Activities For Silky-Pins

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Introduction

The Silky-Pin pup is a small dog who craves affection and doesn't like to be left alone for too long. A combination of the Miniature Pinscher and the Silky Terrier, they are a ball of energy and require a lot of exercise, even though they are small in size. This dog is perfect for an active family. They love to be in on all the action, and will be the first in on a game and the last out! Keep this dynamic dog busy and you will have the perfect companion and soulmate. They can be a bit feisty in nature, so make sure you take them out in the community so that they learn to mix with other people and dogs. They are keen to please and because of this, you should include a lot of training in their day. The Silky-Pin pup needs to be mentally and physically challenged to have them perform at their best.

Busy Bucket

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
plastic bucket
Toys and treats
Small towels or large rags
Activity description
If you have work to do around the house and want your Silky-Pin to have fun things to do while you are busy, make them a busy bucket to keep them occupied while you are working. A busy bucket contains a lot of cool things for your inquisitive dog, all packed tightly between layers of cloth or towels. It will take your dog a while to 'unpack' the bucket, as they will stop to eat the treats or play with a new squeaky toy! Pack it as tight as you can so they have to work to get to a new layer. Make the layers of cloth large enough so they can't swallow the pieces. Even after they have reached the bottom, they will go back through every single piece of cloth or towel to make sure they haven't missed anything. By the time they tire of it, you will be free to move on to the next activity!
Step
1
Start building the bucket
Gather all the things you need before you start to build the bucket layers. The toys, a few treats, a piece of their favorite fruit or vegetable, and maybe even an icy treat (if you are giving it to them right away) can be placed inside. You will need plenty of cloth or small towels to pack the bucket tightly. You want it as compressed as possible so it takes your dog a while to get it unloaded. Really layer the cloth and push down as much as possible. In each layer put something interesting such as a small new toy, a ball, or a chew toy with a slather of peanut butter on the end. Anything that will make your dog stop and play for a minute or three. End with a chewy bone or something like a food dispensing toy.
Step
2
Ready to give
Put something smelly and yummy on the top layer so they know there is good stuff in the bucket. Put the bucket down in an area you won't mind getting a bit messy, as your dog will fling the towels and cloth around while they hunt for treats. Watch to see what they do and when they are truly engrossed, begin your housework - but stay within ear's reach. A bit of soft music to keep them company, a bucket full of fun, what more could a Silky-Pin want? This activity plays on the natural inclination of your dog to 'hunt' for their food. In the wild, dogs spend a lot of their time seeking a source of food. They scavenge here and there, and it takes up a lot of energy and focus. Use this natural tendency to keep your pup busy.
Step
3
How did your pup do
When you have a free moment, take note of your dog's progress. Have they finished with the bucket or are they still going? Are they still hunting for treats? Praise them for their efforts, even if the place looks a disaster. It is only towels and they can easily be picked up. Your enterprising canine will want to show you the treasures they found in this handy bucket! Used correctly, the Busy Bucket can be used again and again - but keep it for those times when you want to keep your little pup busy and out of trouble. They may be ideal when visiting a friend, or to take on holiday when you have struck a wet day. The Busy Bucket will become a good tool to utilize in times of need.
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Cool Pool

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Hot Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Paddling pool
ice cubes
Activity description
A hot day activity that will cool your dog off and let them have fun while doing it is to fill a sturdy paddling pool with water and add some ice. This is only for a warm dog, not a dog who is overly hot as it is too sudden a drop in temperature. But for a dog who is just hot and bored, the icy water is a fun activity for the day. They seem to love the sound of the ice and love rolling in it or putting it in their mouth. As an extra bit of fun, you could freeze some treats in ice and throw them in, too for your dog to seek out. They will keep coming back to their icy pool to cool down during the day, so just leave the pool out. The ice will slowly melt which makes clean up easy.
Step
1
Easy to set up game
This activity is one of the easiest to set up. It requires setting up the paddling pool and that is about it! A solid plastic pool is best so that your playful pup does not puncture it. This solid type of pool can double as a sand box when not in use. Run the hose into the pool and watch your dog have some fun as it fills. You can even chase your dog with the hose occasionally as it fills the pool. It is a lot of fun and will burn up energy as your Silky-Pin pup races around the yard, 'attacking' the water hose!
Step
2
Just add ice
With your pool full of water and ready to go, bring out the ice! Add a few pieces of ice into the water and let your dog explore. At first they will be hesitant and wonder what this cold stuff is, but as they explore they will get excited with the noise it makes as they move it around. Then they will be nose-diving into the water, rolling in it and generally having a ball. At times they will leap out, run around the yard, and then dive back in. You can throw some of their favorite toys in the water for them as well.
Step
3
Play on
You can add in some fun by throwing in a small bucket of special ice cubes. These larger ice cubes have treats in them! This is a great trick to get them to drink the cold water and cool down. A few unfrozen treats on hand will help as they wait for their icy treats to thaw a little. This activity can be an all-day one as your dog will keep coming back to the pool to cool off. In between times, they may relax in the sun or you could have a game of tug of war or fetch. At the end of the day the ice will have melted and if you want to put the pool away, just pour out the water on the garden or lawn and it is done!
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Unstuff the Ball

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
wide mesh ball
Long thin lengths of fabric
treats
Activity description
This game will appeal to your Silky-Pin pooch as they try to unstuff the ball. The ideal type of ball for this is a strong but soft open mesh ball exterior with an empty inner area, if that makes sense? The idea is to stuff long lengths of fabric into the ball through the exterior holes and work a few treats into it as well. The harder you pack the ball, the harder it is for your dog to work out how to get into this ball. The activity is designed to make your dog think their way through a problem and when they do, they get a reward. Simple to organize, inexpensive to create, and fun for your dog, the stuffed ball will keep your Silky-Pin busy and overcome boredom on a cold, wet day.
Step
1
Stuff it
There is a ball on the market called a Hol-ee Rubber Ball. Check online to see the type of ball you need. Then, cut an old shirt or fleecy top into long thin strips. Wrap a bit around a tasty treat and put it right in the middle of the ball, then start to pack the strips of fabric around it. Every so often just add another wrapped treat as you get closer to the outer layers. The idea is to really pack it well so the ball takes some time for your dog to un-stuff! For a dog who likes to 'rearrange' their toys, this game will appeal.
Step
2
Get ready and play
Throw the ball for your pup to chase. As they catch it they will smell the treats. At first, they may look at you to see if they allowed to pull it to pieces, so give them a bit of encouragement by pulling a little bit of the fabric out. It won't take long for them to get the idea, especially once they find the first treat. Cheer them on as they battle with the ball. If you have packed it well, it should take some time to figure out how to do it all themselves. Don't help them, you want them to figure it out by themselves.
Step
3
Repeat as required
If your dog is a super pup and gets the ball unpacked quickly, you can simply put it all back together again and toss it again to be played with. Remember to adjust their meal-time rations because they are having additional treats. This will prevent weight gain in your dog. The great thing about this ball is it teaches your dog to focus on a problem and work out how to solve it. The activity also fills in a quiet day inside, when it is cold or wet and other activities are not practical. The ball is ideal to toss down the hall, up the top of the stairs, or into another room which adds more exercise to the activity.
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More Fun Ideas...

The Unpredictable Walk

How often do you take your dog out for a walk, and you walk the same old route the way you always have? How about mixing the walk up a bit? Jog for two to three lamp posts. Switch direction suddenly. Take a new street for a change and see how different that can be. Try to mix things up on this walk, it will keep your dog's attention and they will not know what you will do next. Do some sprint runs, walk fast, walk slow. Keep them guessing, that's part of the fun!

Clothes Basket Cart

Rig up a lightweight clothes basket with a few wheels, hook up a harness and you have a cart that your dog can pull around while you clean up the yard or shift firewood. The cart won't be too taxing on your small dog but will give them another lesson in cooperation and focus their energies on doing a particular job. If they get really good at this, take them on an excursion to the corner store and they can pull some of the lighter groceries home for you. They will puff up with pride with all the attention they get.

Hula Hoop Jumps

The Hula Hoop makes a perfect ring to train your dog to jump through.`You can either hold the hoop and train your Silky-Pin to jump through on command, or you can fix one or two to a tree or a pole and make it as a part of an obstacle course. Another use is to place the hoop flat on the ground and use it as a home base for your dog in a game of fetch. As they sit and wait within the hoop, throw the ball and command them to catch and return to the base. All good energy zappers for your dog!

Conclusion

Whether you are going out shopping, visiting a friend, or are just bored and are going for a stroll along the boardwalk, your Silky-Pin will be all too keen to come with you. With many businesses opening their doors to both the owner and pets, there are many places your dog can go with you. The caveat here is a 'well trained' dog is welcome. This is where training and obedience classes come into their own. When your dog listens and responds to your commands, they are a pleasure to take out on the town. Start obedience classes early in life for your dog, and you will be able to enjoy many adventures together. Your pal can join you at a cafe, a music festival or even the markets - if they are well behaved. So dust off the training books, time to get this little ankle nipper trained!