Activities For Small, Easy To Train Dogs

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Introduction

Want to play some games with your small, easy to train, dog? Do you find that simply throwing a ball for them to retrieve just isn’t satisfying your canine pal? If you’re stuck for ideas, never fear – read here! There are many activities suitable for your smaller breed.  It’s just a mutt-er of thinking outside of the box.  Just because your doggie pal is small, doesn’t mean they aren’t active.  If your little pooch is easy to train, it is likely that they are extremely intelligent, so they need to be challenged both mentally and physically. This will keep them happy and healthy, as your furry friend needs to feel challenged.  Agility is a great way to challenge a well-behaved pooch both mentally and physically, so the agility course is perfect for your little buddy!

Poochie Power Walk

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Any Day
Free
Normal
15 Minutes
Items needed
Harness
Lead
Activity description

Keeping your buddy fit and healthy is important for their health and well-being. If your pooch is small, they will only have little legs, so taking them for a run could be too much, but power walking is the next best thing.  Power walking is great cardio exercise for both you and your pet. The good thing is that you can increase or decrease the difficulty by walking for longer or shorter periods, or by introducing banks or hills into your walk.  Your four-legged friend will mirror your pace and it will help both of you maintain a healthy heart. You can power walk in any kind of weather and it’s free; plus, it can be a howl!

Step
1
Get ready for your walk
Pull on your sneakers and wave the lead at your canine pal. Tell your pooch ‘Walkies!” and get them excited for their walk. If it’s warm, you might want to take water with you as it’s important to stay hydrated when walking. If it’s cold, don’t forget jackets for both you and your little buddy.
Step
2
Set off
Start off at a pace that both you and your furry friend are comfortable with. Remember to walk quickly and move your arms high, matching your pace. Keep breathing in and out. It’s not a race, but you do want your heart rate to increase as this is cardio exercise, and this is the part that benefits your heart. If you are a beginner, start off walking for around 10 to 15 minutes.
Step
3
Increase intensity
Make a note of how long you walk for and when you find that this is no longer challenging for your best pal, increase the time by 5 minutes, or even try walking a different route, or on a route with an incline or slope that you can power walk up. This will increase the difficulty.
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Sit, Stay, Lay, Paw Game

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Any Day
Free
Easy
30 Minutes
Items needed
Mat
Treats (optional)
Activity description

Basic agility training is great if you want to eventually teach your pooch to do tricks.  Everyone expects their doggie pal to be able to sit, stay, lay down and give their paw.  These are popular skills and are often used as a basis for other more challenging maneuvers and tricks. This is what is so great about this activity.  If your dog learns these skills quickly, then you can begin to teach them extra skills like rolling and twirling.  Eventually, if they learn all of these skills, they will soon become a champion of the agility course. You can practice these every day, and make a game of it. Don’t forget that as your canine develops, you can increase the difficulty.

Step
1
One skill at a time
You may need to spend time with your pooch teaching them each of the four skills and this could be over a period of time if they don’t get it right away. Teach your dog to sit by repeating the word ‘sit’ and gently push their bottom to the floor so that they know this is the sitting position. Repeat the same concept when teaching your pup to give you their paw and lay down. Stay is a little trickier. Again, your furry friend needs to sit down, and then hold your hand up and say ‘stay’. Start walking backwards but keep your hand up and continue to repeat the word ‘stay’. If your pal moves, take them back to the original spot and try again. Reward with a treat when correct.
Step
2
All skills together
Put the mat on the floor and encourage your furry friend to sit. Then tell them to stay. Move backwards step by step but encourage your dog to stay. When you have taken several steps back, call your dog to you. You have now taught your dog to come to you. Reward with a treat. Encourage your buddy to sit again, only this time, ask for their paw. After you receive both, reward. Finally, teach lay down. If your lovable friend does all of these, they are ready to progress.
Step
3
Developing skills
Remember that practice makes perfect. The likelihood is that your little companion will be eager to impress you. You can follow similar techniques to teach your dog to twirl, jump-up and over, and roll. Jump-up, means you want your dog to jump up at you or onto something. Jump-over is to jump over an object which will prepare them well for an agility course.
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Agility Course

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
20 Minutes
Items needed
Mat
Balls and Bucket
Hoop
Tunnel
Hurdle
Activity description

You can pick dog agility items up pretty cheaply.  For this activity, it’s recommended that you have a hurdle (adjustable if possible), and a mat for your dog to sit and stay on as required.  A tunnel and hoop are also appropriate items, as are three balls and bucket, so that your pooch can pick up a ball, and put it into the bucket.  The great thing about agility courses is that they challenge your dog both physically as well as mentally.  They are also flexible, so you can increase the difficulty level and you can also change the activities around. They are certainly great for ensuring that your canine is both happy and healthy.

Step
1
Prepare the course
Create a starting line, and then set up the hurdle. You should adjust this to a suitable size for your canine. Then, place the tunnel after this. Remember your course can be as large or as small as you like. Place the mat just after the tunnel. Leave a space and then you should place three balls on the floor, by a bucket. Finally, you should place a hoop just before the finish line.
Step
2
Coach your canine
You should coach your dog through every aspect of the course. Guide your dog by using simple key words like ‘go’, ‘up’, ‘come’, ‘in there’ and ‘stay’. Your doggie pal should start at the starting line, jump the hurdle, run through the tunnel, stay on the mat for at least 10 seconds, before running to the balls, and placing all three balls into the bucket. Finally, hold up the hoop and encourage your canine to jump through the hoop before going over the finish line.
Step
3
Swap equipment
Try swapping your equipment around and then get your dog to do the course again. You could even take away some items and add others, for example, take away the hoop and add a see-saw for your pooch to run along and balance on. If it’s hot, try adding a paddling pool for your little hotdog. Don’t forget to celebrate the success of your champion canine!
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More Fun Ideas...

Hide the Treat

For this game you need a treat hiding ball.  Show your companion the ball and get them excited about it. Let them sniff it.  Then instruct your little buddy to stay, before going to hide the ball.  Shout when they can come and find the treat by saying ‘come on’, ‘go’, or ‘fetch’.  You may have to coach them through this a few times before your pet gets used to this game.  It can be played both inside and outside of the game.  Once they locate the treat, they then need to spend time, getting it out of the ball.   

Bubble Chase

It can be difficult to get the right size ball for a smaller dog and balls can be too heavy.  The smaller dog can be quite delicate so bubbles are ideal. Blow bubbles for your pooch and have them chase and pop the bubbles.  This is a great game; you can join in and it’s also great if you have multiple dogs.  On a windy day your bubbles will travel further, but there’s nothing to stop you running around with your bubbles on a tranquil day to ensure that your canine is tired out and has had a good work out. 

Conclusion

There are many games you can play with your small, easy to train, dog, without getting too hot under the collar.  Although your pooch trains easily, they may not be trained in certain things, so we encourage you to teach your canine the basics before developing their skills further.  If your four-legged friend is trained easily then it shows that they have high intelligence.  This means they need to be tested both mentally and physically, which is why agility should be challenged as well as physicality.  Activities like the agility courses in particular will really help your tail-wagger to keep their tails held high, as this type of activity helps to maintain their health and well-being due to the physical element, but will also satisfy their mental needs too.