isn't going to be able to run for long beside you as you bike along. But you can buy a dog trailer that attaches to your bike, and your dog can be happily enclosed and pulled along for the ride. They will love the motion, the breeze in their face, and they will enjoy stopping occasionally at the parks to get out and run about. While a dog trailer is not cheap, they are a great asset if you love to go bike riding and would love your dog to join you. You may even be able to pick one up second hand which could save you the expensive outlay. Consider that your dog will be with you for a good twelve or so years, so over that period of time, the purchase of a trailer works out to be quite economical. Your dog can enjoy the fresh air and fun and still have the energy to play when you stop for a break.
Step
1
Bike needs trailer
If you are a biking enthusiast, you most likely already own a bike. All you need now is a dog trailer so you can pop your pet inside, know that they are safe, and then head out to enjoy the bike ride. Check online to find the best deals, as this apparatus varies in price. You may even be able to find a second hand trailer which could save you a bundle of dollars. Important shopping points to keep in mind are: the trailer must have maneuverability, it should have plenty of mesh for airflow, and the size must allow your dog to have adequate room to move around. Another feature to keep in mind is ease of cleanup after use.
Step
2
Practice the pup in trailer part
When you get the trailer, let your dog have a good look at it. Allow them to climb inside and just sit if they choose. Once relaxed and sitting, close the trailer, and start moving it around. See how your Shih Apso behaves, and make it fun for them. A few treats as a bribe always helps. Then, attach it to your bike and bike around home with dog in tow.
Step
3
Road trip
Finally, when your dog is confident, take your bike and trailer out to the road. Your dog can enjoy the view and breeze. Stop frequently at first until your Shih Apso comes to love this activity. Treat and reward often. Praise them for being so good. Let them out for a run every now and again so that they get some exercise. Their little trailer will become their best activity yet.
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More Fun Ideas...

Paddle Pool Bubbles And Fun

Fill up a paddling pool, chuck in some bubbling bath mix made especially for dogs, and let your dog loose to splash, splosh and pop the bubbles as they float away with all this activity. It is also a sneaky way of giving your pup a bath, albeit a cool one! Dogs love water and they love bubbles. You could even blow more bubbles to keep the pace going. Have your camera or mobile phone handy to capture some really cute photos of your dog covered with bubbles.

Mini Obstacle Course

Make up a mini obstacle course at home with short tunnels, low boxes to jump over and some weaving poles to maneuver around. It is not a race, so let your Shih Apso go at their own pace. If you run or trot with them they will be encouraged to complete the course. Remember to reward them for their efforts, this will have them wanting more fun and more treats!

Wilderness Stroll

Vary your dog's outings once in a while by taking them to a nearby wilderness area to check out the trails. First, verify that your dog is allowed in the park. Take your time at the nature reserve, and wander quietly along the track, letting your dog sniff the bushes and explore the crunchy leaves. If you come to a stream, let your dog have a paddle and a splash, then wander on. 

Conclusion

Keeping a dog active during the day helps stave off boredom, which is typically when they get into trouble. If you have been neglecting to spend quality time with your Shih Apso, they will let you know! That is what your shredded newspaper is all about - they were bored and didn't realize that you hadn't yet read the daily news. Their serious sweet face will get them off the hook this time (and probably next time too) but to avoid these types of misdemeanors, keep your pet busy. Try to make your dog's life fun and they will be pawfectly happy to be home alone until your joyous return later in the day.