Activities For Toy Foxy Russells

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Introduction

The Toy Foxy Russell is a hybrid dog created from the Toy Fox Terrier and a Jack Russell Terrier. They are incredibly active, curious bordering on being nosy, and can be stubborn when it suits them. On the other hand, they are endearingly sweet, affectionate and love to play. This is one dog that needs plenty to do so that they don't get into trouble. They have a strong instinct to chase, given that both parent breeds were renowned for their hunting skills. You can use that instinct to create games and activities that use those traits. A game of chase is always fun, but tie a toy onto a pole and flip the toy around and it takes the game to a new level. They will love to seek things out, so hide their meal in several different areas and get them to go seek! By doing this, they learn to hunt and forage like their forefathers did in the wild. This small dog loves to be with you, they are a real companion. Don't expect them to stay put and amuse themselves. That is asking for trouble. Instead, try to incorporate your Toy Foxy Russell into your life as much as possible.

Frozen Dog Treats

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Hot Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Vegetables and fruits
Bits of meat
Container to freeze the block in
Activity description
While it doesn't seem an active type of activity, a large block of frozen treats can mean a lot of work for an energetic dog. They can take ages to lick, nibble and defrost the ice so that they can eat the treats inside. It is best to have your dog eat it outside on a sunny day as it is easier to hose them down outside afterward. But what do you freeze for your dog? Well, it could be pumpkin blended with a cup of yogurt, or maybe a banana with a teaspoon of honey. Add in a slice or two of apple or strawberries with a coating of peanut butter. Flavor the mix with some watermelon blended with some coconut water. Chuck in a few of their favorite bits of liver or cooked chicken, or bits of raw steak and you have one afternoon sized block of yummy fun. Optionally, you can ask your veterinarian for suggestions. Moderation is key, and if unsure about any food ingredient, inquire with the vet before giving it to your dog.
Step
1
Start the freeze
The idea is to freeze and add the treats in layers so that the treat block is evenly packed. Start with a tasty broth layer of liquid and freeze it first. Then add another layer of treats, and freeze. Keep going until you have filled the container. Cover and freeze overnight.
Step
2
The gift of love
Choose a hot sunny day when your dog is a bit restless and doesn't have anything to do. Won't their eyes bulge when they see the size of the ice block? They will start trying to get inside of it immediately. Place your pup in a shaded, grassy area and let them have fun - under supervision of course.
Step
3
It takes patience and time
It will take a lot of effort on your dog's part to get to all the treats. They won't be content to wait until it defrosts. They will chew, poke, lick and nibble while sitting, standing and lying down. It is a great way to teach a dog patience by giving them a puzzle to slurp their way through.
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Snuffle Mat Fun

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Snuffle mat
Dog treats
Activity description
This activity is great for a wet day when your dog is bored inside. What is a snuffle mat, we hear you say? Well, it is a rubber mat that has a lot of fleece fabric attached. The mat mimics grass and is used to challenge your dog to find treats hidden within the layers of fabric. It makes use of your dog's natural scavenging skills and teaches them to use their nose to find the goodies. You could give the treat-filled mat to your dog at dinner time so that they have to work for their meal, or just give them the mat to play with on a boring, wet afternoon. They will concentrate for hours on this activity, and even when they have gleaned every single treat, they will still hunt hoping that life has miraculously filled the rug for them again!
Step
1
Stuff your snuffle mat
Open out your rug and stuff the treats within the layers of the fabric. It is easier to do this with the rug spread out on the floor. Command your dog to sit and stay so they don't start as you fill it. Don't overdo it, just a small amount of their favorite treat will do the trick.
Step
2
Let the game begin
Once you have it nicely sorted, then and only then allow your dog to begin to track and trace the food goodies. To a dog, this activity is pure joy - they have your attention and they have food. What more could a canny canine want?
Step
3
Calling time on the game
Some dogs will go on for ages, even after they have gleaned every single morsel. Let them search and lick to their heart's content, then clean and pack up the mat for another day. Maybe it's snuggle time for your Toy Foxy Russell - they will probably need a rest after all their searching efforts.
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Picasso Puppy

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Large piece of paper or white cardborad
Non toxic poster or acrylic paints
Paint brushes
Water and a rag/towel
Activity description
This activity will bring out the creativity in you and your dog, but it can be messy! Ideally, you want to do this outside, on the grass. The idea is to use the non-toxic paint to cover your dog's paw, then get your dog to put his paws on the paper and make a mark or two. By using a few colors and washing your dog's feet in-between color prints, you could end up with an original painting that you can keep forever. Praise your dog for a well-placed paw print. Give them a reward or two as you teach your dog to 'paint'. Not only is this a shared activity for your dog to enjoy, but it is a mental work out for them as well. At the end of the game, you just have to put the picture in a safe place to dry, and hose all the paint down. If it's warm enough, you could chase your dog with the hose for a bit of extra fun.
Step
1
Get everything ready
The first thing to do is to set up the area with the paper, paints and a water bowl and rag to clean your dog's paw. Then, invite your dog to join you as you create a masterpiece. Paint your own hand first and make a print, then do your dog's paw and see what they do. Even just walking across the paper will leave an interesting design.
Step
2
Clean between the colors
After each color, clean off your dog's feet, and add a new color. Don't worry about any mess, you can clean it up later. That is the beauty of being outside. Let your dog learn how to manage having their paws handled and to trust you with this game. Before you know it, your pup will be prancing and painting!
Step
3
Cleanup after the fun
Some dogs will play for ages, others may lose interest after half an hour. Take your cue from your dog and if they are getting tired, clear up the paints and paper and hose the area clean. Make sure you wash your dog's feet and dry them carefully. Or if it is hot and sunny, just get them to run through the sprinklers. Then it's treat and sleep time!
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More Fun Ideas...

The Bouncing Dog

Do you have a trampoline stashed in the backyard that rarely sees any use? Well you can train your Toy Foxy Russell to bounce like a circus dog and they will not only wear off energy, they will love it. If you or one of the children get on the trampoline with them, you must be careful not to bounce on them, or they will get hurt. But if you hop on and bring your dog on so that they get used to it, it will be quite safe. As you sit, bounce a little and see how they react. Most trampolines have a netting surround which is a safety feature and will make your dog feel more secure. Dogs can become really good at bouncing away, and they will love all the attention. But always supervise any play on the trampoline, to ensure their safety.

Blanket Hurdles

For an agility course that is suited to the size of your Toy Foxy Russell, you can use blankets or towels to make an inside agility course suitable for your dog. Clear out enough space in a room or down a hallway so your dog can run freely. At first, walk your dog through the course and have them hop over the blanket jumps a couple of times. Then get them to stay at one end, while you go to the other end and call them. Once you two get this game down pat, you can vary it by adding in more 'hurdles' of varying sizes. The longer the run, the more energy your dog will burn off. You can also yell STOP at any point in the hurdle run for your dog to stop and drop. This is a great activity for your dog to learn, both as fun and as a training task. Remember to reward positive behavior.

Beach Excursion

The beach is a magical place not only for humans, but for our canine companions as well. From the moment their padded paws touch the sand, your dog will be ready to run. Make sure the beach is pet-friendly first, and then take your dog on a leash to the beach. It pays to train your dog to obey orders before you venture to the ocean or lake, or you may never see them again! If your dog has 'selective hearing' and ignores you when you call, once you get to them, immediately clip them on the leash and ignore them. After some time, release them again, and keep repeating the lesson.  They will soon learn that to be free and have fun, they have to behave and come when called. When they do come when called, praise them well and give them a tasty treat. Once you get over this part, the rest is just a fun day out.

Conclusion

The goal of providing activities for your dog is to - well, wear them out! Oh, and to train them. The Toy Foxy Russell has a ton of energy that needs to be worked off. If it isn't, then they will get into trouble. Even if you have to stand and throw their favorite toy up to the top of the stairs a million times for them to retrieve, it will be worth it. Because of their stubborn streak, positive training is important. Show patience and get them to redo what you want, and treat them for doing something right. Focus on the positive. That is the secret to training this intelligent dog. Make life fun, make learning fun, and your Toy Foxy Russell will become the perfect companion and will be a truly happy little fox.