Activities For Spantrievers

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Introduction

A Spantriever is a medium-sized designer breed made from the English Cocker Spaniel and Labrador Retriever. These breeds are both high energy but extremely lovable and cuddly dogs that love to play. However, they also enjoy working and would do well with an owner who hunts. If you are not a hunter, you can still work your pooch like a hunter with activities such as fetch, retrieve, lure coursing, and many other retrieving type games. In fact, just tossing a ball and having your little buddy bring it back to you for about an hour every day would make your Spantriever very happy.

Hunting

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
treats
Leash
Safety Vest
Activity description
If you are already a hunter and have used dogs to hunt, you probably already know the way to train your dog for hunting. However, there is nothing wrong with learning new ways to help your dog really enjoy the sport as much as you do. For thousands of years, hunters have been using canines to help them hunt. Cocker Spaniels get their name from being bred to hunt woodcock, and Golden Retrievers are born to flush and retrieve all kinds of animals on land and water. So, you probably will not have to do much to teach your pooch. To be safe though, your dog needs to know the rules that will help you both have a better experience in the woods.
Step
1
Teaching the ropes
Your pooch will need to know some commands such as heel, sit, and flush so they can do a better job of helping you find whatever it is you are hunting. Use whatever command words work best for you and your dog as long as your dog is able to understand what you are saying.
Step
2
Practicing
Have your dog practice looking for prey by using scented dummies or live birds. When your dog is able to find the bird, make sure you praise your pooch and give them a treat to reinforce the behavior. Make sure your dog is comfortable around guns and loud noises by desensitizing them first. You do not want your little buddy to take off running when they hear you shoot.
Step
3
Retrieving
Having your dog find and retrieve an injured or dead bird can take patience since they are not full blooded retrievers. Try using a fetch command in the yard when playing ball or playing with toys and give your dog a treat every time they fetch. Pretty soon, your fur baby will know that they are supposed to go get something when you say fetch.
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Fetch and Retrieve

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Any Day
Cheap
Hard
2 - 3 hrs
Items needed
treats
toys
patience
Activity description

Labrador Retrievers are natural fetchers, which is why they are called retrievers. So, you are not going to have to try too hard to get your Spantriever to fetch and retrieve. However, there are certain things you can do to teach your pooch to fetch you things besides that ball or frisbee that you throw. For example, wouldn’t it be pawesome to have your dog go get you the newspaper or the mail? This is not easy, but it can be done with just a few steps. After all, there is a Border Collie named Chaser who knows over one thousand items by name. It all starts with the same basic concept of showing your fur buddy an object, teaching them the name of the object, and treating them when they go and get you the object. Whether it is a toy, mail, or even a beer, you have to teach your pooch what it is before they can go and get it for you. You will need a lot of treats and patience for this activity, but it is good mental and physical exercise for your pooch. 

Step
1
Start out small
Start with a toy that your dog is already familiar with. Make sure it has a name or give it a name that you can teach to your pooch, such as Fuzzy. Shake this toy under your fur baby’s nose and say the name. If your pooch touches it or even looks at it, give your dog a treat and a pat on the head. Keep doing this until your dog gets it right almost every time.
Step
2
Floor it
Set the toy on the floor and say its name. After your dog touches it with their nose, give them a treat and some praise. Repeat this until your dog is doing it all the time. Then, move the toy somewhere else such as over by the chair or couch and say its name every time you set it down. Pretty soon, your dog will know the toy’s name is Fuzzy. Teach your pooch to bring it to you by giving them a treat when they bring you the Fuzzy.
Step
3
Add another object
Now you can switch objects and do it the same way as you did with Fuzzy. Just keep praising and treating your dog every time they get it right. Once they know the name of a certain object, make sure to follow the other steps to get them to bring it to you from wherever in the house this object usually is. If it is the newspaper, have your dog go and get it from the steps or wherever your paper is usually found in the morning. If you practice enough and have enough treats available, you should be able to get your dog to bring you whatever you want.
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Lure Coursing

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
45 - 60 min
Items needed
treats
lure
Activity description
The sport of lure coursing closely resembles hunting in that your dog chases prey through a field or grassy area in the hopes of catching it. Of course, with this sport, the prey is just a lure, which is usually a piece of fur or cloth that has looks like prey. This sport is done with other dogs in a competition so you will have to get your dog used to working with others. The course is about 800 yards long and has several turns and may even go over some jumps or hurdles along the way to simulate the way a rabbit runs. Your Spantriever should love this game as it gives them that feeling of hunting prey that they desire.
Step
1
Introduce the prey
Show your dog the prey, which should be a piece of fur or cloth that is scented like a rabbit or another animal that your dog would love to chase. Toss it around the room or yard and let your dog chase it and catch it. Make sure you reward your pooch with some treats and praise every time they go after the prey, whether they “catch” it or not.
Step
2
Attach the prey
Attach the lure to a piece of fishing line or wire and have your dog chase it around the yard or a field, keeping it just out of reach. Your dog is probably fast so you may need to get a motorized lure coursing reel for this purpose. Have your dog chase the lure to a soft barrier of hay where the lure will go through a small hole. Do not let your dog catch the lure but reward them for chasing it every time.
Step
3
Experiencing the game
Take your four-legged friend to some lure coursing competitions so they can see the other dogs chasing the lure. Your dog will probably get very excited and want to join in on the fun so make sure you keep your pooch leashed and in your control at all times. If your dog seems scared or anxious, go to some more competitions until they get used to the noise and crowds. Pretty soon, they will not notice anything but the prey.
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More Fun Ideas...

Scootering

Some people really like to scooter, and if you are one of those people, maybe your dog would like to get in on the action. In some cases, your four-footed friend may be pulling you on the scooter, but others have more than one dog pulling them. The scooter should be nonmotorized of course, and don’t let your dog pull more than three times their weight.

Dock Jumping

If your pooch loves the water, dock jumping may be a good sport for them. To compete, your dog will have to learn to jump as far as possible into the water from the deck when you say the command so you will have to teach them by tossing a ball or another toy into the water and telling your pup to go get it. When they jump in the water, reward them whether they bring you the toy or not.

Conclusion

Spantrievers need at least an hour per day of vigorous exercise, and so do humans for that matter. So, get out there with your pet and get some exercise or just get out there and watch Fido exercise. Either way, you are spending time with your pooch, and this is good for both of you.