Activities For Slovensky Cuvacs

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Introduction

Slovensky Cuvacs have been working in the mountains of the Slovak Republic for several centuries, serving as a guardian of both livestock and property. They were well documented by the seventeenth century and many believe they were originally developed quite a bit earlier than that. These stoutly built white dogs drove off wolves and bears in order to protect their charges, but when these large predators began disappearing from their native lands the big guardians fell out of favor. Fortunately, a few breeders took an interest in the first half of the 1900s and rescued the breed from collapse. This breed gets along well with children and they tend to be more affectionate than most livestock guardian breeds, but independently minded and occasionally difficult to train. They are also fairly active, indoors and out, and tend to do best when they have plenty of room to move around in and need quite a bit of exercise each day.

Therapy Dog

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Certification/Registration
Activity description

Therapy dogs, like service dogs and emotional support animals, provide a service for humans that is restorative but while service dogs and emotional support animals focus their attention on one specific person, a therapy dog provides support to multiple people in many different situations. They not only visit schools, hospitals, and nursing homes, but they are often brought in to help calm victims and witnesses in traumatic situations such as natural disasters and shootings. Slovensky Cuvacs are typically calm dogs with a particular fondness for children who are known to be gentle and affectionate with those who are not a threat and are tolerant of even somewhat rough handling. These traits make them excellent candidates to be quality therapy dogs who may be best suited to specializing in comforting children in need. Training and certification to become a service dog can range from around fifty dollars to a few hundred dollars, depending on the amount of training that is required and what form that training takes.

Step
1
Socialization
In order to be an effective therapy dog, your canine companion will need to be calm and collected in a number of different surroundings, many of which may be unfamiliar to them. The best way to prepare them for these situations is to ensure that your dog is fully socialized by finding positive ways of exposing them to as many people, places, and situations as possible. While socialization training is most effective when dogs are young, typically between three weeks and four months of age, this training is still possible with more mature dogs, although it should be approached a little more slowly in order to prevent overwhelming your canine.
Step
2
Training
Along with basic socialization, your dog will need to be able to demonstrate excellent manners and poise in a variety of situations and certain behaviors, such as jumping up uninvited or unnecessarily barking, are not conducive to the job of a therapy dog. Dogs that are considering therapy work should start by earning an AKC Good Citizen certificate, which will allow them to get more specialized training if they so desire. Classes such as Distraction Proofing and Advance Good Citizen classes are good supplementary classes, and they can help to reinforce your dog’s earlier training.
Step
3
Register and visit
Once you and your canine have attained the proper obedience skills to visit those in need you will need to register your dog with one of several National Therapy Dog organizations located in the United States before you can start making visits. These organizations can help you to find information and support around therapy dog work, including where to visit and what insurances may be required. Dogs of all sorts may also earn AKC titling as an acknowledgment of their skills, starting with an AKC Therapy Dog Novice (THDN) title with just ten visits under their belt, to an AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD) title when they reach four hundred or more visits.
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Camping

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
24 - 48 hrs
Items needed
First Aid Kit
Six-foot Lead
Tent and Sleeping Bags
Food and Water
Waste Bags
Activity description

Flock guardian dogs like the Slovensky Cuvac are particularly well-suited to the activity of camping. This breed of dog is typically protective and somewhat territorial, so they will alert you if someone enters the area of your campsite, but typically they are only aggressive when either they or their charges are actually threatened. They have thick, warm fur and while they can stand colder temperatures allowing them to sleep in the tent with you protects them from exposure to the elements, wildlife, and theft; they also offer additional warmth to the human occupants when they are permitted to sleep in the tent. When camping with your dog it is never a good idea to leave them alone either in the car, where lack of airflow combined with higher temperatures can quickly cause your companion to overheat, nor at the campsite, where unfriendly wildlife, diseased carcasses, or unexpected weather conditions could cause a problem. 

Step
1
Research
Well-behaved canine companions are frequently welcomed at camping sites, but some sites restrict dogs in order to avoid spooking local wildlife. Check the rules and regulations at the site which you intend to visit to determine if dogs are allowed and if there are any restrictions on specific areas of the campgrounds, or if certain trails are prohibited. Once you get to the campground, be sure to check for posted signs, this may help to prevent encounters with unfriendly wildlife and keep your dog safe from diseases or toxins that have been noted in the area. Scouting a local emergency veterinarian and ensuring that you have their phone number and address handy can also save you time and reduce the length of distress for your dog in the event that they are injured in any way.
Step
2
Gear up
Most campgrounds require that you keep your dog on a six-foot lead in order to maintain control and food and water, along with bowls to serve them in, are important components to keeping your camping companion happy and healthy. Additional first-aid and emergency supplies to bring along can include a tick removal tool, needle-nosed pliers, styptic powder or a styptic pen, white socks or rubber gloves to cover paw injuries, thick bandages for other types of injuries, a mylar emergency blanket, and a muzzle or slip lead in order to ensure that you don’t get bitten if your dog has a frightening or painful experience.
Step
3
Safety and training
While even young pups tend to enjoy the experience of camping, a good grasp of some basic commands will help to make the experience safer and more rewarding for both you and your canine companion. A rock-solid recall command helps to prevent your dog from chasing after rabbits and squirrels, even if their lead is dropped or gets broken, and commands to drop something that your dog is carrying or leave an interesting item alone are invaluable if you run across carcasses or garbage left by other campers, or even certain sticks and plants that should be avoided by your pooch.
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Pack Walks

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Six-foot Lead
Waste Bags
Activity description

While Slovensky Cuvacs tend to be more tolerant of other dogs than many of the other herd guardian breeds, this tendency needs to be reinforced with consistent socialization. While dog parks can be a good way for your dog to interact, it is not as controlled of an environment as a pack walk generally is, and there are additional risks such as uncontrolled and poorly socialized dogs, and additional opportunities for the spread of germs. Walking together in a pack is actually a natural experience for most dogs, and although some dogs need time to adjust to the situation, it typically benefits most dogs, both mentally and physically. There are groups that meet up in most towns, and in many places, there are even groups specifically designed around dogs that are reactive or fearful. In many cases, these walks are headed by a professional in the dog training world or another person with extensive training or experience in reading canine body language in order to avoid squabbles and fights between the dogs. Although many of these groups are free to join, those that focus on socializing dogs with behavioral difficulties may charge a small fee. 

Step
1
Choose a group
If you have a dog that has already shown fearful or aggressive tendencies, you may want to start off with a group that is developed to ease these traits. These groups should be headed by someone with professional or extensive training experience and is more likely to have some sort of cost attached to it. Dogs that are amicable towards other canines can also join groups with other friendly dogs to help reinforce proper social interaction and allow you a better opportunity to engage in some good social interaction as well, as they often walk in a closer group.
Step
2
Learn the rules
Each group is likely to have slightly different rules regarding your pet’s involvement and interaction with the other dogs on the walk. Some groups only allow certain sizes or breeds to join and others may require that your dog is proven friendly before you can enroll. There are groups who allow more interaction than others, and a few groups that require that some or all of the dogs that are involved be comfortable wearing a muzzle of some sort. In most cases, leashes longer than six feet and retractable leashes, as well as prong collars, choke chains, and e-collars, are prohibited for safety reasons.
Step
3
What to expect
While some dog walking groups are very large, reaching upwards of thirty to forty dogs, some are much smaller, and groups between four and six dogs are often seen as well. In most cases, the group will be somewhat spread out at the beginning of the walk, particularly if the dogs are not yet familiar with one another, but they tend to begin walking in a tighter formation as the canines become more confident and comfortable with the situation.
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More Fun Ideas...

Carting

These sturdy and composed dogs are well-suited to playing the role of a light draft animal. Carting, when properly managed, helps to maintain both muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness and it is a task that many of the sturdier breeds, like the Slovensky Cuvac, find quite enjoyable.

Swimming

These herd guardian dogs are somewhat more prone to hip dysplasia than other types of dogs. Swimming is an activity that provides your dog with a cardiovascular workout that doesn't stress the skeletal system.

Conclusion

These large and loyal canines have a lot of love and devotion to offer their families but should be well-socialized to prevent territorial behavior and anxiety. Like many other large and giant sized dogs, the Slovensky Cuvac breed is prone to hip dysplasia so they should avoid activities that may stress the bones and joints until they have physically matured at around eighteen months to two years old.